How Addiction Should Be Viewed By The Society

  • How Addiction Should Be Viewed By The Society

    Blurry image of people walking down the street


    Society needs a comprehensive view of addiction, although individuals will view addictive behavior in some ways, supported their own beliefs and situations. Addiction is one of all the compelling problems of recent life. In an exceedingly world increasingly stuffed with tempting activities and substances, and decreasingly crammed with counterbalancing forces, most individuals must manage desire better. Instead of just wishing on individual self-control, perhaps our larger communities and society itself can help us respond better to our desires.

    From Food to Drugs, the majority Are plagued by Addiction

    Addiction affects nearly everyone. Currently, within the US approximately 2/3 of the population is overweight. This proportion was only about 5% in 1900. We now have decreased physical activity, and increased intake of upper-calorie foods. With current food technology, we will easily provide everyone with inexpensive, tasty food with a protracted shelf-life. In 1900 most would have regulated their weight almost effortlessly, this shift within the food environment helps us recognize that.

    Now weight regulation, and therefore the choice of healthy foods, requires deliberate and sustained effort. We already see that the majority of individuals appear unable to accomplish weight control during this food environment. Within the years ahead will see an outsized increase in diabetes, when we now ignore the millions who are in an exceedingly pre-diabetic state due to poor food choices.

    The situation with the normal substances of abuse (alcohol, pharmaceutical drugs, street drugs, etc.) is analogous, but with the added element of intoxication. Although there are fluctuations in availability and price, normally there’s increasing availability of gear at lower prices. Both by street chemists and pharmaceutical companies, and new liquids containing alcohol, there are new substances being created. Addictive activities like gambling, sex, and shopping also are more easily available, partially thanks to the net.

    What Doesn’t Work

    Between 1919 and 1933 the US experienced “prohibition.” Prohibition didn’t work any better than the present war on drugs. There appear to be no credible suggestions for a return to prohibition, and lots of credible suggestions to finish the war on drugs.

    We are, ironically, learning how weak self-control is, as we are realizing that prohibitionist legislation doesn’t prevent addiction problems. In an array of experiments that test our capacity to resist temptation, Roy Baumeister and other psychologists have found that self-control is definitely exhausted. One simple demonstration of the phenomenon of “ego depletion” would be that individuals who sit for some minutes in an exceeding room with a bowl of chocolate chip cookies (which they don’t get to eat) would experience significantly weaker self-control on the subsequent task, as compared to the individuals who sat during a room with a bowl of radishes. Fortunately, some sort of muscle, self-control can strengthen with practice.


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    New Directions for Society’s Role in Reducing Addiction

    If thus far neither legislation nor naturally developed self-control has been effective in helping us collectively achieve the extent of self-control we’d like to avoid addictive behavior within the times, it’d appeared to be time for locating new directions. One obvious place to start considering a way to develop such community structure and support is that the study of how different cultures provide it. Lower addiction rates than the US are there in many cultures. We may have much to find out from them.

    A Comprehensive View of Addiction

    What would recognize that anyone might develop it is a comprehensive view of addiction by society. As it could unfold in anyone, instead of as a disease that only happens to some, we’d like to grasp addiction as a developmental process or evolution. Instead of scapegoating some (so-called addicts and alcoholics), we want to require communal ownership of the matter of addiction, across the complete scope of the management of desire. These tasks would blend into the larger process of developing and maintaining communities with minimal addiction problems, instead of focusing solely on prevention, treatment like the one offered by the best detox centers Phonenix AZ has, and relapse prevention. If we adopt this angle we would then also stop labeling as addiction other problems like poverty, lack of family support, and lack of educational opportunity, and address them more directly and effectively.

    What will must be capable in new ways are those who endorse the self-label of addict/alcoholic. One model of a brand new relationship is how we accommodate bankruptcies. In bankruptcy, we allow the write-off of debt and a chance. One may never be ready to repay the debt (it isn’t required) but it’s expected that one will start fresh as a contributing member of society.

    we are left with legislative and individual solutions to the management of desire until adequate community support develops. These work for a few, but not most. Some cultures do a far better job of enabling their members to measure mostly freed from addiction. We could look beyond addiction as a disease and develop a culture that better supports all folks by studying and discussing them.


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