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An Essay On Addiction

An Essay On Addiction

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Published by HimalayanWisdom
Journey, Nothingness
Journey, Nothingness

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Categories:Types, School Work
Published by: HimalayanWisdom on Mar 28, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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11/06/2012

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An Essay On “Addiction”Date : 11-01-01A statistic about high school seniors show that fifty-three percent of them aregetting drunk at least once a month, forty-three percent are smoking marijuana and thirty-six percent are smoking cigarettes. Alcohol abuse costs the country “a staggering” onehundred and eighty five billion dollars and forty billion dollars are spent every year ondrug war. Addiction is certainly an epidemic that is plaguing our society today. Butaddicts are people who are among every one of us, living in a society or as a nation todeal with social problems such as addiction. However, each one of us as individuals canmake positive difference – addict or not – by attempting to take responsibility for our own personal transformations. It is individuals who make a society or a nation. Hence, perhaps our attempt to see an addiction-free society could be achieved by each one of usfirst experiencing it in our individual lives.There are several reasons such as physical, psychological or sociological,attributed to the problem of addiction but addiction “has to do something fundamental inhuman beings, and touches on the search for meaning that tends to define what it is to behuman in the first place” says Francis Seeburger, author of “Addiction andResponsibility”. While many of us apparently struggle to find a meaning for our lives in amaterialistic society, “it is addicts among us who are most in rebellion against thematerialism in our society” mentions Seeburger. In the movie, “Traffic” the sixteen year old Caroline seems to struggle to find for herself a place in the society as she says, “I amangry” and don’t know why! Perhaps this helplessness has come from a false sense of self that we gain from the culture that has achieved externally so much from the industrialand technological revolutions. It is perhaps to fulfill this sense of despair that a largenumber of people among us seek substances that give a “surge of energy”, atleasttemporarily fulfilling us.While several methods – from criminalization and prohibitions of substance useto medication and treatment through counseling and therapies – have been adopted tohandle the problem of addiction, Steven Duke – author of “America’s longest war :rethinking our crusade against drugs” – insists that “a dollar spent on drug treatment isseven times as effective as a dollar spent on interdiction.” This is the tendency that iscatching up in schools too points out Karen Springer in her article, “Rethinking ZeroTolerance”. She says, schools are moving “toward a two-track system of discipline andtreatment as the students are not expelled in a few schools but that they receivecounseling and support while they are suspended”.“When people are unable to experience the feeling of connection and communityin healing ways, they will often find ways that are dark and destructive” says not thescripture but science. Dean Ornish, scientist and author of “Love and Survival” provides
 
the scientific evidences that love and intimacy are essential for our health as well as for our very survival as human-beings. This aspect of life-experience belongs to each one of us. We were left with hope for Caroline in “Traffic” only when her parents significantlyattempted to connect with her. It was essential that the parents themselves undergo atransformation in order to save their daughters life. When the channels inside us begin toopen for “improving relationships with people, places and things”, we begin to discover the reasons to find a place in our society and thereby help others find themselvessimilarly.In order to avoid giving up ourselves tragically to addictions, it is necessary thatwe have a fundamental outlook on life at every stage in our lives. Geoffrey Cowleywrites, in his article, “Fighting addiction” the story of Colin Martinez who stayed “free of drugs” after using it for several years. What Colin Martinez says about him and his life isthis: “I have friends and a job, and I like who I am”. Perhaps it takes a tragic phase in our lives to be experienced, such as through addiction. But the sense of fulfillment or thesense of self or whatever we might choose to express its essence, is what is required in allof us. We have to learn to give ourselves permission to choose the most positiveexperience in each moment as Gary Zukav says in his book, “The Seat of the Soul”. It isan attempt that each one of us should make in our lives if we are to prevent the problemssuch as addiction from controlling our society.To have a fulfilling experience, we have to create access around us to see the wayothers experience their lives. Therapy, counseling and treatments like ‘AlcoholicAnonymous’ create a positive experience for the addicted people among us. Butconnecting with our families and friends, neighbors and communities, is one of the primary experiences that we have to bring to our daily lives. What therapies andcounseling offer are what we need in our everyday life. It is said that people get addictedor relapse into addiction for a primary reason such as stress, loneliness and isolation. Sowe have to create opportunities for ourselves to reach out to others and allow ourselvesexperience life its fullest.While the developments of attitudes to experience love and connection is aneffective way that we handle addiction, the challenge lies in balancing our experiences.Dean Ornish says that we have seen our society swing its “pendulum” to the farthestextent of “mechanism”, “determinism” and “physicalism” and now there is evidence thatthere is hunger for nourishment and spirituality in all aspects of our lives. As he says, wehave to create a balance to carefully avoid swinging the “pendulum” to its other extreme, by valuing “reason and intellect” as much as “intuition and spirituality”. It is apparentthat “reason and intellect” plays a crucial role in treating the problem of addiction as wesee effective treatments coming on the rise mainly through analysis and intellectualexperimentation.As we take responsibility as a society and nation to overcome the problem of addiction, changes such as in “social activities, roles and beliefs” is certainly bringingdown the rate of substance abuse according to the book, “The Decline of Substance Usein Young Adulthood”. While this fact leaves us with hope, Colin Martinez’s realization on

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