Monday, February 09, 2015

The Likely Cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered and It Is Not What You Think

From AlterNet:

The street addict is like a rat in the first cage: isolated and alone, with only one source of solace to turn to. The medical patient is like a rat in the second cage: going home to a life where she is surrounded by the people she loves. The drug is the same, but the environment is different.

This gives us an insight that goes much deeper than the need to understand addicts. Professor Peter Cohen argues that human beings have a deep need to bond and form connections. If we can't connect with each other, we will connect with anything we can find—the whirr of a roulette wheel or the prick of a syringe. He says we should stop talking about 'addiction' altogether and instead call it 'bonding.' A heroin addict has bonded with heroin because she couldn't bond as fully with anything else.

So the opposite of addiction is not sobriety. It is human connection.

More here.

Unfortunately, American twenty first century capitalism is all about destroying social bonds, rather than creating and enhancing them. So I guess we continue to be screwed.  Besides, people are making big money dealing with addiction under the assumptions we have now.  Like that's going to ever change.