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Drug Addiction

Essay by review  •  November 27, 2010  •  Research Paper  •  5,909 Words (24 Pages)  •  2,554 Views

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Drug Addiction

Introduction

There are many people and organizations in our culture that are trying very hard to make sure that Drug Addiction is NOT seen as a disease or as the result of genetic or biological predisposition. These people have a strong personal and social interest in an entirely nonphysiological model of addictive human behavior. Their perspective of social problems is based primarily on a philosophical orientation with a social perspective, heralding socio-political correctness as its goal.

Throughout history, a great many people and institutions have tried to help alcoholics and addicts. Currently, there are thousands of different programs in the United States trying to help those people who have a social or personal problem with drugs or alcohol. Yet, the success rate for these programs is extraordinarily low considering the effort and investment made.

There are countless reasons why these programs are not working, however the main reason is yet to be realized. Existing programs are not working because they're based on false assumptions of philosophy and human nature. They do not address the motivations and emotions of addictions.

Today, drug treatment and rehabilitation centers are typically operating on the belief that social or philosophical factors are causing the addictive behavior, and that if we could change an addict's belief system, or his social support structure we could end his addictive behavior. And yet, the success an individual attains, typically doesn't last as long as the treatment. This superficial view comes from our governmental and religious orientations, which maintain that addiction is the result of bad personal choices, weak character, and anti-social or irreligious behaviors.

These are not useless perspectives in our attempts to improve the human condition. However, in solving the pervasive problems which have deep roots in our human motivations and emotions, we must see that socially based perspectives have little to offer. People do not destroy their families, careers, and love relationships, because they choose to, or because of their friends. They do not desire financial ruin, loss of self-respect, being assaulted, or spending long and frequent periods of time incarcerated, just because it's their chosen lifestyle. These are blind and ignorant attitudes.

It is apparent that a motivation, or physiological drive stronger than our conscious concerns is at work fueling our addictive behaviors. Addiction means giving up conscious control. It is impulsive, unconscious behavior. As it is said in Alcoholics (or narcotics) anonymous, addicts are people who have lost all control of their lives, as well as their substance use and abuse. These people have tried many different times to stop using these substances, for their own personal, financial, or social reasons, and yet they couldn't. They were able to stop for short periods, or curb use for longer periods, but true abstinence over an extended period of time is somewhat rare among true addictive personalities. Also, addiction is a progressive disease.

Twelve step programs learned 60 years ago what governmental, social, and religious institutions still refuse to accept. Most addicts will not stop using until they hit bottom, believing that they may not survive unless they get help. Grateful alcoholics and addicts are those lucky enough to survive long enough to have a sudden, radical, change in orientation, a kind of spiritual awakening. Here the individual comes to believe that he can no longer trust his conscious ability to direct his own behavior. He finally does what he could never do before, he admits defeat. Beaten down to his knees, he asks god for help, (even if he thought himself an atheist, or agnostic,) and finally turns to others. Twelve steppers say "Our best thinking is what got us here. It became necessary to lead a life of humility."

Addiction the only mental disorder that convinces the afflicted that its everyone else who is ill, not himself. This is because of addictive denial. This is not a conscious act. In the grateful addict's new reality, he realizes that this denial is the unconscious mind's ability to completely block an addict's conscious awareness of the nature of his addictive behavior, and personality, replacing it with vivid misconceptions, created to support the addictive behavior. Positive emotions and motivations are perverted, denied, or extinguished, an individual eventually becomes almost zombie-like, and running on automatic, very unlike his former self.

Freud himself had tried to treat advanced alcoholics and had come to believe that they were hopeless, beyond treatment. However, he had heard of some having recovered after a spiritual or religious experience. He believed these instances to be miracles.

What really happens is that the weight of unconscious motivations becomes inclined to stop the addictive behaviors rather than continue. After survival or another very deep unconscious drive becomes the most primary concern, the addict has what twelve steppers call, a moment of clarity, which is a strong enough for change in conscious orientation. Some people believe that this is because conscious concerns and social pressures bring about a new choice in behavior. Actually, unconscious motivations save us from a threat which our denial had consciously hidden.

Intellectuals are often good examples of some who are highly educated, well intentioned, and respected individuals, typically successful in their own careers, while teaching and counseling others. Yet, they have absolutely no idea what is going on within people's hearts and minds.

Sociologists and religious adherents are often, such intellectuals. Thus, they are unable to help addicts because of their lack of wisdom and practical experience pertaining to our basic emotional and motivational nature. The real psychological basis of drug addiction has an intrinsic nature, and it is an intrinsic motivation which drives the addictive personality. There are many cultural factors and environmental or social influences which are closely related to addictive behaviors, yet when given the same social, economic, and environmental factors, one person becomes an addict, while others who are equally influenced become abstainers, or more commonly, will experiment with drugs but never have substance abuse problems or become addicts. This is the kind of awareness which ethical pontifications and statistical social research will never be able to uncover. They are looking in the wrong place, and from the wrong perspective. You could say that they are on solid ground, but chasing a wild goose, and barking up the wrong tree.

Drug Distinctions

Sociologists,

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