The video above is a TED talk about how important social integration is in addiction treatment. This is some of the newest thinking around addiction, and definitely a very insightful talk about the social implications of addiction and recovery.
What is addiction?
Addiction is a socio-economic plight and brain disease which affects everyone.
Addiction is a mental health disease, a defect in the mid-brain where our survival instincts are located. Addiction is the over use of anything to stimulate our pleasure center more than natural. We all have experienced addiction in one form or another whether we realize it or not. For instance, our phones stimulate our brains to release dopamine (a pleasure chemical for survival) and can cause addiction to use of our phone. More commonly understood addictions are with drugs, alcohol, gambling, over-eating, and shopping. Many people are also addicted to helping other people before they help themselves. This is called codependency.
Addiction is much more than a mental health issue. It is a cultural epidemic. Many more people have mental health issues in America than any other country in the world. America also has the highest rate of incarceration as well. These societal issues as well as others are all connected. Untreated addiction, including alcoholism, is responsible for more crimes, violence and stress the judicial and health care systems resources use than any other cause.
Addiction is an American Disease. It is our way of life. It’s about using what we can to cope with our way of life. Whether it is watching television, or smoking crack. On some level, we are all deny something very important, our feelings, and our basic instinctual need to feel connected to one another. And the way we tend to cope with things is to do things which deny our feelings and cause communication, relationships and intimacy to suffer. To live, we are denying ourselves there very things which make living worth living, the experience. I believe life is not an idea. It is an experience. Unfortunately, we live in a way where we overstimulate our brains with ideas which separate us from our feelings and experiences, and ultimately, each other.
Media is another culprit in the addiction issue. Mass media was created to control the mind of man. Corporations have developed ways to use media to affect and technically program our minds to see the world in a certain way, to want certain things, and to think we actually need those things. It all comes back to dopamine and the mid-brain. We see a commercial on TV with a sexy person using a product or being attracted by the product. Or, we are hear a song on the radio which causes us to feel something. Then a commercial will come into into the picture and access your inner-self through while emotional stimulated and emotionally vulnerable to programming your hierarchy of survival instincts. “I have to have that new purse”. “I need to level up on my favorite game. I will eat later”. You are already “high” on the song and stimulated to receive. Planting the program is thus easily done and so effective it causes imbalances on the mid-brain, and reprograms our instincts for survival to become our instincts to consume.
Is Addiction Really a Disease? This is a great video on the science of addiction.
Pleasure Unwoven is a great video breaking down some of the basic science behind addiction explaining how it is a disease. This video is a result of a decade of research by a medical doctor in recovery who wanted to get definitive answers to how addiction is a disease. The video is very effective at breaking down the basic components behind some of the science of addiction.