Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Is drug addiction a deterministic force?

Rate this topic


Recommended Posts

If there is a pat essay on the issue of Addiction, will someone please refer me to it?

Otherwise,

1. Do Objectivists believe that Addiction exists?

2. Do Objectivists draw a line between defining drugs such as Alcohol (which can be fatal if withdrawn from without Medical Supervision/Intervention) as physically addictive while not acknowledging addiction in drugs that don't pose such a risk??

Link to comment
Share on other sites

First, let me thank y_feldblum for referencing my article. Now, as to Old Geezer's questions:

1. Do Objectivists believe that Addiction exists?
Let me say at the start that I do not speak for Objectivism - merely as an Objectivist whose thinking is based on his own experiences, not an sort of specialized knowledge.

That said, we have to be clear about what addiction means. It does not and cannot mean that we have no choice but to engage in a certain act or consume a certain substance, thus I do not think addiction exists as commonly understood:

The American Heritage Dictionary defined addiction as: "Compulsive physiological and psychological need for a habit-forming substance." Compulsive it defines as: "Having the capacity to compel." Compel it defines as: (1) "To force, drive, or constrain." (2) "To necessitate or pressure by force; exact." (3) "To exert a strong, irresistible force on; sway."

All that, in my view, is illegitimate. An addiction, in my view, is roughly "A mental and/or physical craving for a chemical substance not necessary for human survival, caused by the depletion of that substance from the body of the addicted."

2. Do Objectivists draw a line between defining drugs such as Alcohol (which can be fatal if withdrawn from without Medical Supervision/Intervention) as physically addictive while not acknowledging addiction in drugs that don't pose such a risk??

Let's not confuse addiction with physical dependency. I think the "mental/physical" distinction regarding addiction is non-essential. People do become addicted to drugs that are not physically dependent (methampetamine is a perfect example). Physical dependency is a related but seperate issue.

The problem of addiction is, in my view, primarily epistemological and psycho-epistemological. The blog post of mine that was cited gives some indication why I think so. I'll have more to say on this topic, but for now I'll say that I think the pleasure induced by drugs and alcohol, and the pain induced by detoxification can create powerful associations that form the basis for what we refer to as "addiction." The cause, therefore, is physical, but the culprit is psychological.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

First, let me thank y_feldblum for referencing my article" DPW

Me as well..

DPW I did read your article and found it quite interesting. I wonder if you have Ever read any of Aaron Beck's works/research on "Automatic Thoughts?"

In the field of Psychology, work on changing "Automatic thoughts" has been proven effective in other types of repetitive behaviors/emotions (Such as for rape survivors, sufferers of anxiety etc)

As for the rest of your comments I thinkI agree.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are you referring to drug addiction as in illegal drugs such as cannabis, crack etc, or are you referring to and including the addiction to prescriptive drugs, such as solphadene(SP?), cough medicines, and other pain killer drugs?

I dont understand why it matters.

The legality of drugs is not a reflection of anything scientific (For instance Marijuana is classed as a class one drug (as more dangerous and less beneficial than cocaine) )

is there some other reason why it should matter?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Old Geezer writes:

I dont understand why it matters.

It doesn't. The mechanics of addiction are the same. Except, I should note, in the case of marijuana which is not, properly speaking, addictive. Addiction requires that the substance deplete from your system fairly quickly and that this be an unpleasant experience. That doesn't apply to marijuana. FYI, I'll be addressing this and related topics in much more depth sometime this week. Watch the blog if you're interested..

Don Watkins III

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...