Sunday, July 23, 2017

Are We a Nation of Addicts?


Yes, we all know the addictive properties of tobacco, alcohol, heroin, cocaine, opioids, and the so-called “harmless drug” marijuana, but we are now encountering quite a few newer and other addictions, many of which have been recently confirmed and that are causing great concern in the medical, and mental health communities.

The addictions listed above are concerns because they are mind-altering drugs and/or health hazards, but the newer addictions, which are not mind-altering per se, but are in some ways equally harmful to the body and to society in general.

Let's take look at some of these other addictions. Just during the past decade, the addiction of using cyber machines have taken the country by storm, namely the use of I-Phones, Twitter accounts, and tablets. Most everyone, both young and old, seem to have one of these cyber contraptions and it seems to becoming an addiction to many of the people using them. Just go the mall and watch the people walk by, most people have their I Phones out in their hands or sticking out of their back pockets (its slimness makes it easy to carry them in your back pocket). It is not only the young people, but many of the adults who are “thumbing” their way through the buttons of their machines. I've even seen youngsters, as young as 4 years old, with determined interest in their I-Phones, thumbing along with the rest of the people, totally oblivious to others around them. This activity can be very dangerous, especially when walking on the sidewalk or when crossing the street, and especially when driving a car. Some states have passed laws banning texting while driving, and a person could be fined for that act.

You wonder if this obsession (or addiction) is a good activity that is just keeping up with the technological changes of life, or is it just a passing fancy that will fade away in the future? I err on the side of addiction now and in the future. (I just returned from 4 weeks in the country of Costa Rica, and it is just like here in the U.S. when it comes to the use of these machines).

Another activity that borders on an addiction is the mindset by many “health nuts” that they will only eat “pure food” and drink. Vegans (or semi-vegans) are seriously into what they claim is the “healthy regimen” of eating only foods that are organic, “cage free” (as in eggs), no sugar, no salt, gluten free, wild caught fish (no farmed fish), and a host of other no-no's that they consider “sinful” if ingested into their bodies. They have a tendency to look down upon others who don't accept their food and drink choices, sometimes bordering on disdain. Is that really a healthy regimen to follow or are they just addicted to their “pure lifestyle”. I believe that they have the right idea about eating healthy foods, but they carry their lifestyle to ridiculous extremes which creates much tension among others who associate with them. Is it an addiction, you make the call?

Another activity that can be addictive, I feel, are the the people who gear their lives to overly trying to be physically fit by exercising to the extreme, sometimes 3 to 4 hours a day (I'm not referring to prize fighters and/or some other athletes who must meet certain physical parameters to excel in their sport). Yes, physical fitness is a good activity to engage in, but when you take that good activity to the extreme, it can be detrimental to your health and well-being. An example of an extreme physical fitness addiction is a woman that comes to the gym I patronize, who must weigh between 80 to 90 pounds and works out on a “Stairmaster” (a very difficult exercise machine), for about an excess of 2 hours a day, plus using other machines. She is all skin and bones, and I presume that she feels that she is overweight (maybe she's even anorexic). To me, this is an addictive behavior just as overeating is addictive to some who become morbidly obese.

I'm sure I could list other addictive behaviors, but I think you get the point I'm trying to make. Most of these behaviors are self-imposed, but in the case of of people with physical problems who become addicted in trying to relieve their pain and discomfort, through no fault of their own, help should be made available to them to rid themselves of their addiction.

Other than the government trying to restrict the mind-altering addictions, the government should not get involved in banning certain other addictive activities, but they should get involved in educating the public as to the dangers of getting addicted to any activity, as they have done in their successful campaign in the past against cigarette smoking.

Conservative commentary by Chuck Lehmann






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2 comments:

George Giftos said...

Essentials suffer because it takes a lot of money to indulge in these modern marvel. Equipment and membership fees are not free, so either something essential is eliminated, or debt is run up to have them.
Debt is also an addiction.....spending to satisfy an urge without having the money to cover it.
I don't remember the figure, but I remember the number of people who don't have a pot to piss in don't have two nickels to rub together was
astounding. They exist by hook or crook and play the system to barely
keep their head above water in order to bury their head in a smart phone.

Lou Plante said...

Another possible addiction is the way the news media presents the news. It seems they are addicted to printing "fake news" that tries to justify their pre-conceived notions of what the American people should support or not support. The truth, to the "fake news" addicts, doesn't matter, they make it up as they go along as long as it meets, what to them, is their political correctness. Pres. Trump is now the victim of this addiction as these "fake news" addicts are constantly trying to beat him down with made up "fake" stories. This addiction seems to running rampant in the circles of the liberal elites, especially CNN, MSNBC, the N.Y. Times, the Wash. Post, the L.A. Times and most of the main stream media, along with most of the hierarchy of the Democrat Party.