(I restarted this question because i laid the last question out sloppily and people were missing my point)
Question: What is wrong with being addicted to something? Everyone is addicted to something right now, but people seem to have this great fear and abhorrence for drug addiction without really explaining or knowing why it seems.
Definition: addiction is a state in which the body relies on a substance for normal functioning and develops physical dependence. When this substance is suddenly removed, it will cause withdrawal, a characteristic set of signs and symptoms
Substances i want to focus on:
Substances that do NO physical harm(opiates,can be taken for many many years by people without real physical harm). I am not talking about drugs like alcohol which destroy your liver, or cocaine that destroys your heart, or meth which destroys just about everything. Only those drugs which are addictive that can be taken long term without physical harm, or physical harm that can be avoided with simple things like vitamins or exercise. A non-opiate example of this would be Ambien (zolpidem) or valium(benzo class).
I do not want to talk about overdosing because it is easily avoided with responsible use and doctor supervision of dosage increase. people dying from overdose from streets drugs either had something cut into the main drug, got a much more potent drug, or were suicidal in which case we may as well make rope illegal. accidents of course happen but accidental deaths are not reasons to make things illegal or to ostracize people for doing a substance.
I am also not concerned with social problems caused by the illegal nature of drugs. Street gangs form because drugs are a money maker due to their scarcity which starts with them being made illegal, just as the mob rose up with prohibition of alcohol. Stealing for the drug is made unnecessary when the drug is cheaply available and easily obtained due to large scale production and distribution.
In addition i am not really concerned with things like beating your wife while under the influence because that is not the responsibility of the drug, that is the responsibility of the person. Alcohol doesnt make you attack someone, you chose to at a point. It can make you less afraid to take a violent action, but it cannot force you to and this is something the courts and i agree on.
One final note, i am also not talking about problems like driving under the influence and killing someone. that is not a problem of addiction but a problem of responsibility. there are plenty of people that drink alcohol that have never set foot in the driver’s seat under the influence and then there are people that readily try to drive home after drinking heavily. the problem was there before the substance ever was.
I am of course talking about a situation with drugs that does not currently exist (except in a few experimental towns/clinics) but i am talking about a situation that existed for millenia before the recent “war on drugs” made them illegal and created the black market, drug gangs, drug wars in many countries where they fight to control supply, and violence due to the need to steal to obtain the drug or money to obtain the drug. I am asking why the sudden change in perception where before morphine was just a helpful cough medicine/pain suppressant it is now demonized without it being inherently bad in any way and is in fact helpful in many ways.
Id just like to present a comparison of the “addiction” of food/water/sodium to the addiction of morphine.
all will sometimes make people do violent acts to get them if they run out or run low. all
will make people very irritable if you do not have enough or have run out and are suffering their different forms of withdrawal.
all the first 3 WILL be deadly if you do not have enough and morphine CAN be deadly if you are addicted heavily enough and stop cold turkey.
all fit the definition of addiction and yet the first 3 are perfectly accepted by society whereas morphine and other non-harmful addictive drugs are looked down on.
morphine has saved countless lives, including mine, by stopping diarrhea and easing intense pain that might otherwise cripple someone. morphine has made so many cancer and other chronic pain sufferers lives incredibly better, but if someone takes it for non- “medical” reasons they are shunned, arrested, thrown out of their families, etc.