One guy, Johann Hari, has the right understanding of addiction. And it is a mindblower for the $35 billion addiction treatment industry. This industry is explained best by Dan Munro writing in Forbes magazine, “Inside the $35 Billion Addiction Treatment Industry.”
Take a moment to visualize that amount–$35,000,000,000. That is enough money to provide education for all who need it. Education could cheaply be provided over the internet for free to user. Companies could be paid for by our insurance companies which would certainly be a lot cheaper than building fancier and fancier buildings to educate addicts as is now the case.
Johann Hari understands that we become addicts because we need to connect. From his article in Huffington Post entitled:”The Opposite of Addiction is Not Sobriety. The Opposite of Addiction is Connection.”:
“Human beings have a natural and innate need to bond. And when we’re happy and healthy we’ll bond and connect with each other,” Hari explained. “But if you can’t do that — because you’re traumatized or isolated or beaten down by life — you will bond with something that will give you some sense of relief. Now that might be gambling, that might be pornography, that might be cocaine, that might be cannabis, but you will bond and connect with something because that’s our nature, that’s what we want as human beings.”
He further expressed his idea in a Ted Talk: “Everything You Thought About Addiction is Wrong”. He spent three years researching for his book, Chasing the Scream, which is about these views of addiction. Book is at his website here.