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We as a Drug Dependent SocietyDrugs and free will
One of the most celebrated aspects of the modern human is the freedom of will. Even though there are some aspects of pre-destination, the general belief of man and his control of his fate is popular among many. It is interesting that even people who tend to question this often inadvertently support it through the belief that the state should act on this belief. If an individual acts wrongly, then they should be held accountable to other men, the state and in some instances, their creator.
In reality, though, man does not control everything that happens to them. Free will and accountability theories have been rendered useless in the face of many conditions of existence, notably the idea of sickness. Individuals often put themselves in situations where they increase their chances of getting sick. However, this does not, at least in most cases, mean that they will themselves to get sick. Poverty is another one of those conditions of existence. While many shun the idea of worldly possessions to pursue spirituality, the majority of those who live in poverty do not actively will themselves to that state of life.
Drugs introduce a different dynamic on the issue of free will and imperfection as a result of sickness. The very statement of being under drug influence introduces the concept of drugs being a controlling feature in people’s consciousness. Drugs are often used in a bid to restore the human capacity for willed behavior. However, they never act independently, and are often moderated by non-drug factors like the drug user’s characteristics, the expectations of the drug’s power, the setting where the drug is used as well as society’s attitudes and possible response. With this in mind, one might conclude that the working of drugs is not dependent on the actual drugs but a lot on society, making us a drug dependent society.
The mention of the phrase drug dependence brings into focus the use of addiction and habituation. The use of the term addiction has often been slightly misused and misunderstood, especially considering the moral undertones it carries. Different scientists and writers have used the term to describe the situation of addiction, but all have expressed moral undertones and attitudes towards the meaning. This has especially led to a categorization of drugs depending on their association with tolerance, dependency and the abstinence syndrome. The condition of addiction has often been linked with the weakness of the individual, rather than the actual effects of the drugs. The distinction between habituation is complex because drug-taking habits are so vast that it is impossible to classify them into two categories that are mutually exclusive. Secondly, the terms not only describe drug use habits but also the relationship with societal perceptions.
Many people experience the dependence and mental conditioning associated with drugs that are not necessarily traditionally classified by society and public policy as related to addiction. This is especially serious considering many of these are genuine prescription drugs. Considering the definition of drug dependency; psychic or physical dependence on drugs that comes from either periodic or continuous administration. Regardless of the fact that different drugs produce different dependency symptoms, and the general confusion between terminologies, one fact remains clear, we are a drug dependent society.
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