Saturday, March 17, 2007

Addiction

HBO's Addiction documentary is about the real nature of addiction and how it is a brain disorder that can be treated with medication. It also shows how popular stereotypes about drug addicts stand in the way of their recovery. Instead of being treated like any other patient with a medical condition, they are isolated and discriminated against.It is no surprise that insurance companies want to wash their hands off addicts as quickly as possible leaving their condition untreated and making them vulnerable to relapse and even death.

When it comes to teenage addicts, it is often a foregone conclusion that it is the result of significant parenting lapses. Not only does the addicted teenager become a social pariah, the family is viewed as lacking in some fundamental way. The story of addiction, the struggle against odds to overcome has in it a lesson in society's inherent Darwinism. It lionizes winners and shuns losers and leaves them behind to fend for themselves believing that to the best course of action for the greater good.

It is about the "normal" majority thinking in terms of "us" versus "them" and that addiction is "their" problem. The message the series tries to convey is that there is very little that separates "them" and "us"; and that ignorance about addicts and addiction can hurt those who think it cannot touch them. Besides, society as a whole pays a price for its lack of empathy.

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