As I stated in a comment earlier, I had no idea addiction had so many meanings. To me it has always just meant that the person addicted had a physical and psychological need for a certain chemical, much like when someone has OCD they feel as though they need to complete a certain action otherwise they have an overwhelming sense that something is just not right. I definitely agree though that in the 20th century addiction began to "encompass all socially unacceptable uses" which did not entail overwhelming involvement. I guess I never looked that far into it, but the variations of addictions is more broad then I would have guessed. I suppose I even agree that people could be addicted to things besides drugs and alcohol. Work for example, people in Japan even have a word for when one works him or herself to death, it's Karoshi. it has been around since the 1970's (how sad is that?! How many people must have died for it to have become a word. I mean it's much more meaningful the 'selfie', but the reason behind the creation of the word is so sad) If you can work yourself to death it could very much be due to a addiction to work. Odd to think about, since there is no using chemicals to change the neurotransmitters or inhibitors, but it still counts.
I am really interested in the natural theories, I would like to know if it is an 'intrinsic character of human nature itself' to do drugs. Are we literally born that way? Or is it something we learn? do our neurological pathways come with 'addiction', or do we create it? It is definitely much harder to prove, but if there is something to it, and if we figure it out, then it would be a whole new step for healing addictions. Or spotting those who are likely to get addicted, and then those people could work on some preventative measures. I know there are many people who claim to have 'addictive personalities' but I still wonder if it does boil down to weak will, or is there actually a biological reasoning behind it? Maybe I still have old views about it, but I don't think the article was clear enough in refuting the 'weak willed' theory. If someone is constantly giving in to their addictions, they're just strengthening the pathways and thus making it harder to break habit, it's a bad loop, but one that seems to have a simple solution. Like smoking, if you don't start, you won't have to quit. I probably just have a biased view though. The adoption study was very interesting though. The fact that babies born to alcoholic parents were more likely to have alcoholic tendencies even though they were raised by non-alcoholic parents definitely shows that some things are intrinsic.
I do know of salvia, and have heard some horror stories as well. I've never seen any videos of it though. I may have to look up some of the ones they mentioned on page 152. Honestly, I thought Salvia was just an American thing, dumb assumption now that I look back on it..but apparently it is regulated in nine other countries. i do like the quote on 155 though where Barstow said "If you are going to keep salvia legal, we need to examine whether marijuana should be legal". I personally do not like smoking, but I can see the benefits it would have. And if it is illegal, and salvia, which sounds like it has a lot less advantages. is legal, then it seems like the government has it a little backwards. Although I of course don't have the whole story, so I can't make a proper judgement, but that is my opinion of it without doing some in-depth research. On another note, Ayahauasca sounds insane. I love, and fine it pretty scary, that there are churches, and 'travelling shaman' who will trip sit you while you go to another world and back. There's so many conflicting feelings about this that I think i may just have to dig a little more into it.
'Starting around 2001, teen use of pot and psychedelics, which had been on the rise for roughly a decade, began to fall off" (121) What?! I had no idea. to my knowledge, I thought that were the two most popular categories of drugs next to maybe amphetamines. But amphetamines (at least from what I've seen) are actually mostly used to be more productive, either with school, work, chores, etc. Whereas if one would want to get high recreationally, the most common things to turn to would be pot or psychedelics. But maybe I'm wrong. I mean they have pretty good evidence. The only thing I'm curious about is which research chemicals are counted as psychedelics? Maybe the decline could be cause by the fact that original ones such as mushrooms and LSD are getting harder to find, so teenagers turn to drugs such as LSA or 2CB or 25I, and more, which some still yet to become illegal, are not counted as psychedelics. I do understand how the "identity became less appealing.." (131) news gets old fast, and trends come and go. That could very possibly also be a component as to why reported use has gone down.
All the facts in chapter seven just astounded me. Even just the first page, "We were prohibited from discussing the effects of NAFTA as it related to narcotics trafficking" - Phil Jordan, DEA. Why? Why was that okay, it even states in the book that the deal was basically heaven for those who traffic drugs, yet top corporations couldn't even discuss it? That seems fishy. And the fact that 100 TONS of cocaine was brought across the boarder from Mexico and only portion of the trucks carrying the drug were actually inspected. It's crazy to think how much one can get away with when the government chooses to turn a blind eye because despite the obvious harm it's doing, the country is, according to them, benefiting even more in another way. The book itself states that turning a blind eye is "a tactic in which the United States frequently engages". That was pretty funny to read. I was thinking that before I read it in the book.