All addictions are like ‘fake software’. They can be used on the same hardware that evolved over millennia to meet our survival needs.
The roots of this opioid epidemic go back to the 1990s when there was a massive upsurge in the production and marketing of opioid analgesics for medical purposes.
There are a range of highly rewarding behaviours (such as sex) that can become addictive, or which for all intents and purposes, feel like they are addictive.
Those who have experienced it, will understand the restorative effect of surviving serious danger. When we are seriously threatened all of our priorities suddenly come into focus.
The brain’s reward system has been central to the human survival story for millennia by making us ‘want’ the things we ‘need’ — but now it’s turning on us.
Whilst physical confrontation is not for everybody, the analogy of creating inner strength through manageable doses of stress — preferably in groups — still holds.
We’ve heard a lot about the opioid epidemic over the last ten years. What are the deeper sociological causes of this particular epidemic? Why now?
Human beings can tolerate almost anything when they are ‘part of the tribe’. It’s when this network breaks down that the problems begin.