5 Myths That Allow Addiction To Occur

myths vs factsClark Carr is the President of Narconon International, a position that he has held for 18 years now. Prior to that, he served as the director of a Narconon drug rehab center. In all, he has nearly three decades of experience in the field of addiction treatment, a background that gives him invaluable insight into the subject of addiction — how it develops, how it affects a person’s life, and how to put an end to it. Mr. Carr is sharing his knowledge with the public by writing a new book, Ending Addiction, which is currently being released in a serial format online. In the Forward to the book, Mr. Carr discusses five of the most common misconceptions that contribute to the development of an addiction in an individual and the spread of substance abuse and addiction throughout society. These include:

Any Physical Discomfort Should Be Numbed or Otherwise Relieved Through Drugs

Many people in today’s world are taught from an early age that as soon as they are feeling some type of pain or other discomfort, the natural — or even necessary — thing to do is to take a pill. From an early age, a large percentage of American children are given cough syrup when they have a cold, or Tylenol when they have a fever. Later they are given Advil to get rid of aches and pains after football practice or dance lessons. When they have their teeth worked on at the dentist, they get novacane or are even put under laughing gas. In short, people are indoctrinated into the belief that unpleasant physical sensation is best handled by numbing it. This mindset naturally translates into taking opiate painkillers or using marijuana or other drugs later in life, which can easily lead into an addiction.

Any Emotional Upset Should Be Swept Away or Hidden with Drugs

In the same way that physical discomfort is supposed to be best handled by drugs, so are emotional disturbances, bad moods, depression, anxiety and other types of problems commonly believed to be susceptible to treatment with chemical substances. In this respect, we are to a large degree already living in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, where a large share of the population is living every day of their lives under the influence of medication. At the same time, it is common for people to “drink away their sorrows” by using alcohol to self-medicate their stress at the end of the week or their depression, while others smoke pot, snort cocaine or use other drugs to relieve their anxiety or to feel better. Rather than confronting and handling life’s problems, they avoid them by seeking shelter in a state of intoxication.

You Have to Use Drugs to Have a Good Time

How often do you go to an adult party and find that there is no alcohol being served? How common is it to see people out at dinner without drinks on the table? When you hear co-workers on Monday morning discussing their weekend, how frequently do you hear stories of being at the bar or a club, getting drunk at parties, or struggling to recover from a hangover? Alcohol and drugs are closely associated in many people’s minds with “having a good time.” In order to loosen up and enjoy themselves, many people think they have to be drunk or high. Before long, Friday and Saturday night are joined by other nights of the week in terms of drinking or using drugs to have fun. Next, the person starts to feel like substance abuse is necessary even to feel normal, let alone to have fun, and finally the drugs and alcohol have left the person with a life that cannot be enjoyed no matter how drunk or high.

Medical Drugs Are Not as Bad as Street Drugs

In the Forward to Ending Addiction, Clark Carr refers to the “false dichotomy” between recreational and medical drugs. The fact that a drug is recommended by a physician and provided in a little orange prescription bottle does not by any measure make it safe. Realize that heroin was originally developed for use by the medical profession, and cocaine is still legally available through a prescription under limited circumstances. Many of the drugs manufactured by the pharmaceutical companies are every bit as dangerous and addictive as street drugs. For example, the opiate painkillers hydrocodone (Vicodin) and oxycodone (Oxycontin), some of the most widely prescribed medications in America, are also among the most commonly abused drugs, and currently kill more people than cocaine and heroin combined.

The Latest Drug Is Safer

The people who make drugs — including scientists working in the pharmaceutical industry and clandestine chemists working underground to make drugs to sell on the streets — are always working to develop the latest and greatest drug. The goal at all times is similar to Huxley’s “soma,” an ideal drug that would give the user all of the bliss and euphoria of being high, without any of the negative health consequences of using drugs. We are always hearing of the next new drug, the one that will let a person get high without becoming addicted, but the drug never lives up to the promises. For example, morphine was derived from opium and presented as a cure to alcoholism. Heroin was developed to replace morphine, which had been found to be astonishingly addictive. Next was methadone for heroin addiction, then clonodine, buprenorphine, suboxone and so on. Another example is the synthetic marijuana, sold as Spice or K2, which was supposed to let a person get high as though smoking pot, but without getting caught on a drug test. Synthetic marijuana has been found to be potentially addictive, as well as highly dangerous in many cases. Even if there is any possibility of realizing Huxley’s vision with a drug like soma, the 80 years since his book was published have not seen one developed, and there is no reason to think that one will be found any time soon. Drugs are addictive, by their very nature.

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