|Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 15):|
What is truly misguided and heartless is to take the fruits of honest labor from those who are doing the right thing and then use it to enable the people who aren't.
Or you could take the attitude that everybody makes at least one really bad mistake in their lifetime, and try to fix acknowledged problems before they spiral out of control, be it addiction and it's causes, maladaptive behaviors, or even financial ignorance. It just so happens that addiction has a very real cost to the already largest bit of the federal budget--healthcare--at the END of its progression, much more so than other problems, which carry more of an individual cost. An overdosing addict showing up at the ER will easily cost tens of thousands of dollars (and even more if they get transferred to the ICU), and this will likely happen several times before they either kick the bucket or stop using--money that will never be returned but is still accounted for in one way or another because addicts don't have insurance. My mother had a horrible problem with credit cards because nobody ever taught her how to use them (and as a positive result my brother and I are neurotic about paying ours monthly, in full, and in general avoiding them). She was LUCKY that my father had assets he could sell averting a real financial problem. Otherwise she would've most likely ended up declaring bankruptcy or living in a pit shelling out minimum interest payments for the rest of her life because the problem was about to spiral out of control, with new debt acquired to cover existing debt payments and so one and so forth. She had no clue how to fix it because nobody ever taught her financial discipline before she realized she had a problem, that she then tried to bandaid. Addiction is really no different. Person has a problem that they're unaware of, and they usually try to fix it incorrectly because they know no better. Perhaps you're just fortunate that the first few drinks you took didn't turn into alcoholism. Or perhaps you are fortunate that you didn't have a family who taught you nothing about discipline and goals and how to stay out of trouble. Or perhaps you had parents who aren't emotionally decrepit and incapable of seeing to their child's needs or seeking help if otherwise--a very BIG problem. People don't just pop up and start using drugs, that is a myth. They start using drugs due to external circumstances, THEN it becomes a problem. Spend even an hour in an addiction clinic with addicts who are willing to talk about their problems and you will quickly find that drugs are usually a last-ditch effort to fix a problem a person is ill-equipped to handle. Is about personal responsibility? Absolutely. Is it about discipline? Absolutely. Are addicts taught these before it becomes a problem? Frequently not. We do not live in a perfect world and by the time addiction becomes a reality the potential to head these problems off at the pass has long since flown by. Fix the external circumstances, help the person change their approach, and then you will fix the problem. Don't punish the result and then get mad and confused about why the problem still persists.
The phrase "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" is useful here. You are rewarding a group of people who would otherwise be required to pay a lot more due to the public health ramifications of doing nothing to control a problem. Yes, in a utopian world people would have discipline and be able to handle their problems without a vice, but that is not reality. Most everyone has a vice be it alcohol, exercise, nicotine (the number one gateway drug believe it or not), obsessively controlling their environment and the people around them, food, and the list goes on and on. Human beings are quite adaptive as a species, but for some very odd reason we let the most ignorant and loudest among us create rules and circumstances (also known as culture and society) which prevent us from doing just that. Enter problems such as addiction.
|Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 15):|
The good news is that they can stop being an asshole/waste of money at any time (assuming medical care is available to counter the potentially deadly effects of withdrawal).
The withdrawal is a short-term problem and usually the least part of a patient's recovery, it's just the most physically painful. The problem is a) an individual's propensity for addiction to begin with, and this is frequently genetic, medical, or psychological in origin, and bang on as you may will not be fixed with a kick in the pants and a "get over it" mentality--it's been tried and shown to be a miserable failure, b) the subsequent alteration of the brain's chemistry, and c) the underlying problem that drove a patient to addiction to begin with, which is sadly often made worse by said addiction.[Edited 2013-04-16 18:00:03][Edited 2013-04-16 18:03:00]
[Edited 2013-04-16 18:10:55]