TED talk: Johan Hari:Everything you think you know about addiction is wrong

The TED talk by Johann Hari titled “Everything you think you know about addiction is wrong” is very informative. One of the most influential moments is when the presenter says that connection is the opposite of addiction, not sobriety as so many people believe. He presents many different studies that promote this point of view. For example, he cites the country of Portugal, along with their decriminalization of drugs the country also made sure that each person had something that connected them back into society; providing immediate jobs for people who knew trades. Instead of stigmatizing and criminalizing them, which is actively done in the United States. It is important to remind people that they are human and deserve human connections regardless of their choices. Hari mentions that telling the “addicts in his life” that he loves them and will always be there for them. He reminds the audience that substance abuse often times spreads from a larger issue and actively reassuring them is a great way to show support to someone who is struggling. Honestly, I really liked this narrative because it humanizes substance users and substance abusers. Instead of stigmatizing and criminalizing these people, they accept their decisions and accepts that they should have the ability to reconnect to society. Instead of pushing these people to the sidelines, they should be encouraged to participate in society and form connections. Hari says, that the absence of this is often the cause of addiction because your body searches for connections within a substance. This was a very informative video and could be used to push and create new and change current drug polices within our country. Policies that actually help these people instead of criminalizing them.

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