Bruce Alexander’s Globalization of Addiction Website

Unknown-1This website is well worth checking out. I really like Bruce Alexander’s ideas. They need reflecting upon.

‘Global society is drowning in addiction to drug use and a thousand other habits. This is because people around the world, rich and poor alike, are being torn from the close ties to family, culture, and traditional spirituality that constituted the normal fabric of life in pre-modern times. This kind of global society subjects people to unrelenting pressures towards individualism and competition, dislocating them from social life.

People adapt to this dislocation by concocting the best substitutes that they can for a sustaining social, cultural and spiritual wholeness, and addiction provides this substitute for more and more of us.

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‘Our Strange Indifference To Aboriginal Addiction’ by Gabor Maté

imagesHere’s an important blog from one of my favourite writers, Gabor Maté.

‘Marlene, a 46-year old native woman, sat in my office last week, slumped on her chair, blinking away her tears. I’d just shared the news that her most recent blood test confirmed she had “seroconverted” to HIV, become infected with the AIDS virus.

Although an injection drug user, Marlene had always been careful to use clean needles. Her route of infection was sexual contact – with the resigned naiveté characteristic of so many aboriginal women in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, she had trusted a man, himself a drug addict, who assured her that he was a safe partner.

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‘Social Actions to Control Addiction: Reviving Community Art’ by Bruce Alexander

rsz_slum_151210_fct951x585x28_t460In my humble opinion, one of the great thinkers in the addiction field is Bruce Alexander. In his excellent book, The Globalization of Addiction: A Study in Poverty of the Spirit, Bruce talks about addiction arising from people becoming disconnected (or dislocated) from the close ties to family, culture, and traditional spirituality that constituted the normal fabric of life in pre-modern times.

In the closing chapter of his book, Bruce describes some social actions to control addiction. What he describes are social actions that will NOT necessarily reduce addiction directly, but will help counter some of the adverse effects of our free market society and globalisation, factors that are leading to marked increases in addiction of all kinds.

In this blog, I’ll look at one of these suggested actions – Reviving Community Art – quoting directly from Bruce’s book:

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‘The Globalization of Addiction’ by Bruce Alexander

globalizationofaddiction2‘Global society is drowning in addiction to drug use and a thousand other habits.

This is because people around the world, rich and poor alike, are being torn from the close ties to family, culture, and traditional spirituality that constituted the normal fabric of life in pre-modern times. This kind of global society subjects people to unrelenting pressures towards individualism and competition, dislocating them from social life.

People adapt to this dislocation by concocting the best substitutes that they can for a sustaining social, cultural and spiritual wholeness, and addiction provides this substitute for more and more of us.’

I’ve taken these words from Bruce Alexander’s website and can highly recommend his book, The Globalization of Addiction, which highlights the role of disconnection or dislocation in the development of addiction. This theory makes much more sense than the classical disease model focusing on the role of brain neurotransmitters in addiction.

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