Businesses and governments in the U.S.A., for the most part, run on statistics. They rarely have any overall discussion of how the use of any drug (including coffee, which I’m wired on right now) is only a symptom of underlying problems. The only folks I know who actually understand this “treating the symptoms” phenomenon in the U.S.A. are the addicts themselves, who play this “game” daily. As a daily addict for over twenty years, and a recovered and sober human being for over thirty-eight years, I know this problem also, quite intimately.
So, why don’t experts use folks from around the world, including very powerful voices, like Canadian and personal favorite researcher of mine, Dr. Gabor Mate? These guys are the ones who address the endemic societal causes of trauma in the individual human rather than first making the human a “statistic” to be treated as less than human because they’re already labeled as statistics by “authorities” like these.
In fact, his book, The Myth of Normal should be taught internationally, in medical and nursing schools (at the least) and in most schools (in general) because it’s written in a plain, interesting, and factual manner that addresses these emotional and very class-based problems so that any truly thinking person can understand them. And it’s not from the drug users’ biased opinion, either. It’s from the opinion of somebody who treats trauma as part of his practice.
Instead of trying the “next new experiment,” like California throwing money at addicts to stay sober, why not work at treating each human being and attempting to treat the underlying societal problems first? It’s very easy to play “high and mighty” inside the classroom, boardroom, city council meeting, or congressional committee room. It’s another to get out in the street and see what the hell is happening on the real addict level of life.
Because of our extreme, top-down, and hierarchical system of authority in place, we constantly only treat the symptoms and then only when it becomes a money problem for society and what it “spends on these people” who are seen as the problem and not what complex problems made them that way in the first place. And, trust me, it’s not religion or how many degrees you might have that can make you immune to these problems. It’s much deeper and more personal than that.
Most of my fiction and non-fiction focuses upon the causes of these problems and is not seen as escapist writing in any way. To me, this is much more important than making people “identify with the characters” or “feel good while reading my work.” They may feel good after reflecting upon my work, but that’s another issue entirely.
Have a great week, and stay healthy!
San Diego, CA