On reviewing an old post questioning whether America should legalize marijuana, I began thinking about the reasons that I used to argue for legalization. What were the benefit to people and society?. And that got me thinking about coping, as coping is the main reason for addictions, at least in the beginning. Is coping "wrong"?
All humans cope to escape fears, anxiety, hopelessness, helplessness, frustration, boredom, anger, loneliness, lovelessness, isolation, and I'm sure I'm leaving some human emotions out. All of these feelings leave one seeking answers, or questioning one's existance, and one's future. All humans do this.
Psychologists and psychiatrists, have medicatons and therapies that address such feelings. But there are numerous ways/therapies in which these feelings are addressed. And medications depend on the diagnosis. But, therapies and medications are acceptable ways of coping. "Addictions" are not.
What is an addiction but a way to cope? Addictions are wrong because of a person's dependence on them. but, depedence on a therapist and medication is not considered unhealthy. The problem with addictions is the costs to the indvidual and society at large. Interesting, isn't it? Acceptable coping is a "cost analysis" to society, first and foremost.
I am in no way justifying addictions, but questoning society's means of addressing such addictions and asking why is this methold useful or accepted?
Religous ways of coping are no more less an addiction, but seems worse to me, because it is depending on a transcendent realm that isn't even possible to affirm. Twelve step programs use "a power greater than oneself" to get beyond addiction. Why would this work? Is it a sense of being "helped"? I believe it is more the case that these Twelve Step groups are support groups. People tend to respond to "like-mindedness". It gives them a sense of identity and less a sense of isolation, which addresses one of the main culprits of addictons, "hiding one's true feelings".
Coping is and should be a way of living, as none of us are immune to pain, suffering and chance in this world. Therefore, we do need friends especially in times of crisis. But, friendship everyday helps everyone to cope a little better in this world. And I believe such need is of major importance n our society today. This is one reason why social networking on the Internet has become so popular! All human need a friend.
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