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They say 80% of the mentally ill are also addicted. This would be the statistics of the medical community looking at their subject of study. This statistic would motivate the addictions specialists to help the mentally ill. Other statistics and meta studies have proven it seems that NA and AA do not in fact help and that in fact there is very little we can do for the addict.
Do problems make us drink? Or does drink become a problem and cause further problems? Would making our other life problems managable help our addictions? Do we attack the addictions first or the mental health problems. Usually if one is being treated for mental illness in a hospital either voluntarily or in forced coerced confinment one is sober. So perhaps there is always some initial period of sobreity needed on the raod to recovery.
I read the paper by Warhol, Robyn R. The Rhetoric of Addiction: From Victorian Novels to AA in Brodie, Janet Farrel & Redfield, Marc. High Anxieties: Cultural Studies in Addiction (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2002). This is interesting for its comparisom of novels with the literature of AA. Her point is that culture is how everyone understands the alcoholic and that this understanding has been around before AA in the form of Victorian novels.
Yesterday I tried to read Weinstone, Ann. Welcome to the Pharmacy: Addiction, Transcendence, and Virtual Reality in Brodie, Janet Farrel & Redfield, Marc. High Anxieties: Cultural Studies in Addiction (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2002). This was confusing and rather too abstract, and the closeness to and addiction to Code was hypothetical at best. Although this paper introduced a collection of science fiction novels that I have access to and these novels all have apparently the idea of addiction to cyberspace within them. I have my own doubts that cyberspace addiction is a real addiction. It seems to me that excessive use of computers is not harmful and is in fact productive. True not all computer use is beneficial or legal but to say that this means computers are addictive for an individual is I think in the end a mistake.
I also read a few nigths ago as the first paper in this book Keane, Helen Smoking, Addiction, and the Making of Time in Brodie, Janet Farrel & Redfield, Marc. High Anxieties: Cultural Studies in Addiction (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2002). This is almost the same paper as in her book that I read this past winter and fall 2003. She does question the labelling of addictions as bad. She also says that there is very little admission of smoking as pleasurable in modern discourse. It would seem that admission should be equal and truth seeking. That is both sides of a moral argument should be given to admission of the facts. So that while some may be allowed to say in this instance that smoking is harmful to the health, others must be allowed to say that smoking is fun, cool and pleasurable. But the post-modern world as it is directed by the moral right seems to be not seeking the truth but instead weighted to quick implusive judgements of wrongful behaviour.Posted by petert at July 4, 2004 02:38 AM