Re: Bye-Bye to the >H Right Wing ->Drugs & addicts

From: E. Shaun Russell (
Date: Thu Feb 14 2002 - 23:10:49 MST

Vanessa wrote:

>I would have to agree with Amara - EDUCATE. Put the word out there & (at
>least try to) have faith that people will follow. Just like you can't
>force a junkie into sobriety, you can't force a person to change the way
>they think - even if its an improvement - it just doesn't work that way.
>But I wouldn't have even made it this far without education, specifically
>science. Early sobriety is like schizophrenia without all the noise. At
>such a critical time, I found science & math to be a great comfort
>because, unlike society or religion, I could trust them.

Ultimately, I have always viewed substance abuse as I would view any
disease: it is an affliction that can usually be cured, but the victim has
to *want* to be cured before that can be done. One difference between
substance abuse and other diseases, however, is that where most diseases
are primarily physical (even down to the molecular and chemical level),
substance abuse is at least partially psychological as well. Treatment
can't be limited to *just* detox, nor can it be limited (in most cases) to
*just* AA / NA etc. It has to be a combination of the two.

The point to this is that this duality of treatment is quite hard for most
people to understand. The common sentiment from most "sober" individuals
is that the addicts simply "don't want" to help themselves, when really
there is often another dimension to the issue.

Education is *key* to solving a lot of the apparent "drug problem" that we
currently experience. The way it is generally done now is that drugs are
automatically equated with all "bad" things, when really the educated
should be more geared towards the reality that drugs are not inherently
bad, but that the consequences of sustained drug use *can* be bad. Kids
are smart enough to know that a "high" doesn't feel bad. But they lack the
native intelligence/wisdom to understand the consequences of
addiction. That's something that can be changed, but to the best of my
knowledge, too many people are painting a stark, black and white picture of
an area that has a lot of inherent greys.

E. Shaun Russell Operations Officer, Extropy Institute
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