Addiction and Freedom

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Addiction and Freedom

On the eve of August 14 1947, India was jubilating. After almost a 90 year struggle, we were free from the clutches of an alien power. Today, after 62 years it is shocking to realize that we are not yet free, but still slaves to yet another foreign power.

Yes the youth today, you and me both and all our friends have not been freed from shackles of addiction.

The youth have no qualms in living their lives in the path of addiction even as they set their life on fire with a cigarette stick, drown alcohol, consume drugs.

This is a call to all you youngsters, the future of our nation, to join the new freedom struggle, the freedom of our lives.

Live free, but don’t die hard.

Free yourself, but don’t loose yourself.

Drugs and drinks may thrill, but also kills.

Addiction thrills, but also kills.

 We escaped the clutches of an alien power and realized at last, “yes, we are free”. But what we and in fact the whole world has failed to realize is that we have slipped from the slavery of one kind into clutches of an evil far worse. We are now in real danger of ruining our lives, due to the evils of alcohol and drug addiction. It may start in a light hearted manner while hanging out with our friends around the malls, cinemas and pubs. We may be spend our time aimlessly, and we may be tempted by our friends to try something new or it might be at a party or a celebration where you take interest in having a drink that your friends are having at that time. Thus slowly a stage develops where, not a day can pass, without indulging in a drink or taking drugs. The lives of countless bright young people have been ruined and generations have been affected by the evils of addiction. What they fail to realize is that not only are they destroying their own life, but also that of those close to them. Once caught up in the trap, they find it near impossible to escape. The only way to escape from this bottomless pit is through our own will power. There are de-addiction programmes for getting help. What is important is that one should not lose hope. For all those out there seeking to kick the habit of lustful addiction and longing to taste freedom…. Come let’s start this revolution with a celebration without beers or cigarettes.

Freedom in its basic sense is the right to act according to ones will without being held up by the power of others. 

The speech delivered by President Roosevelt incorporated the following; 

In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.

The first is freedom of speech and expression–everywhere in the world.

The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way–everywhere in the world.

The third is freedom from want–which, translated into universal terms, means economic understanding which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants–everywhere in the world.

The fourth is freedom from fear–which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbour anywhere in the world.

That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation. That kind of world is the very antithesis of the so-called new order of tyranny which the dictators seek to create with the crash of a bomb.

  • Franklin D. Roosevelt, excerpted from the State of the Union Address to the Congress, January 6, 1941

 Now in this present world where almost all people enjoy all these forms of freedom, we could maybe redefine freedom in another sense.

Freedom from the shackles that we create for ourselves… shackles more heavier than any kind of dictatorship or subordination or servitude or constraint.

 Shackles of the new generation – in the form of drugs, alcohol, cigarettes etc. Freedom from addictions (sin). 

Addiction is a serious condition that affects most of the people in this world. Anyone who has been around a loved one with an addiction problem has seen how it can destroy their job, business, family, health and even their life. Addiction is a disease that will crush self-esteem, jeopardize the accomplishments of goals, and cost a drug addict more money than is fathomable.  In almost all drug addicts’ stories there will be the discussion of how quickly finances became unmanageable due to the constant need for the addict to be on a high. Not only will drug addiction negatively affect these parts of life, but careers will also be lost due to the drugs taking over the addict’s entire thought process, and eventually taking his/her life.  Addiction begins with the voluntary use of drugs, and spirals out of control from there. There is no determining who will become addicted to drugs and who will be able to use drugs “recreationally”. However addiction is such a debilitating disease that the choice of whether or not to take the risk could mean life or death. Addiction is not a one-time, quick fix type of disease and unfortunately there is no “magic pill” to cure this growing problem. Part of the recovery process from addiction is relapse, making it much harder on the drug addict and his family.  Addiction’s most powerful characteristic is that it does not allow the addict to recognize that they are addicted to drugs/alcohol.  Addiction will convince the addict that they “need” the substance to function and they will come up with an endless supply of excuses for the addictive behavior.  

Whether illegal or through prescription, drugs have a tendency to produce a feeling of peace and power which is the main source of their addictive nature.  Drugs include prescription medications, illegal drugs, and alcohol, as all of these things are mind-altering substances, producing the euphoric feeling (high) that makes them addictive.  Many individuals fall under the grip of drug addiction to escape reality or artificially produce feelings of pleasure and the illusion of a stress free environment.  Different drugs affect each individual differently, depending on many factors, many of which are unknown to the user at the time of abuse.

Alcohol is included in the classification of drugs that produce an illusion of well-being and power.  However, alcohol is one of the most dangerous of all drugs abused in our society today.  Alcoholism has affected millions of people worldwide and is associated with thousands of vehicular injuries and deaths yearly.  Alcoholism is associated with 25% of all hospital admissions from alcohol poisoning after having too much to drink for the liver to process.  Drugs are a primarily suspect in domestic violence, but alcohol is often the worst of all domestic violence cases.  Alcoholics quickly lose control of themselves and their inhibitions, turning many violent and careless, where they would otherwise are responsible, docile beings.   Drug abuse and alcoholism affects every aspect of the alcoholic/addict’s life, including family, career, legal status, ad health.  Like drug addiction, alcoholism can also be treated through rehab programs and after-care methods. Because alcoholism is a physical addiction, alcoholics must first go through detox in a medical setting where they can be monitored.  Alcohol withdrawal can be extremely severe, causing seizures, convulsions, heart failure, and sometimes death.

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