Our Reliance on Substances

We as a society are incredibly quick to turn to chemicals in order to feel better. This is true when it comes to sickness, depression, sadness, pain, and really just about anything. We like to think that a simple pill or drink will solve all our problems, without even really knowing why and where our problems stem. This can easily be seen with our overuse of antibiotics, thinking that a simple pill can cure us of any disease when most of the time the infliction we suffer is a virus and the antibiotic has no effect whatsoever.

This can also be seen easily when it comes to our desire to have fun. Many of as we grow up, forget how to play. We forget how to have fun so we turn to substances to enjoy ourselves. A person does not have to be an alcoholic to admit that alcohol is used quite frequently to stimulate experiences; a glass of wine or 4 at dinner, a college party, or a few shots of whiskey after a hard day. Well that last example more so reflects our turning to chemicals to deal with stress, irritation, and depression. We use antidepressants when we are sad in an attempt to feel better with little understanding of our emotional processes that led us to being sad in the first place. It is much easier for us to say, it’s a chemical imbalance that makes me sad, than it is for us to say, “I hate my job, I am unhappy with my spouse, I don’t like where I live, I never go out and have fun anymore, I don’t even know what fun is anymore, and I am sick of constantly and consistently feeling like I am not good enough for this world and that I always have more I HAVE to do, just to stay alive.” I state these ideas as I feel these are thoughts that probably plague most of Americans nowadays resulting in the high levels of depression across the country. The feeling not good enough is probably the earliest cause of depression to hit our countries children. Because we don’t want to deal with these feelings and emotions, or because we don’t know how to go about fixing the problems, we simply claim there is a chemical imbalance, take some pills, and act like the problems are solved.

A chemical imbalance is NOT the cause to these “disorders” however but is a side effect and result of the feelings in question. A person’s chemical will reflect perfectly how that person is feeling.

As far as what we do, we seem to so quickly turn to medications with our problems that it is no surprise that our children are doing the same. We turn to substances to have fun (alcohol) or feel less stressed (cigarettes and anti depressants) and our kids see this and think it’s the right thing to do. We need to learn to be more reliant on ourselves and less reliant on these medications.

Now I want to clarify that I am not saying that all substance are worthless, and that they shouldn’t be used at all But I am saying that they are not the cure. If anything, they can be used as a tool to help alleviate the problems, but as always, we have to be in charge of ourselves, and take issues into our own hands :).

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