If you happen to subscribe to The New York Times, you’re well aware of the insightful op-ed pieces they publish every weekend. And most recently, they put out a brutally honest article from writer Maia Szalavitz. In it, she lays out the fundamentals of addiction and why it is so difficult to “kick a habit.”
“I SHOT heroin and cocaine while attending Columbia in the 1980s,” she begins with. From there, Szalavitz explains the damage her addiction had on her schooling, her family and her young life. We profiled Maia after her book, Unbroken Brain, came out. This latest article re-emphasizes its points, particularly how chemicals impact the brain.
Szalavitz also delves into the emotional components of addiction and how her habits helped to fill a void. She believes it to be a disease, yet one that can include free will.
“Addiction skews choice,” she writes. “But doesn’t completely eliminate free will. After all, no one injects drugs in front of the police. This means that addicts can learn to take actions to improve our health, like using clean syringes, as I did.”
Maia goes on to praise the modern recovery methods used to treat people struggling. In her mind, therapy and emotional support are just as important as the physical rehabilitations people ravaged by drug use go through.
She concludes with, “Once we understand that addiction is neither a sin nor a progressive disease, just different brain wiring, we can stop persisting in policies that don’t work, and start teaching proper recovery.”
To read Szalavitz’ complete article, click here.