Globalization of Addiction: A Study in Poverty of the Spirit

The Globalization of Addiction: A Study in Poverty of the Spirit


‘The Globalization of Addiction’ presents a radical rethink about the nature of addiction. Scientific medicine has failed when it comes to addiction. There are no reliable methods to cure it, prevent it, or take the pain out of it. There is no durable consensus on what addiction is, what causes it, or what should be done about it. Meanwhile, it continues to increase around the world. This book argues that the cause of this failure to control addiction is that the conventional wisdom of the 19…

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Heroin users of r/drugs, are you addicts?(r/Drugs)

Many people try heroin, just like anything else, and do NOT get addicted. Those who do get addicted tend to get addicted because they’re in intolerable pain for one reason or another.

Heroin is a superlative pain killer. It doesn’t just kill physical pain like ibuprofen, it also kills psychological pain, emotional pain and the pain caused by social phobias.

When a person who is suffering without any idea how to stop suffering meets heroin, something amazing happens. Suddenly, and for no good reason, the suffering is gone! Where did it go? Heroin killed it! Who would’ve thought anything at all could kill so much agony!

When I first tasted heroin, the first words out of my mouth were these: “So this is how normal people feel!”

Anyone overhearing this might’ve correctly predicted that a long and intimate relationship was about to begin between a sorely crippled and lonely person and a molecule able to quash all pain.

It’s important to note that when I tried heroin, so did many of my acquaintences – mostly all college students. Of all of them, only myself and the person who was to become my SO became addicts (for the usual reasons – see above). The others played around with it just like they played with cocaine and marijuana but only those in terrible pain without solutions became addicts.

If you want to understand addiction, go to the source. Look up the Rat Park experiment and the findings of Bruce Alexander. Read, cover to cover, Alexander’s latest book: The Globalization of Addiction: A Study in Poverty of the Spirit.

No substance can get someone addicted. Substances don’t sneak into people’s lives and hook them while they sleep or other propagandist rubbish to that effect.

Addiction is hard work and requires persistence, a willingness to spend endless hours pursuing the goal, putting up with nausea and sickness in order to develop a tolerance and so on. It doesn’t “just happen”.

In spite of my immediate delight with heroin and vow to use it as much as possible, it took over 6 months, and really closer to a year, of consistent use before the body became physiologically addicted. That said, addiction is rarely only physiological in nature. More often than not, it is caused by social factors.

Read Alexander’s book if you want the whole story. It’s amazingly insightful about the lives of average human beings all over the world who are replacing a true sense of belonging and participating in a social context with an addiction to work or to exercise, or to money or to sex or to gambling or to shopping…. the list is endless and the point to come away with is this:

Addiction is a symptom. A symptom of a big fat problem. Addiction is NEVER the source of the problem – only an inept attempt at a solution. It is very sad.

edited to add links: The Globalization of Addiction: A Study of Poverty of the Spirit by Bruce Alexander, best known for the seminal RAT PARK experiment.

edit 2: To thank those who gave gold or bits of bitcoin along with upvotes. I’m happy this post got attention because so many people are suffering from addiction to one thing or another these days. I believe the ground-breaking work of Bruce Alexander – which has debunked the myth of drug-induced addiction and identified the true causes of addiction worldwide – points the way toward a workable solution.

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Bruce Alexander

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Oxford University Press

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The Globalization of Addiction: A Study in Poverty of the Spirit

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Heroin users of r/drugs, are you addicts?

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