Viable causes for drug abuse include: physical injury and pain, childhood neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, rape, sexual harassment, and war related trauma. In addition, the blame for the national opioid crisis has been placed on the over prescription of medications and painkillers. The theory is that drugs affect the brain’s response to pleasure in such a way as to cause millions of people to crave it even after the pain has subsided or been absolved.
Let’s look further into the problem of addiction by examining the society in which we live. Other than educating the public about the hazards and plausible risk of death from drug abuse, what other prevention efforts can be done to fight addiction?
In the book, Chasing the Scream, the author, Johann Hari, discusses a study conducted in the 1970s that suggested drug addiction may be related to the lack of connection people have with others. This brings to mind the the question: Does the national drug crisis have anything to do with our society of stressed, overworked, lonely and unhappy people? If so, what can be done about it?
The forces behind societal norms are often corporate marketing campaigns. Some campaigns are designed to lure people into the desire for expensive products, or to buy foods with zero nutritional value. Likewise, educational systems emphasize student’s scores and grade point averages, not their ability as thinkers who can problem solve. People are so busy they don’t take time to hear another’s voice on the telephone. Email took the place of phone calls and letter writing. Texting now overshadows email. Texting can be a quick and superficial.
Some drug rehabilitation facilities today offer a holistic approach to addiction whereby the body, mind and spirit are treated as a whole. Yoga and mindfulness meditation practices are key to healing and lasting recovery. Also, considerable emphasis is placed on aftercare plans and goals. The concern is for the person to have a support system in place that is emotionally nourishing and connective.
When a person leaves rehab, a stigma may be attached to them. Our society needs not only to look at our isolated behaviors, but reduce stress through laws that regulate stringent adherence to worker’s hours, both hourly and salaried. We need to reach out to kids at risk on a wide scale and promote connection with one another. We need to add love to the mix of solutions for drug addiction.
“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope some day you’ll join us. And the world will live as one.” -John Lennon
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