Thursday, January 29, 2015

Addiction and Connection

I've just read a pretty interesting article online. I'll admit that I'm skeptical about it, but the premise is intriguing.  It's all about the question of what causes addiction.  The basic idea (and the author backs it up with a bunch of studies) is rather than chemical dependency being involved, he claims that the cause of addiction is isolation and disconnection. 

Johann Hari makes at least two major points from this.  The first is that the war on drugs doesn't stop drug addiction.  He thinks, and uses the example of what's been done successfully in Portugal, that drugs should be decriminalized and addicts should be given social supports.  This is not only more humane but works a lot better. 

More important to my thinking is his second point.  We also need to deal with the social isolation and lack of connection that this society fosters.  As he put it, "We need now to talk about social recovery -- how we all recover, together, from the sickness of isolation that is sinking on us like a thick fog."

I think (no surprise to anyone who reads this blog) that community is one of the main antidotes to isolation and that we need to rebuild this society so that it's based on human connection (as well as our connections to the earth and the ecosystem) rather than selling products and controlling people.  This is real social alchemy.

Quote of the Day: "...the opposite of addiction is not sobriety. It is human connection. ...
"Human beings are bonding animals. We need to connect and love." - Johann Hari

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