In this excerpt from his new book Power:
It doesn't just force us to change our minds. It forces us to change our hearts. This story is so deeply ingrained in our minds that we take it for granted.
It seems manifestly true. Until I set off three and a half years ago on a 30,mile journey for my new book, Chasing The Scream: But what I learned on the road is that almost everything we have been told about addiction is wrong -- and there is a very different story waiting for us, if only we are ready to hear it.
If we truly absorb this new story, we will have to change a lot more than the drug war. We The power drug essay have to change ourselves.
I learned it from an extraordinary mixture of people I met on my travels. From the surviving friends of Billie Holiday, who helped me to learn how the founder of the war on drugs stalked and helped to kill her.
From a Jewish doctor who was smuggled out of the Budapest ghetto as a baby, only to unlock the secrets of addiction as a grown man. From a transsexual crack dealer in Brooklyn who was conceived when his mother, a crack-addict, was raped by his father, an NYPD officer.
From a man who was kept at the bottom of a well for two years by a torturing dictatorship, only to emerge to be elected President of Uruguay and to begin the last days of the war on drugs. I had a quite personal reason to set out for these answers. One of my earliest memories as a kid is trying to wake up one of my relatives, and not being able to.
Ever since then, I have been turning over the essential mystery of addiction in my mind -- what causes some people to become fixated on a drug or a behavior until they can't stop? How do we help those people to come back to us? As I got older, another of my close relatives developed a cocaine addiction, and I fell into a relationship with a heroin addict.
I guess addiction felt like home to me. If you had asked me what causes drug addiction at the start, I would have looked at you as if you were an idiot, and said: I thought I had seen it in my own life.
We can all explain it. Imagine if you and I and the next twenty people to pass us on the street take a really potent drug for twenty days. There are strong chemical hooks in these drugs, so if we stopped on day twenty-one, our bodies would need the chemical.
We would have a ferocious craving. We would be addicted.
That's what addiction means. One of the ways this theory was first established is through rat experiments -- ones that were injected into the American psyche in the s, in a famous advert by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America.
You may remember it.
The experiment is simple. Put a rat in a cage, alone, with two water bottles. One is just water. The other is water laced with heroin or cocaine. Almost every time you run this experiment, the rat will become obsessed with the drugged water, and keep coming back for more and more, until it kills itself.
And it can do the same thing to you. The rat is put in the cage all alone. It has nothing to do but take the drugs. What would happen, he wondered, if we tried this differently?Essays from BookRags provide great ideas for Abuse of Power and the Impact It Has on Society essays and paper topics like Essay.
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Drug Rehab Centers Phoenix: We Can Help You, 24 Hour Placement Nationwide! Jan 20, · The Likely Cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered, and It Is Not What You Think New evidence about addiction isn't just a challenge to us politically.
It . This I Believe is an international organization engaging people in writing and sharing essays describing the core values that guide their daily lives. Over , of these essays, written by people from all walks of life, have been archived here on our website, heard on public radio, chronicled through our books, and featured in weekly podcasts.
Drug abuse and addiction are real problems, of course, the remedy for which is education and medical treatment, not incarceration. In fact, the most abused drugs in the United States now appear to be oxycodone and other prescription painkillers.
This year’s theme is “I Have The Power To Be Drug-Free!” Through fun activities and creative approaches, we strive to promote positive choices and a healthy lifestyle. Below are some highlights of the week’s events.
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