Addicted to……

I was amused this week to see the government wants to control the amount of nicotine in cigarettes. Bully for it and they even got the tobacco companies on board. Suspicious me says maybe the latter will be able to sell more because they are now “Low Nicotine.” There are still three hundred kids who start smoking every day. Be careful what you wish for.

It is actually part of a larger argument as to the scope of government regulations or lack thereof. Right now it is legal to buy alcoholic beverages without any warning labels except for pregnant women. Of course I love my red or scotch but binge drinking cost our country $250 BILLION last year in lost productivity, medical treatments, criminal justice and accidents. Binge drinking is over four drinks in one sitting for a woman and five for a man. 88,000 people die every year from its ill effects.It is the number one cause of domestic violence.But it is deemed okay. Drink responsibly.

States and municipalities are freaking out about the opioid crisis. EMT’s and emergency rooms are being pushed to the limit with overdosing. Sometimes they will revive a person five or six times over a short period of weeks and months. I think I have mentioned to you that three times in the last two years I have been “encouraged” to take oxycontin after a medical procedure. I appreciate they feel my pain but that was nuts. I could have filled the prescriptions and done who knows what with it. No one told me there was good chance I would become a zombie after a few weeks of ingesting.

Sexual addiction is what they call a process not a substance. It is incredible when they find teachers, coaches, business people et alia cruising the internet looking for porn of every type. At home or at work. Name your poison. Child pornography is beyond detestable but it all seems like our dirty little secret. Every second 28,258 users are watching pornography on the internet. Every second $3,075.64 is being spent on pornography on the internet. 40 million American people regularly visit porn sites. 35% of all internet downloads are related to pornography. Come on TTG, boys will be boys.Oh yeah! One third of porn viewers are women!

 

Addiction is simply enjoying a substance or an activity that becomes so pleasurable that you can’t carry on your normal daily activities without it being constantly on your mind. It can be heroin, cocaine, alcohol, sex or even shopping. This can ruin jobs, families and do I dare say a country. I will not get into all the science because I am not qualified but there is a very distinct culture that is growing that revels in excess and sees no wrong in it. As it becomes more acceptable and mainstream I am probably a jerk for even bringing it to the fore. The Irish would say Uncle Joe is not a drunk even though you have never seen him sober. He just has the “weakness”.

There is a reason why we are so overweight as a country and the main culprit is sugar. Now if you want to be fat that is fine with me but the end result is that you will develop diabetes and a variety of other ailments that we, and I mean you and me, are going to be paying for throughout our lives. We average 19 teaspoons a day as a country. But this is not just going in your coffee. It is in almost in everything we eat. it is baked in with a wonderful ingredient called corn syrup. It goes in bread, beverages, yogurt, salad dressing, even nutrition bars.

Now for the good part. No, there are not warning labels on sugar or high fructose corn syrups. As a government we actually subsidize their production. Sugar has a guaranteed price level. Corn is similarly inflated by the Energy Act of 2005 stating that there will be ethanol added to gasoline. That ethanol is derived from that stuff that grows as high as an elephants eye. Instead of deterring its use we are encouraging it. Got to get those farm votes.

I am not a dry or a vegan but this is one of these things we really have to sit down and take a long look at for its far reaching implications. When we have a “can you top this ?“ society we are finding more and more ways to satisfy our pleasures without absolutely no regard the outcomes. We don’t know how to say no to ourselves and our kids. I want it and I want it now. Over time this attitude becomes part of our culture.

I guess I find it fascinating the we are such a reactive vs proactive society. Oh oh, we have got a problem. Then we put all we can into treatment when we could have avoided so much by addressing the problem itself. There are a lot of people addicted to credit cards and shopping. They pay anywhere from 15% to 25% in annual interest. Some never dig out of the rut yet our banks derive tremendous profits from peddling the plastic and the desperation. Shouldn’t there be someone saying NO.

Abstinence sucks. I am not advocating becoming a recluse or a monk donning a hair shirt. I am saying we have to learn a stupid thing called responsibility or better yet self control. In the guise of freedom we have told people they can do anything they want and we will pick up the pieces after them. This is not sustainable from a social as well as financial point of view. I really think we should put a warning on everything the government does. “Dealing With This Entity Could be Injurious to Your Mental and Physical Health” That would be great, but we all ignore most warnings anyway.

As always
Ted The Great

Factoids:

Overall spending on illegal substances remained consistent at roughly $100 billion per year over the decade from 200-2010 Over the same time period, the U.S. government spent between $40 billion and $50 billion each year fighting the war on drugs. Despite these efforts, Americans’ spending levels on illegal drugs stayed more or less the same.

Drug Food Chain: Doctors, pharmacies, patients on the legal side. Patients, dealers, pushers, users on the illegal side. Drug abuse cuts across every economic and social landscape. Some of the underlying reasons are boredom, unemployment and lack of supervision. The dealers know how to build markets and we have no real way to stop them if everyone is complicit.

The word “addiction” is derived from a Latin term for “enslaved by” or “bound to.”Addiction exerts a long and powerful influence on the brain that manifests in three distinct ways: craving for the object of addiction, loss of control over its use, and continuing involvement with it despite adverse consequences.Approximately 25 million Americans are addicted to drugs or alcohol. There are more alcoholics than drug addicts.

Inpatient addiction treatment facilities can cost between $15,000- $30,000 per month. The overall impact on our economic well being is $450 BILION per annum as a result of alcohol and drug abuse.

2 thoughts on “Addicted to……

  1. Binge drink is 5 pops a whack?
    OMG!
    It’s a good thing I can’t count between 2 and 10 like any good Irishman!

    Had a little medical issue a couple of years ago. Dana Farber gave me a 100 oxecodone and said start with 4, then 1 every half hour until I felt better. Interesting concept.

    So no booze, no drugs and you want my Amazon Prime Account?
    Come on Ted.

    The line gets drawn somewhere!

  2. reminds of the Jose Cuervo song – ten shots of JC and I lost count and started counting again. My wife looks at the high fructose content in the ketchup I eat when I get something to put ketchup on. Sugar has been the enemy of our household for a long time, the battle helped me lose 30 pounds. Her other biggie is inflammation which is the basis for most of our ills and all the vitamins we take are just a conduit to having very expensive pee pee.

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