My apologies for being late. Blogger is not at all cooperative today – it will not let me edit anything and so after much fiddling and tweaking I did this in a word processor and plugged it into Blogger. Hopefully the issue will be resolved shortly.
Ramana brings us this week's topic. Was it synchronicity or prior planning that had his mind seemingly on addiction lately?
Wikipedia says "Classic hallmarks of addiction include impaired control over substances or behavior, preoccupation with substance or behavior, continued use despite consequences, and denial. Habits and patterns associated with addiction are typically characterized by immediate gratification (short-term reward), coupled with delayed deleterious effects (long-term costs)." That's a reasonable basis for discussion methinks.
Along with the old standby addictions - drugs, food, alcohol, gambling and so forth, today's world with its hectic helter-skelter lifestyle offers many new addictions from which to choose. With seemingly little or no effort one can become addicted to television, computers, the Internet, one's job, working out, blogging - why - the options are mind boggling. One might even say mind numbing.
The term "addiction" immediately floods the mind of most people with negativity and fear. That's not true in all cases but more on that later. I'll go with a modern addiction I think most westerners can understand - addiction to prescription drugs. There is a HUGE problem in this country with prescription drug addiction. For a small fee - $2-$10.00 or so I can have in my hand within 15 minutes or so damn near any prescription drug - ANY prescription drug. The news is filled with the names of rich and famous drug addicts that have a serious prescription painkiller jones. Those with the money and pull simply get doctors to prescribe them - aka Rush Limbaugh and others. Why – we even had a television hero addicted to them – a guy named Gregory House. The common man can get them on any street corner. I know this to be a fact.
We in the U.S.A. seem to be in the grip of an addiction to prescription meds in general. There are pills for everything. Put the kid on meds for depression. Put the kid on meds for ADD. Double the prescription for ADHD. Depressed? There's an endless supply of medication to treat depression. Never mind the side effects - aka the small print - the part of the commercial read at a rate so fast as to be unintelligible. Stuff like infections leading to death have been observed - thoughts of suicide should immediately be reported - stuff like that. What the drug companies must surely assume is simply collateral damage. They are - after all - only looking out for the greater good. And let’s not forget the new strains of drug-resistant infections we have created by overmedicating ourselves.
What's good for the drug companies is clearly not always good for us no matter what they would have us believe.
Then there's obesity. Are we addicted to obesity? Well - no - but a food addiction can certainly lead to obesity. Addiction to certain lifestyles can certainly lead to obesity. That might make this my theme song -