UC Observer logo
UCObserver on SoundCloud UCObserver on YouTube UCObserver on Facebook UCObserver on Twitter UCObserver's RSS Feeds

5 reasons behind all addiction

By Pieta Woolley


Among Canadians who drink at all, nearly 40 percent of us drink in a way that Health Canada considers risky. While overall drinking is down, alcoholism and other addictions remain prevalent in Canada. In fact, every one of us is likely touched by someone else’s drinking problem, according to the Canadian Centre for Mental Health and Addictions.

In January’s Observer, Alanna Mitchell’s memoir “A Complicated Love Story,” reveals her own relationship to an addict, her ex-husband. So what’s behind all this addiction? Well, there’s at least five different answers to that question. Here, the experts weigh in:

1. Gabor Mate, Doctor, author and poverty activist

Reason for addiction: “Addicts are made, not born, and the most common precursors are early childhood privation, neglect and abuse.”

Source: http://drgabormate.com/article/our-strange-indifference-to-aboriginal-addiction/

2. Bruce Alexander, retired SFU psychology professor and author

Reason for addiction: It’s not the drugs themselves, contrary to convenient belief. Instead, it’s “the consequence of [entire cities of] people, rich and poor alike, being torn from close ties to family, culture and traditional spirituality.”

Source: http://www.brucekalexander.com/my-books/globalization-of-addiction

3. Dr. Carl Hart, Columbia University psychiatry professor, and former drug user and seller

Reason for addiction: Addiction is rare, but chronic overuse is a multi-faceted problem. “People become addicted for a variety of reasons ranging from psychiatric disorders to economic desperation. That is why it is, first, critically important to determine the reasons underlying each person’s addiction before intervening with half-baked solutions. For example, if a person is using heroin to deal with anxiety or trauma, effective treatment of the psychiatric illness should alleviate the need to use heroin. Similarly, providing destitute addicts with specific skills and viable economic opportunities will go a long way in helping them to overcome their drug addiction. A lesson here is that one shoe doesn’t fit all and that careful assessment is an important component in helping addicts.”

Source: http://www.drcarlhart.com/deal-with-the-pain-that-leads-to-the-problem/

4. Dr. Harry Vedelago, director of addictions at Guelph, Ont.’s Homewood Health Centre

Reason for addition: About 15 percent of the population has a genetic risk for addiction. “We know that it's a genetic disease. We know that it's inherited."

Source: http://www.therecord.com/news-story/3897982-addiction-often-misunderstood-and-difficult-to-overcome/

5. Dr. Stephen Melemis, author and past vice-chair of Addiction Medicine for the Ontario Medical Association

Reason for addiction: Often, depression and anxiety, which are also often caused by addiction. “People who have both depression and addiction often have a repeating pattern of staying sober for a while and then relapsing because they feel awful.”

Source: http://www.addictionsandrecovery.org./anxiety-depression.htm




Author's photo
Pieta Woolley is a writer in Powell River, B.C.
Readers’ advisory: The discussion below is moderated by The UC Observer and facilitated by Intense Debate (ID), an online commentary system. The Observer reserves the right to edit or reject any comment it deems to be inappropriate. Approved comments may be further edited for length, clarity and accuracy, and published in the print edition of the magazine. Please note: readers do not need to sign up with ID to post their comments on ucobserver.org. We require only your user name and e-mail address. Your comments will be posted from Monday to Friday between 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Join the discussion today!

Features

Photo: iStock.com

What that recycling logo actually means

by Susan Nerberg

Contrary to popular belief, its presence doesn’t guarantee the product is reusable or recyclable.

Promotional Image

Observations

Jocelyn Bell%

Observations: Our magazine's plastic problem

by Jocelyn Bell

"While I can easily defend the use of a polybag on financial grounds, it would be unconscionable to deliver a cover story about plastics . . . in plastic."

Promotional Image

Video

ObserverDocs: Playing by Heart

by Observer Staff

United Church music director Kara Shaw was born prematurely, became almost totally blind and was later diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Today, the 28-year-old showcases her unique musical ability, performing piano on local and national stages.

Promotional Image

Features

April 2018

10 easy ways to kick our nasty plastic habit

by Susan Nerberg

It's not as hard as you think.

Features

April 2018

Tea bags and other surprising places plastics lurk

by Susan Nerberg

Hidden plastics rarely get recycled and often can’t be reused. Here we make some of the invisibles visible.

Features

April 2018

Drag queens help church raise money and awareness

by Darrell Noakes

The event, called “Take Me to Church,” after a popular song, was a fundraiser for LGBTQ youth in Saskatchewan.

Features

April 2018

10 easy ways to kick our nasty plastic habit

by Susan Nerberg

It's not as hard as you think.

Columns

April 2018

Why Canada needs a free-range parenting law

by Pieta Woolley

Faith

April 2018

4 science-trained faith leaders share what still gives them goosebumps

by Various Writers

"This greater knowledge amplified my belief in a mysterious God who still offers so much more for us to discover."

Promotional Image