Just as most murderers are not absolved by reason of insanity, most people who misbehave in public when tipsy (e.g., urinating for the crowd) are not necessarily diseased - some people are just rude and crude, without any medical qualification.
A few days back, I published a piece right here titled: What's in a Word, and Who is the Addict? I really only dealt with the first part of the question: semantic pros and cons pertaining to word usage. This time, I wish the address the second question - a far more difficult question than the first.
So I use the term 'addict' to describe a certain type of person. Many object to this designation. For one, there is stigma attached to it. Practically everyone you know has been carried away at some point by some poison - exercise, love, sex, gambling, tobacco, coffee, food, booze, dope, work - some object that everyone is (or has been) an addict. Hence, according to some, the label is meaningless.
Many who oppose the legalization of harder drugs (e.g., heroin, cocaine) paint some pretty farfetched images. Take a ten year old walking over to a candy dispenser, and then walking away with some crack. Or, less farfetched: people buying what they please over the counter at convenience stores.
All over the media, we hear talk of <em>drug related violence.</em> On the streets of Western democracies, in the jungles of Latin America, and elsewhere, people do seem to fight over drugs and the money they can generate.
For a while, Oxycodone offered an option for opiate users - essentially, it was akin to medically prescribed heroin. Someone could get an oxy script and, rather than use it "properly", crush up a pill and do a smash.
Illegal drugs are easier for young people to get than legal ones. True today, this was also true when I was a teen. Even at the age of 13, any illegal drug you wanted was just one 14 year old away. Alcohol purchases, on the other hand, required some work.
For too long, people have been told that harm reduction - offering help of any kind - is in fact bad for the problem substance user. This one preachy bit of tripe is something our society can do without. Then, finally, more and more honest and practical decisions will be made.
Many seem to like my recently published book on addiction. Here's what I often get: "Dr. Ferentzy offers an interesting and challenging perspective ..." In such cases I will thank someone for their kind words, but then quickly counter:<em> everything I wrote in that book is true; perspective is irrelevant. </em>
It's always easier to see through the foibles of past generations, and much harder to view one's own reality with the same critical acumen. So I ask the reader to make an effort: try to view today's codependency culture with the eyes of future generations.
21/12/2011 15:06 GMT
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