Thursday, July 12, 2007

True north strong and stoned

There is an excellent cover piece in this week's Time Magazine on the psychological and physiological factors in addiction - How we get Addicted.

It's a fascinating read, especially if you have access to the print edition which contains some very detailed diagrams of how drugs affect the brain. Even better, it's written by a recovering alcoholic, and so it contains some first-hand insight. The author starts out with his own story and then gets into a more scientific discussion. It seems that "in the brain scans of addicts, there is reduced activity in the prefrontal cortex, where rational thought can override impulsive behavior."

This article led me on a google search to an equally compelling blog, Addiction and Recovery News. This is a great resource for anyone involved with addictions. And as Jason points out here in "The Press loves pot", Canada seems to have a bit of a penchant for drugs.

He points out articles on Canada's high rate of pot use, including a caveat on the statistics.

He also mentions the National Post editorial calling for the legalization of pot even though there may be a link between mental illness and the use of pot.

Jason has also highlighted the recent National Post article "50 Years of Drug Addiction", in which writer Susan Martinuk takes a hard look at Vancouver's open-drug Downtown East Side:

Harm reduction waves the white flag of surrender, abandons an entire population to a lifetime of despair.

Very good read there.

Where am I going with all this? Well, considering the problems associated with all substance (alcohol, drugs, tobacco) and behavioral addictions (gambling, shopping, sex, internet), I am left wondering what we are all trying to escape from?

And where is the tipping point where a casual social behaviour becomes an uncontrollable problem? And why don't we allocate more funding towards helping folks who want to overcome their particular demon before it sucks them into the abyss?

However, it seems that current attitude in Canada is to either turn a blind eye, or even enable the behaviour, as in the case of casinos.


* * * *
Related: Council Kills Crack Pipe Program. Interestingly, this is seen as a 'blow for public health" by some who are concerned about the spread of disease.

Well, I say kudos to Ottawa City Council! Let's try to increase education and recovery programs instead.


Anonymous said...

It seems to me that the problem is, that we are told that no one has the right to infringe on anyone else’s freedom or impose any moral judgments or restrict in any way anyone else’s freedom of choice, even to do oneself harm.
Now we see the end result of the civil rights lawyer’s lawsuits and left leaning Judges!
Where did it all start?
It started when men thought they knew better than God, and threw out as many restraints as the lawyers and judges could. So scripture says you reap what you sow, and now the marijuana fields are ripe for harvest, and the throwing off of every last vestige of restraint.
Where will it all ends, only God knows, as long as the lawyers are in charge!
Meanwhile, we decay and decay as a society, and wring and wring our hands, out, out, damn spot!

Anonymous said...

why stop at substance addiction Joanne? At any given time we could all be addicted to our computers(blogs), ice cream, sex,
sports, weather, driving, under-water basket weaving.

Maybe we in the "true north" need a diversion or help in making our lives more interesting. Or, maybe is makes dealing with our politicians easier to take?

I think I'm addicted to summer, seafood, border collies, cheescake,
political satire, the smell after it rains, hand-written letters, people who return phone calls and emails, the theory behind charter schools and choice in all things.

Am I in need of help yet?

Anonymous said...

I agree with both the top two annons.

How come we get so sucked in as a society when "experts" tell us we're this or that?

Whatever happened to those of us who grew up in the rebellious '60s and '70s who were taught to question authority?

Perhaps Canada should change it's national bird to the sitting duck,
it's beaver to lemming and replace the maple leaf as our national symbol with a marshmallow? Why have we just rolled over to the looney Liberal left without a fight?


Joanne (True Blue) said...

Perhaps Canada should change it's national bird to the sitting duck,
it's beaver to lemming and replace the maple leaf as our national symbol with a marshmallow?

Ha-ha! Best line I heard in ages. Awesome stuff.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Am I in need of help yet?

I am certainly in need of help, myself. I am addicted to blogging. I know of some Liberals who would love to help me cure myself of this addiction.

Anonymous said...

I love it, the sitting duck, and the lemming and the marshmallow!
You have it pegged so neatly! Congrats! Anon, you are witty!

Maybe it’s because we don’t have enough self confidence to listen to our gut instead of the so called experts who are expert in telling us what to do to serve their ends and in the end we get caught because we haven’t had the stomach to air our views which are contrary to the current wave of thought!

Anonymous said...

Come to think of it, we now have a forum to voice our opinions on a blog, that we the common people did not have before, to give voice to our concerns, and have them heard!
Like Jojourn’s blog and the Jeff Allan radio show, support of the yellow ribbon campaign so that the police should be able to at least be able to wear a pin in support for the Canadian Soldiers. Thank God for talk radio and the blogging Tories, Jojourn and many like-mined blog sites.
We do have a voice now and let us learn to use it well and wisely.

PGP said...

Speaking of Drug Addled fools .... David Miller is whining about the provinces being negligent because they don't outlaw old fashioned crappers!

I thought that we'd all be better off he'd just hold his in till his head explodes!!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

PGP - lol! I thought politicians had no business in the bathrooms of the nation.