Why is Addiction Still Considered a Personal Weakness?

If you can’t keep drugs out of a prison…how do expect to keep them out of a school? You wan’t to stop addiction? Get rid of all drugs, alcohol, hookers, and anything that provides a method of escape from reality or kill anyone trying to escape from reality. Yes. It is that big of a problem. Throwing money and more drugs (treatment) at it won’t help. Truthfully…nothing will.

Ice Destroys Lives

Ice Destroys Lives (Photo credit: chopp3rs)

That was a response to an article on LinkedIn about addiction, called “Why is Addiction Still Considered a Personal Weakness?”: http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20130409120623-25760-why-is-addiction-still-considered-a-personal-weakness?ref=email

It’s beyond a full-on point of view, I mean “kill anyone trying to escape from reality”… If that was enforced I know I would have been murdered long ago. I imagine too a large majority of the world would need to be killed off as well and after all that, would addiction have been addressed at all? I can’t see how it would.

Interesting that just a few comments before, I had a go at addressing a bunch of much more refrained judgemental one’s. I don’t usually write much on LinkedIn being an employment based social media platform, but seeing a number of comments I felt impelled to do so. So I wrote this:

One way to see it is that all addictions are effects, not the causes of problems. If we view it that way, we’re less able to judge, especially when we ourselves don’t know, or don’t care to know what the causes are. Everyone is different and unique, so our way of dealing with the causes of addictions, will affect what those addictions will be from person to person. Viewed that way, we can see how counter-productive judging a person’s particular behaviour that manifests as addictions is. Say, a person is feeling isolated and alone and disconnected from people, and that person numbs that feeling with alcohol and goes out socially drinking regularly to do that. Judgement about that person’s coping mechanisms will only make them feel more alone, more isolated and more disconnected and so will likely just make them go deeper into that coping mechanism, deeper and more frequently into the drink for example, and much more likely to turn their coping into a full blown addiction, like alcoholism.

Point is, the mechanics of addiction are in place to begin with for all of us, some addictions or lets say coping mechanisms for inner pain are just socially / culturally more acceptable. All that does in reality is tell us about our culture, or society, but not about particular individuals and not about how more or less valuable human beings they are. So if we really want to help and do something about it, it’s vital we look at our own tendencies to judge, especially when we know doing that is counter-productive and usually is only done because we want to avoid looking at our own tendencies.

Something that dawned on me today was how our addictions actually tells us much about our unique strengths, not as what is commonly believed, our weaknesses. It goes like this, a person who is more sensitive to the emotional pain that they carry, will by definition have less buffer around their feelings, so pain would be much more raw. Now if you believe that God is perfect, then if God creates a person who has a lot of sensitivity, sensitive to all things around them (which would include pain), then God has built into that person a corresponding ability and capacity to feel that extent of pain. Having that ability is an incredible demonstration of that person’s unique innate inner strength.

The problem of course is those around such people, having more buffers, and so by definition, are more able to suppress their own capacity to be sensitive, will be more likely putting that same expectation out to others. So those with the highest levels of sensitivity, will experience the higher expectation and judgement from others less sensitive from them. Hence with the additional burden of others judgements, it’s understandable many highly sensitive people turn to external means of suppression like drugs. So while, internally not having that same mechanism to suppress, as others might have, their feelings are just so much more raw, and so external means of suppression would be more likely to be desired by such people.

Such highly sensitive people are those that create, and are those who are inventive, are those who are our social catalysts for positive change in the world. This happens because they have more capacity to sense directly just what’s going on, and so are more able to see reality (contrary to the initial comment suggestion), and thus can help us as a society know when we’re going down the wrong track and so help us to grow. So if we understand how valuable highly sensitive people are to our social wellbeing, in fact our individual wellbeing too, and if we understand them not to be a weakness but in fact a strength, we can more likely be open as a society to such people, rather than shun, isolate and condemn such people for not coping with “reality” and not coping with our judgements.

2 thoughts on “Why is Addiction Still Considered a Personal Weakness?

  1. Pingback: A little more than a comment. | iccleblog

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