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Laughing at Addiction

When i first saw this video and others like it, i was appalled at the fact that we have somehow managed to twist a serious issue like addiction into a joke. Dave Chappelle did it with his character Tyrone Biggums. Now it seems that people have taken to the streets to find real human beings who are struggling with addiction, to make videos for entertainment purposes and throw on YouTube.

When did addiction become funny? Seriously. When did it become okay to laugh and poke fun of crack heads and drunks? When did normal, functioning human beings decide that it was okay to make fun of addicts? And when will they let me in on the joke?

Addiction is a disease, a variation from normal human functioning. It carries enormous social and economic disadvantageous for the addict, his family and friends, and society. It isn’t something to be laughed at or taken lightly.

Addiction is a disease, a chronic, often relapsing brain disease that causes compulsive drug seeking and usage despite the harmful consequences. While the addict might make the initial choice to take drugs, after a while it becomes a biological urge, not a rational decision. The same way you or i might fight a craving for chocolate or a coke, the addict struggles with impulses to chase a high.

Addiction is a disease, not a choice, it is a compulsion driven by a biological response to the addictive substance. There’s a misconception in society that addicts can quit at any time. False. i don’t want to remove any of the blame from the addicts because it is initially a choice and i understand that. But drug abuse leads to a change in the structure and function of the brain which eventually affects a person’s ability to make sound decisions. Would we laugh at any other person whose biology affected their normal functioning?

Addiction is a disease, not a joke.


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