One reason why talking to addicts about their addiction goes nowhere

February 7, 2024 by Joshua
in Addiction

I recently wrote about how Trying to lead an addict to admit their addiction or that they are hurting others (or themselves) is like trying to catch a fish with your bare hands.

I’ve been thinking about why. Generally addiction means you’re acting against your own values, hurting others. An addict may say he or she doesn’t see that he or she is hurting others, but likely some part of them knows, however they try to suppress or deny.

In the case of addiction to behaviors that pollute or deplete, like consuming doof or buying stuff compulsively online, the addict gets the feelings of reward but others have to suffer the pollution, being displaced from their homes to get the fuel and minerals underneath, and so on.

That is, it’s like drinking where where you get to party and they someone else gets cirrhosis. Feels great for you but awful for those suffering. You fly to visit the Amazon or some remote once-beautiful place and the indigenous people get their environment wrecked, homogenized to like everywhere else.

Today’s epiphany: from the perspective of people addicted to polluting and depleting, talking about environment is like talking about other people suffering from cirrhosis you caused them.

That’s one of the reasons why they resist acknowledging their condition.

alcohol warning

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1 response to “One reason why talking to addicts about their addiction goes nowhere

  1. Pingback: Talking to people about the environment is like talking to addicts about people they hurt. » Joshua Spodek

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