Everything you think you know about addiction is wrong | Johann Hari

By | October 17, 2019

One of my earliest memories is of trying to wake up
one of my relatives and not being able to. And I was just a little kid,
so I didn’t really understand why, but as I got older, I realized we had
drug addiction in my family, including later cocaine addiction. I’d been thinking about it a lot lately,
partly because it’s now exactly 100 years since drugs were first banned
in the United States and Britain, and we then imposed that
on the rest of the world. It’s a century since we made
this really fateful decision to take addicts and punish them
and make them suffer, because we believed that would deter them;
it would give them an incentive to stop. And a few years ago, I was looking at
some of the addicts in my life who I love, and trying to figure out
if there was some way to help them. And I realized there were loads
of incredibly basic questions I just didn’t know the answer to, like, what really causes addiction? Why do we carry on with this approach
that doesn’t seem to be working, and is there a better way out there
that we could try instead? So I read loads of stuff about it, and I couldn’t really find
the answers I was looking for, so I thought, okay, I’ll go and sit
with different people around the world who lived this and studied this and talk to them and see
if I could learn from them. And I didn’t realize I would end up
going over 30,000 miles at the start, but I ended up going and meeting
loads of different people, from a transgender crack dealer
in Brownsville, Brooklyn, to a scientist who spends a lot of time
feeding hallucinogens to mongooses to see if they like them — it turns out they do, but only
in very specific circumstances — to the only country that’s ever
decriminalized all drugs, from cannabis to crack, Portugal. And the thing I realized
that really blew my mind is, almost everything we think
we know about addiction is wrong, and if we start to absorb
the new evidence about addiction, I think we’re going to have to change
a lot more than our drug policies. But let’s start with what we think
we know, what I thought I knew. Let’s think about this middle row here. Imagine all of you, for 20 days now, went
off and used heroin three times a day. Some of you look a little more
enthusiastic than others at this prospect. (Laughter) Don’t worry,
it’s just a thought experiment. Imagine you did that, right? What would happen? Now, we have a story about what would
happen that we’ve been told for a century. We think, because there are
chemical hooks in heroin, as you took it for a while, your body would become
dependent on those hooks, you’d start to physically need them, and at the end of those 20 days,
you’d all be heroin addicts. Right? That’s what I thought. First thing that alerted me to the fact
that something’s not right with this story is when it was explained to me. If I step out of this TED Talk today
and I get hit by a car and I break my hip, I’ll be taken to hospital
and I’ll be given loads of diamorphine. Diamorphine is heroin. It’s actually much better heroin
than you’re going to buy on the streets, because the stuff you buy
from a drug dealer is contaminated. Actually, very little of it is heroin, whereas the stuff you get
from the doctor is medically pure. And you’ll be given it for quite
a long period of time. There are loads of people in this room, you may not realize it,
you’ve taken quite a lot of heroin. And anyone who is watching this
anywhere in the world, this is happening. And if what we believe
about addiction is right — those people are exposed
to all those chemical hooks — What should happen?
They should become addicts. This has been studied really carefully. It doesn’t happen; you will have noticed
if your grandmother had a hip replacement, she didn’t come out as a junkie.
(Laughter) And when I learned this,
it seemed so weird to me, so contrary to everything I’d been told,
everything I thought I knew, I just thought it couldn’t be right,
until I met a man called Bruce Alexander. He’s a professor
of psychology in Vancouver who carried out an incredible experiment I think really helps us
to understand this issue. Professor Alexander explained to me, the idea of addiction we’ve all
got in our heads, that story, comes partly from a series of experiments that were done earlier
in the 20th century. They’re really simple. You can do them tonight at home
if you feel a little sadistic. You get a rat and you put it in a cage,
and you give it two water bottles: One is just water, and the other is water
laced with either heroin or cocaine. If you do that, the rat will almost always
prefer the drug water and almost always
kill itself quite quickly. So there you go, right?
That’s how we think it works. In the ’70s, Professor Alexander comes
along and he looks at this experiment and he noticed something. He said ah, we’re putting
the rat in an empty cage. It’s got nothing to do
except use these drugs. Let’s try something different. So Professor Alexander built a cage
that he called “Rat Park,” which is basically heaven for rats. They’ve got loads of cheese,
they’ve got loads of colored balls, they’ve got loads of tunnels. Crucially, they’ve got loads of friends.
They can have loads of sex. And they’ve got both the water bottles,
the normal water and the drugged water. But here’s the fascinating thing: In Rat Park, they don’t
like the drug water. They almost never use it. None of them ever use it compulsively. None of them ever overdose. You go from almost 100 percent overdose
when they’re isolated to zero percent overdose when they
have happy and connected lives. Now, when he first saw this,
Professor Alexander thought, maybe this is just a thing about rats,
they’re quite different to us. Maybe not as different as we’d like,
but, you know — But fortunately, there was
a human experiment into the exact same principle happening
at the exact same time. It was called the Vietnam War. In Vietnam, 20 percent of all American
troops were using loads of heroin, and if you look at the news
reports from the time, they were really worried, because
they thought, my God, we’re going to have hundreds of thousands of junkies
on the streets of the United States when the war ends; it made total sense. Now, those soldiers who were using
loads of heroin were followed home. The Archives of General Psychiatry
did a really detailed study, and what happened to them? It turns out they didn’t go to rehab.
They didn’t go into withdrawal. Ninety-five percent of them just stopped. Now, if you believe the story
about chemical hooks, that makes absolutely no sense,
but Professor Alexander began to think there might be a different
story about addiction. He said, what if addiction isn’t
about your chemical hooks? What if addiction is about your cage? What if addiction is an adaptation
to your environment? Looking at this, there was another professor
called Peter Cohen in the Netherlands who said, maybe we shouldn’t
even call it addiction. Maybe we should call it bonding. Human beings have a natural
and innate need to bond, and when we’re happy and healthy,
we’ll bond and connect with each other, but if you can’t do that, because you’re traumatized or isolated
or beaten down by life, you will bond with something
that will give you some sense of relief. Now, that might be gambling,
that might be pornography, that might be cocaine,
that might be cannabis, but you will bond and connect
with something because that’s our nature. That’s what we want as human beings. And at first, I found this quite
a difficult thing to get my head around, but one way that helped me
to think about it is, I can see, I’ve got over by my seat
a bottle of water, right? I’m looking at lots of you, and lots
of you have bottles of water with you. Forget the drugs. Forget the drug war. Totally legally, all of those bottles
of water could be bottles of vodka, right? We could all be getting drunk —
I might after this — (Laughter) — but we’re not. Now, because you’ve been able to afford
the approximately gazillion pounds that it costs to get into a TED Talk,
I’m guessing you guys could afford to be drinking vodka
for the next six months. You wouldn’t end up homeless. You’re not going to do that,
and the reason you’re not going to do that is not because anyone’s stopping you. It’s because you’ve got
bonds and connections that you want to be present for. You’ve got work you love.
You’ve got people you love. You’ve got healthy relationships. And a core part of addiction, I came to think, and I believe
the evidence suggests, is about not being able to bear
to be present in your life. Now, this has really
significant implications. The most obvious implications
are for the War on Drugs. In Arizona, I went out
with a group of women who were made to wear t-shirts
saying, “I was a drug addict,” and go out on chain gangs and dig graves
while members of the public jeer at them, and when those women get out of prison,
they’re going to have criminal records that mean they’ll never work
in the legal economy again. Now, that’s a very extreme example,
obviously, in the case of the chain gang, but actually almost
everywhere in the world we treat addicts to some degree like that. We punish them. We shame them.
We give them criminal records. We put barriers between them reconnecting. There was a doctor in Canada,
Dr. Gabor Maté, an amazing man, who said to me, if you wanted to design
a system that would make addiction worse, you would design that system. Now, there’s a place that decided
to do the exact opposite, and I went there to see how it worked. In the year 2000, Portugal had
one of the worst drug problems in Europe. One percent of the population was addicted
to heroin, which is kind of mind-blowing, and every year, they tried
the American way more and more. They punished people and stigmatized them
and shamed them more, and every year, the problem got worse. And one day, the Prime Minister and
the leader of the opposition got together, and basically said, look, we can’t go on with a country where we’re having
ever more people becoming heroin addicts. Let’s set up a panel
of scientists and doctors to figure out what would
genuinely solve the problem. And they set up a panel led by
an amazing man called Dr. João Goulão, to look at all this new evidence, and they came back and they said, “Decriminalize all drugs
from cannabis to crack, but” — and this is the crucial next step — “take all the money we used to spend
on cutting addicts off, on disconnecting them, and spend it instead
on reconnecting them with society.” And that’s not really what we think of
as drug treatment in the United States and Britain. So they do do residential rehab, they do psychological therapy,
that does have some value. But the biggest thing they did
was the complete opposite of what we do: a massive program
of job creation for addicts, and microloans for addicts
to set up small businesses. So say you used to be a mechanic. When you’re ready, they’ll go
to a garage, and they’ll say, if you employ this guy for a year,
we’ll pay half his wages. The goal was to make sure
that every addict in Portugal had something to get out
of bed for in the morning. And when I went and met the addicts
in Portugal, what they said is,
as they rediscovered purpose, they rediscovered bonds
and relationships with the wider society. It’ll be 15 years this year
since that experiment began, and the results are in: injecting drug use is down in Portugal, according to the British
Journal of Criminology, by 50 percent, five-zero percent. Overdose is massively down,
HIV is massively down among addicts. Addiction in every study
is significantly down. One of the ways you know it’s worked
so well is that almost nobody in Portugal wants to go back to the old system. Now, that’s the political implications. I actually think there’s a layer
of implications to all this research below that. We live in a culture where people
feel really increasingly vulnerable to all sorts of addictions,
whether it’s to their smartphones or to shopping or to eating. Before these talks began —
you guys know this — we were told we weren’t allowed
to have our smartphones on, and I have to say, a lot of you
looked an awful lot like addicts who were told their dealer
was going to be unavailable for the next couple of hours. (Laughter) A lot of us feel like that,
and it might sound weird to say, I’ve been talking about how disconnection
is a major driver of addiction and weird to say it’s growing, because you think we’re the most connected
society that’s ever been, surely. But I increasingly began to think
that the connections we have or think we have, are like a kind
of parody of human connection. If you have a crisis in your life,
you’ll notice something. It won’t be your Twitter followers
who come to sit with you. It won’t be your Facebook friends
who help you turn it round. It’ll be your flesh and blood friends
who you have deep and nuanced and textured, face-to-face
relationships with, and there’s a study I learned about from
Bill McKibben, the environmental writer, that I think tells us a lot about this. It looked at the number of close friends
the average American believes they can call on in a crisis. That number has been declining
steadily since the 1950s. The amount of floor space
an individual has in their home has been steadily increasing, and I think that’s like a metaphor for the choice we’ve made as a culture. We’ve traded floorspace for friends,
we’ve traded stuff for connections, and the result is we are one of the
loneliest societies there has ever been. And Bruce Alexander, the guy who did
the Rat Park experiment, says, we talk all the time in addiction
about individual recovery, and it’s right to talk about that, but we need to talk much more
about social recovery. Something’s gone wrong with us,
not just with individuals but as a group, and we’ve created a society where,
for a lot of us, life looks a whole lot more
like that isolated cage and a whole lot less like Rat Park. If I’m honest, this isn’t
why I went into it. I didn’t go in to the discover
the political stuff, the social stuff. I wanted to know how to help
the people I love. And when I came back from this
long journey and I’d learned all this, I looked at the addicts in my life, and if you’re really candid,
it’s hard loving an addict, and there’s going to be lots of people
who know in this room. You are angry a lot of the time, and I think one of the reasons
why this debate is so charged is because it runs through the heart
of each of us, right? Everyone has a bit of them
that looks at an addict and thinks, I wish someone would just stop you. And the kind of scripts we’re told for how
to deal with the addicts in our lives is typified by, I think, the reality show “Intervention,”
if you guys have ever seen it. I think everything in our lives
is defined by reality TV, but that’s another TED Talk. If you’ve ever seen
the show “Intervention,” it’s a pretty simple premise. Get an addict, all the people
in their life, gather them together, confront them with what they’re doing,
and they say, if you don’t shape up, we’re going to cut you off. So what they do is they take
the connection to the addict, and they threaten it,
they make it contingent on the addict behaving the way they want. And I began to think, I began to see
why that approach doesn’t work, and I began to think that’s almost like
the importing of the logic of the Drug War into our private lives. So I was thinking,
how could I be Portuguese? And what I’ve tried to do now,
and I can’t tell you I do it consistently and I can’t tell you it’s easy, is to say to the addicts in my life that I want to deepen
the connection with them, to say to them, I love you
whether you’re using or you’re not. I love you, whatever state you’re in, and if you need me,
I’ll come and sit with you because I love you and I don’t
want you to be alone or to feel alone. And I think the core of that message — you’re not alone, we love you — has to be at every level
of how we respond to addicts, socially, politically and individually. For 100 years now, we’ve been singing
war songs about addicts. I think all along we should have been
singing love songs to them, because the opposite of addiction
is not sobriety. The opposite of addiction is connection. Thank you. (Applause)

100 thoughts on “Everything you think you know about addiction is wrong | Johann Hari

  1. Danielle Bottineau Post author

    Powerful reality about addiction in a song 💙

  2. J Moz Post author

    I’ve learned more in this 14 minute video then all of my years in high school

  3. Robert story Post author

    The problem may be that drugs are easier to find than healthy bonds and a meaningful life

  4. LEI ITIS Post author

    I love that “the opposite of addiction is connection”

  5. Randy Akers Post author

    THis disconnected population is all by design! If we join together the masters lose their power!

  6. James Slattery Post author

    Who disliked this? They obviously never read his book, chasing the scream

  7. cranke99 Post author

    15 years of 8 to 10 beers a day and a bottle of liquor on the weekend sitting in my living room during all of my 20's and early 30's. Now I'm almost 11 years sober. You have to hit rock bottom to quit successfully it seems. Or at least in my case. Sitting in a psyche ward with all these people with behavioral issues and mine was my addictive personality. I was given drugs to take away the addiction of alcohol, went to daily counseling and was monitored for 12 days. I beat it. And so can you.

  8. Robert Brown Post author

    Drugs are not completely legal in Portugal..If caught with personal amount one has to go to treatment or else.

  9. Robert Brown Post author

    Heroin is from morphine.Refine morphine and voila you have heroin.The body converts heroin back to morphine and that is where the extra💥high comes from.Otherwise morphine on it's own is not as strong.England still uses heroin in hospitals only

  10. kitty cat Post author

    I read the title as evolution, and this is definitely not evolution! But interesting to hear about anyways

  11. Oli Syko Post author

    I discovered this speech after goldlukejacket..
    Some people think it's not problem but I'm p*rn addict during 10 years now..in this period (and I'm 20 now) i think many thing and decided to quit,alone,together,etc. After this one i will start think that my flesh and my blood were my friends if doesn't be other one..
    I agree in connection thing..cuz if i can make realisation my own head in society or whatever i won't get click on p*rn and j* off..we need area for movement..so i fight with my sobriety but since now for connection too..thank you all and my hand for you too,love you addicts,and not only them 💙✋

  12. Benjamin Nash Post author

    Wow Chandler from Friends has really changed a lot!

  13. GamePhysics Post author

    So did he rip off the kurzgezagt video or vice versa?

  14. Sara Migliori Post author

    I'm an addict and I know that's because I'm alone

  15. Kaleoaloha Lum Post author

    I am 16 yrs old. I've been using things for about two years, until i just randomly stopped. I didn´t even notice I quit, my life just randomly got better. Its hard to explain, like I was with this girl for a year and she brought me down. But once I finally lost her and lost feelings for her my life got so much better.

  16. Fiona Cahill Post author

    If only the people who create the current disgraceful system and who make the laws were as open minded and understanding about "not being able to bear to be present in your own life".

  17. Jeff shore Post author

    have fun trying to quit a heavy social media addiction. jesus i think its worse than drugs. i couldnt eat for 3 weeks and had to be hospitalised in 3 days of dehydration cauuse i couldnt drink. heart rate was 120bpm ended up being given sedatives for it

  18. Tanishqa Jk Post author

    So in in general he means that if you are happy and well connected this means you are not likely to take up addiction or if you are not in some heavy grief but I choose to disagree with this. Yeah addiction might be because of some not very healthy mental state but we don't choose it. There are people who could get lonely even after being surrounded by people. What do they lack, what causes them to be addicted?

  19. J VIP NEWS Post author

    I don’t know what it’s like to be addicted to anything like that I don’t do them. I don’t drink smoke or do drugs I like my brain and I want to keep it.

  20. Slava Browning Post author

    im an addict sober 10 months and this gentleman is really on to something

  21. Chandra Govinda Post author

    Superb. Great lateral thinking. This clearly shows if you live as a larger family including grandpa and grandma rather than the modern nuclear family concept, you will have more bonding. Hats off.

  22. Capral Marines Post author

    I've been addicted to opioids and benzos for 8 years. I started when i was 14. Im now sober for more than a year. You can do this everyone, it's not easy buy YOU CAN be sober and HAPPY.

  23. benz.o Post author

    aye rat park i learned about that in rehab, still an addict lmao

  24. O. Z. Post author

    This isn't a very informed view of how addiction works. Idk if this guy himself has ever experienced addiction but he seems like a very close minded person and the type to aim for short answers over the right answers… instead of putting addicts into stereotyped groups u have to try understanding each individual's own circumstances, perceptions and motivations behind the formation of theier habit, then also forwards into the continued use, relapses and sober periods and any other possible triggers that would impact their decision to use or to stop using to quit individual addictions. From the information this man provided he might of attempted to understand addiction, but came at it with too biased an approach to really see how it works at all. Don't get me wrong here, positive reinforcement and loving support can help alot for many, but it's not the key to solving the issue let alone anything close to how addiction needs to be treated case by case, individual by individual, environment by environment… honestly this guy's contention is pretty ignorant and the way he talks about addicts would be insulting if he wasn't so ignorant. many ppl feel they need more positive social interactions or other possible distractions and ppl to tell them they love them, many need completely different things. many need all of this and other motivation, it's much more complex for many, many, many people then this man would like to think. Sorry to be so blunt but wow this is off the mark by a wide, wide margin imo towards helping people understand the truth behind addiction.

  25. Bhupendra Thapa Post author

    Show some love ,It aint costly, but most of alll, the ones i hv met, they all were honest than ur friends.

  26. Melvyn Gingell Post author

    This guy is bang on !! …But our stuffy and narrow minded politicians and community leaders won't be having any of it !!

  27. Wanda waaa Post author

    Wow. Feeling supported, but having a purpose is the most helpful to be alcohol free. — my reason for no alcohol is because I want to be present, even when I make stupid decisions. — I also notice that I spend way more time than I want online, when I don't have things to do or to procrastinate my shores. It's about being aware of self, and then deciding what you want to accomplish. Then, return to the life you make to enjoy.

  28. Bubs Post author

    there is a huge missing variable in the RAT PARK… its a move in the right direction, BUT rats dont have to pay cash for their drugs. its changes the economics. like how messed up is that somebody gets rich off making people homeless and hooked on drugs. thats how we cure the drug problem. make drugs free.

  29. apdavis85 Post author

    I have a hard time believing that "chemical hooks makes absolutely no sense" really?…I see his point I do believe social recovery is a major aspect but chemical Hook is a real and scientific fact…

  30. Tim Hansen Post author

    Very interesting, but the rat park needs more investigation. I guess they used rats that had never been exposed to drugs before. But what if they used rats that were already addicts and did the whole rat park experiment all over again? The point is that I'm not sure if you can use the same methods to cure someone's addiction that you use to prevent them from becoming addicted in the first place. But I agree that everybody needs support and healthy relationships in their life, addicts or not.

  31. JaneDoe HillbillyElegy's Post author

    Wow. This made the hair on my head to my toes stand up.

  32. JaneDoe HillbillyElegy's Post author

    #redribbon week in 15 minutes Every day in the American classroom should be shown this video beginning january 1, 2020. #theoppositeofaddictionisconnection

  33. sharon mitchell Post author

    Im sorry dude but you are way off on the physical addiction to the body, whenever you take narcotics into your body your body craves it more and more, then you start to isolate yourself from your healthy friends and family so that you can use more. The only way to stay in healthy relationships and life style is complete abstonate from any narcotic and alcohol. get your facts straight.

  34. xia lee Post author

    Actually I believe two people can only be together when there is trust. The moment there is any sign of infidelity then it is better to find out for sure. Some years ago I met my partner and we have been married for so long now. He started acting strangely lately and I felt there is something going on. That is when I contacted this hacker and I couldn't believe what I found out. But this have helped me to take my final decision and am now having a happy life again. Thanks to this hacker I met, ciaberhacker2019. HE helped me found out everything happening in my marriage through hacking. You can contact him on email, [email protected] gmail. Thank me later, tell him Xian referred you. whatsapp 1 (559)-376-0021

  35. TheeeDannyD Post author

    a great ted talk. so interesting.
    ive seen a lot of them!

  36. Slayy Elena Post author

    Can someone help me. I have an older brother whose a heroin addict. Since I can remember my brother has been taking drugs from pills to now heroin. He overdosed 4x 2yrs ago and thankfully someone was around to call an ambulance to save his life each time. He hit rock bottom and went to rehab and has been clean for 2yrs. However, he relapsed 2 months ago and has been high every night now. He is Schizophrenic and is bipolar. I’ve been supportive as much as I can. But he denies he’s ever high even when he’s sober he lies and gets angry. He’s stolen my credit car, used up my savings and my mom is 64 yrs old. I want to move out so bad but she won’t kick him out. I want to move out but she’s the only thing that’s stopping me from packing my bags. I can’t leave her here alone with him. he’s gotten physical before and I don’t want her to be alone if she catches him overdosed. Please help me with any advice. Please

  37. jaacк шayиё мacy Post author

    next: everything you think you know about depression is wrong

  38. Winston Smith Post author

    I try to stoptober Heroin. Any remarkd plz do. https://youtu.be/i6DAlZJwNfU

  39. Austin Ritter Post author

    Lots of good points but I think a couple of the studies used to formulate this talk were misinterpreted. For example, the idea that surgeries make addicts is verifiable. Fentanyl has been the cause for heroin addiction in a lot of people. It's also directly observable that drug-addicted vets comprise a disproportionate amount of the homeless population. I still agree with the general tone of the talk.

  40. ThyCircle 79 Post author

    WOW! People please listen to this guy. As a 13 year opiate addict I testify to this being 100% TRUTH. Thank you Sir.

  41. Leo Post author

    I like the premise, honestly . But believe me, I'm a drug addict, heroin, crack, sniff, meth, speed anything that made me not feel empty inside. I had all the things in my life that a man might want. I threw it all away because I still felt empty. Anyway, miracles happend and I got clean, have been for nearly 2 years now. I didn't use the 12 step process, tried it. Didn't work, I'll explain how I did it. But before that, the part I disagree with is that diamethadone is better than street heroin, which is technically true (Chemically) but the big difference is the place you are in when you take heroin compared to methadone, both psychologically, physically and emotionally. The second big thing is the way we administer the drugs. Methadone in a clinical setting is generally drank swallowed or in severe circumstances, it's done intravenously. The big difference is the feeling evoked. Heroin absolutely wrecks you and you cease to exist as the person you are and experience outer body euphoria, how ever brief. Now methadone, does not give you that buzz. Methadone works in a different way. I can say this with authority because it was methadone that got me off heroin for good. The thing is, to suggest heroid doesn't cause physical bodily addiction and that you know this because methadone doesn't is misguided and ignorant at best. This talk is great and there is a lot a truth In terms of some of the studies he references and the way society needs to adjust its perception of addicts from criminals to people with an illness. But the truth of the matter is that is addicts do commit crimes and there is a problem with how that's dealt with. This talk is good for the general public but don't believe for a second that you will be okay to casually try heroin because it will bring out parts of your psyche that you didn't even know existed. It will change you for good and is not worth it.

  42. Yvette Q. Post author

    So all the things you can reach for and you choose drugs and or alcohol. Thats pretty f***ing weak. How about this what ever you choose dont let it turn you out. All the people that do love you and do try and invest in you and you burn them, 3rd degree with a dirty addiction. You should feel shame and guilt. That means you still have a moral conscience. This sucks all the way around. I want to escape you and your choices. Do I choose an addiction? No. Why? Because I love myself. I love my One and Only mom. I love my son and daughter. When you choose drugs and alcohol, you choose to hate and destroy. For What? Nah, lie to yourself.

  43. W W Post author

    I was an addict for 5 years on various drugs, heroin, cocaine, oxycontin I am now slowly coming off of Methadone after 2 years of being completely drug free obviously besides the Methadone. I want to point out the one thing that did not make sense to me at all, which is when troops came back after using Heroin and did not go to rehab but also did not have withdrawal… I don't mean to be nit picking, cause this man has helped me a lot with his talks but I also want people to know that it is 100% impossible for you to take heroin for any substantial amount of time and not become sick and have a really hard time getting off of it solely because of the physical addiction. I tried so many times to quit on my own and I couldn't …. you are in serious amounts of pain, and loads of people work and when you go to work in that amount of pain is truly excruciating, I had no way of explaining it besides saying it really felt like I was being tortured, and I couldn't get out. It is so much easier with family/friends support both with physical and mental things you will go through, if you really need to have them lock the door on you and only let you out to go to the washroom. Sounds brutal and it is but It is the only way I was able to do it..

  44. Will Fishing Post author

    I noticed he never said anything about reading a blue book and going to 37 meetings a day…

  45. Sky loverMC Post author

    Am I normal if I didn’t know that we were suppose to think about? Also
    Since when did I know everything about addiction? ☕️☕️☕️☕️☕️☕️☕️☕️☕️☕️☕️☕️☕️☕️☕️☕️Also I hope you all recover 😥😥😥😥😥😥😥😥😥😥😥😥😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏

  46. The Earth Is Dying Because Of You Post author

    Friend, my mom is a doctor and I worked at a pharmacy temporarily, and multiple people who came had to get a different medication because they were addicted to the one they used before, so you are wrong. It is the chemicals and it is the love for the feeling you get when you abused whatever it is.
    Edit: Of course most of the time as a method of escape aka a coping mechanism.
    I feel I was one of the few to address the situation that was bothering me instead of falling into substance abuse.

  47. Viktor V. Post author


    I sure could use a connection.

    Anyone in Montreal ?

  48. Sleeep Chen Post author

    How to not be alone?
    How to connect?
    How to have purpose?
    Not everyone can get help. Not everyone have the energy and wisdom to climb out.
    There might not be a meaning in life. It might be all about what you feel.
    But I'm trapped in the meanings society told me to work for and when I can't fulfill it I feel meaningless.
    Sometimes I feel that everyone has their own lives to live and they don't have time for me.
    Friends gather together only when they share the same interests and nothing more.
    I'm growing older and it's terrifying. Staying with myself alone with all the thoughts spinning in my head doesn't feel good.
    Still can't figure out how. So confused.

  49. Jose Guadalupe Escamilla Post author

    I Always Think,Who Supports Addicts?,They Always Have The Resources to Go Back To Whatever they are Addicted To.

  50. Drake Doragon Post author

    My buddy and I were just having coffee talking about the increase in depression and suicide, which we both agreed that connection is paramount. He quit social media recently, because he felt like it was triggering him, which lead to us talking about how the news does this as well being it’s a 365/24/7 barrage of negativity. It used to be that people lived in small circles of communities, but it’s becoming more digital, leaving many lonely and depressed. Over time we might see a positive change as more data is collected proving the negative effects more the lack of physical connections.

  51. maryanne o'neill Post author

    I wouldn't rule everything out about addiction discovered over the last 50 years according to literature but I would add to it as a resource as there is always a new way of looking at things and how we present them.

  52. Thanos 007 Post author

    This is so true it hurts. I now know for a fact loneliness and no social life has made/ is making my addiction worse. The hardest part though is how to change this situation. Being an addict alongwith being shy with no social skills sucks.

  53. DEE MANBOYYY Post author

    Real talk I am an addict and seen where in my life it was the loneliest was when my whole family split and taken away from my parents I then seen how I was pushed to be who i am

  54. Carlo C Post author

    Awesome video! This may open the door to a change in our society.

  55. Ashley Daniels Post author

    An engaging and talented speaker. Thank you for your work.

  56. Erin Hermes Post author

    If you honestly believe that being an addict is because of a lack of happiness or bonding you don’t have a clue. This is what the usual thought is about someone on drugs by people who have no true knowledge on the subject. You’ve gotta be kidding me with this mess. It may be a reason someone dove in but not what keeps them there. Some dive in for other reasons and some have no idea that they have even dove. A lot of addicts become addicted at the hand of a doctor. Something hurts, here’s some pain medicine. So it begins. They just needed some work done on their teeth or back…… Your trying to tell me they went and had back surgery because they didn’t have a rat park to be a part of. Ridiculous! People that deal with addiction 9 times out of 10 have all the happiness they need in life and would give anything to be freed from what has become a disease. For whatever the reason and whatever the drug was at the start of the addiction it all eventually turns into a disease. If you’ve been there, one way or another, that is the only way to gain the actual knowledge that is the truth of addiction/disease.

  57. Erin Hermes Post author

    Not saying that there aren’t people out there Who started or are continuing to use to escape but I am saying it is in fact a disease. Putting a substance into your body that manipulates it’s natural ways, for whatever reason, is the hurdle for most addicts. The sickness felt from the horrible withdrawals and the length of time it takes to completely recover from this disease has a lot to do with why most addicts are still fighting their battle.

  58. Erin Hermes Post author

    All the support in the world doesn’t lessen the physical part a person goes through in their journey to their BEST LIFE. People may already have everything and everyone they want and need in life and the only thing keeping them from their BEST LIFE is the physical sickness of getting rid of their addiction/disease!

  59. Hunter Weiss Post author

    This is very insightful, well done. Many agreeable points.

  60. ariba akhtar Post author

    cant help but feel addicts have a good amount of connection, there must be a whole angle that we arent able to see.

  61. Ana Sargo Post author

    If not addiction, why is everybody saying that they are clean for so many years? If not addiction, you shouldn't be worry about it

  62. Haliotro Post author

    Why does a journalist think he is an expert on health science?

  63. Sara Rostenkowski Post author

    this is the best explanation of addiction I've seen wow, nice work!

  64. Anakin s Post author

    I don't think the rats knew where it was coming from. Were they over eating?

  65. Tonya Smith Post author

    People are afraid of the unknown. If they never have been an addict they will never know what it's like. Some people hide addiction behind doctor prescriptions and think it's ok or they are in denial. People don't ask for help because they feel ashamed. Admitting your an addict and chosing to get help should be praised. Think about how we teach our babies and small children how to behave or respond. Do we same a baby for trying to speak. Do we tell them no as they begin their first steps, or even use their pottys. No we encourage and applaud them. Addicts have to relearn many common human functions all over again like a baby. We should be willing as a society to change along with them. You would think as humans we are getting smarter but are we really? Or are we relying on 1950s judgements in 21 century understanding world?

  66. Jose Hernandez Post author

    I’ve never used drugs but i know its hard leaving an addiction just from observing. Be strong and you’ll get through it

  67. هجرة عصافير الخريف موسم Post author

    Go and be happy we are happy without your prespectives and opnioun of view. Thanx4advise


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