“Almost everything we know about addiction is wrong.”
I agree with this statement because I strongly believe a person’s mental health and the environment they are in play an important, if not more important, role in the cause of addiction rather than blaming it solely on the physical elements found in the drug. I think factors such as what someone is going through, the support they receive, and how they cope with their issue are more likely to determine whether or not they will become dependent on the drug in most cases. I like the example that Johann Hari used in his Tedtalk regarding how a grandmother can be given diamorphine in a hospital for a long period of time while healing and not become addicted to it once they recover. I feel like this backs the claims that addiction is caused by more than just the chemical properties in the drug since diamorphine can be compared to other extremely addictive drugs you’d find on the street.
“The opposite of addiction is not sobriety, it is connection.”
This is a statement that I definitely agree with as I’ve seen it first hand. I believe that while addiction is a part of substance use disorders, it can also fall into the category of a social disorder. Lack of connection with one’s self and their environment can lead to people turning to drugs just to feel something. (Weiss, 2015) supports this as he states that “addiction is not about the pleasurable effects of substances, it’s about the user’s inability to connect in healthy ways with other human beings”. For instance, someone I knew had an addiction to cocaine and while they wanted to get sober it was extremely difficult as they were always alone and felt that was the only option they had to connect with the outside world since it brought them out of their introverted shell and strangers enjoyed this new persona. At the same time, whenever people would spend quality time with the individual, take them places, and just engage in human contact they tended to stay away from cocaine and instead got the same connection they found in drugs through human experience.
Johann Hari. (2015, June). Everything you think you know about addiction is wrong. Ted.com; TED Talks. https://www.ted.com/talks/johann_hari_everything_you_think_you_know_about_addiction_is_wrong?language=en
Weiss, R. (2015, September 30). The Opposite of Addiction is Connection. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/love-and-sex-in-the-digital-age/201509/the-opposite-addiction-is-connection