Wednesday, April 08, 2009
[Woodstock, NY August, 1969. Where it all started.]
According to the disease model of addiction, addiction is an illness.
It's my belief that the United States is a nation currently afflicted with literally an epidemic of addictions. While we have succeeding in stamping out small pox and polio and many other illnesses, this new wave of disease is overwhelming and destroying this great country.
First of all, consider shopping addiction. This is actually the basis of the current financial collapse. Too many people have borrowed and spent more money than they can possibly ever repay, resulting in a global crisis. A New York Times columnist has called America the Madoff Economy.
Sexual addiction is rampant. Internet pornography is huge and growing. Far too many men are playboys while few are responsible family men. Among young women, sexual promiscuity is considered to be normal. Few children are being raised by both biological parents from birth to adulthood, with devastating consequences.
Food addiction is ruining people's health, overwhelming the health care system and shortening lives.
Alcoholism is widespread as is drug addiction.
America is a democracy, meaning that the government follows the desires of the majority. However, when the majority are addicts, this may be a problem. An addict will often sincerely believe that he is not an addict and insist that all he needs to be happy is more of whatever he is addicted to. The United States government therefore plans to help people spend more money which they don't have. Marijuana is now gradually being legalized in the United States. Many experts are suggesting legalizing all drugs. These are not good signs.
The long range outcome of addiction is severely impaired functioning, poverty and early death. Poverty in the United States is becoming daily more severe while life expectancy is dropping.
What is happening today in the United States may be more similar to the decline of the Roman Empire than to the Great Depression. No one can predict how this will play out, however in some cases addicts will "hit bottom" (reach a situation which they find intolerable) and then recover.
There is no antibiotic or vaccine for the disease of addiction. The only treatment is the Twelve Step Program, whose key elements are monotheism and altruism.
Posted by jewish philosopher at 4:39 AM