I was reading an article the other day about the causes of addiction. It’s an interesting subject, and it’s interesting how often people get it wrong, although I’m not claiming to be an expert or anything. Any way, I was prepared to read, and then deliver a scathingly condescending reply, because that’s the way I roll.
But, I found myself saying ‘Hey, that makes a lot of sense.’ The argument was that the better a life you have, based on what the author called ‘connectivity,’ the less susceptible you are to addiction of all sorts: drugs, alcohol, gambling, cigarettes, you name it. Big connectivity points were family, children, friends, stuff like that. A job you really like and a nice house got you connectivity points, too, I think.
First, as the author fairly pointed out, if you are happy in your life you’re not nearly as likely to go looking for drugs. Second, which was kind of a surprise to me, you’re far less likely to get addicted, even if you do have a wild weekend with the buddies doing blow in Vegas every now and then
It’s the kind of study that probably could have been done just by accumulation of large amounts of data, but they did a proper double blind study and that was the conclusion.
So, it’s psychological after all. Good to know.
The main thing I found interesting in the article, though, was the use of the word connectivity. It’s true, we’re born connected into one family and then we start one of our own, building new connections all around. We make friends, we network, we join clubs, we enroll at universities, we align around various sports teams and we are (in some cases) proud citizens of whatever country we happen to be from. And we want to connect more.
We are scattered all over the place like little Lego pieces, connecting haphazardly, and in a dozen different directions, to the world we live in. We are gradually joining these Lego pieces together as we build a better society.
It’s not just about curing addiction. It’s about building utopia.