I discovered that a lot of conditions which are simply a part of being an alcoholic are magnified by living in a foreign country. For example, the feeling of being terminally unique. In the town where I lived, I actually was extremely unique. There was nobody else like me. I got long stares at the grocery store, children stopped and pointed at me on their way to school. Every conversation began with, “Your nose is so big!” All the feelings I’d trained myself weren’t real back home became real in Japan. It’s hard to feel like a worker among workers, ‘another bozo on the bus,’ when you clearly are not.
“Heroin, addiction and free will”:
So does addiction trap people within its claws or do drug users die from their own actions? It’s worth noting that this is a politicised debate. Those who favour a focus on social factors prefer prefer the ‘trap’ idea, those who prefer to emphasise individual responsibility like the ‘your own actions’ approach.
Those who want to tread the middle ground or aim to be diplomatic suggest it’s ‘half and half’ – but actually it’s both at the same time, and these are not, as most people believe, contradictory explanations.
“Dan Rather Reminisces About That One Time He Did Heroin”:
Say what you will about Dan Rather, but he will ride the black eagle in the public interest, and journalists today are weak.
Wait. That came out wrong. Heroin is bad. Really bad. Don’t do heroin to advance your journalism career.
“Vancouver Crack Pipe Vending Machines and the Case for Harm Reduction”:
And, though it sounds hard to believe, needle exchange can also be a pathway to abstinence or medication-assisted treatment. Far from making users more likely to continue to inject or increase their drug use, research shows that such programs actually increase the number of addicts who seek abstinence treatment or maintenance that will allow them to stop injecting.
There are two major theories about why this occurs. One is that taking action and using clean syringes to reduce drug-related harm increases drug users’ confidence that they can make other changes. The other is that by offering help without demanding anything in return, the staff of these programs (many of whom are recovering addicts themselves) inspire change. “The experience of being loved or cared about in a way that is something other than instrumental can be very powerful,” says Humphreys.
more–a meaty post, about how we live with our own divided hearts and those of others, which is relevant to a lot more than addiction
And I think I’ve posted these before, but I like them all, so let’s lighten the mood: “$#!@ 12-Steppers Say,” “$#@! 12-Steppers Don’t Say,” and “$#@! Normies Say to 12-Steppers.” I have said, seriously, like half of the things in the first one. (But my favorite is definitely, “My disease wants you dead.”)