The Declarer (Floyd McWilliams' Blog)

Friday, February 07, 2003

M. Simon is a well-known commenter at fine blogs such as Little Green Footballs. He emailed me a piece that he had written on drug addiction, in which he takes what one might call a Szaszian position:

You might be interested in what the nation's largest group of addiction councilors has to say about addiction: there ain't no such animal. Here is an article I wrote on the subject. BTW the series originally appeared in the Sierra Times. Here is a link to one of the articles in the series:


The Politics of Pain

There is no such thing as addiction. What we call addiction is just self medication for undiagnosed pain. PTSD etc. I have written extensively on this subject. You can find a lot of it here:

The above goes into the science of my statements on the nature of addiction. What I would like to discuss are some of the policy implications.

I have been corresponding with John Avery, the Director of Government Relations for NAADAC, National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counsellors, the nation's largest organization of drug abuse and alcohol addiction counselors in America. In addition this organization is recommended by the UK government for those in need of addiction counseling as shown here:

This organization is looking at addiction in a whole new way. It sees the problem the same way I do. Addiction is a response to pain. Mr. Avery decries the fact that the general population and the government have yet to understand the change in understanding that is sweeping the addiction counseling industry.

What does this mean for politics? I think it means that the first political party to champion this new understanding is going to reap vast amounts of political credit because the American people are a compassionate people and will not tolerate the persecution of the sick and pain wracked. We know this from the fact that 80% of all Americans support medical marijuana despite the fact that the government is dead set against it. The fact that medical marijuana is promoted for pain relief and not cures underscores my position.

So I would say to all you political activists out there who understand and wish to champion this new idea: take it to your party and push it hard before your opposition clobbers you with it.

(c) M. Simon - All rights reserved.



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