Nothing ever changes
by Ned Wicker
I was recalling my days many years ago at Milwaukee’s “Underground Switchboard,” a popular crisis intervention hotline. People would call in for any number of things, not just because they were in trouble, although we got our fair share of those types of calls.
A lot of calls were about drugs and people would ask about the pill they were holding in their hand. We’d refer to the Physician’s Desk Reference and tell them what kind of pill it was. Invariably they would ask if they could get high, but we would just share the information in black and white.
I want to get high!
That was a long time ago, but when you think about it, nothing much has really changed. The youth today are just a couple of generations removed from the folks who’d call-in and ask their questions. They ask the same questions today and probably reason things through the same way and get into trouble the same way. We would make referrals to Poison Control back then and I’m sure Poison Control gets the same calls today.
People always talk about change. President Obama campaigned on change, just like all politicians who promise change for the better. We have had an explosion of technology, our culture has change dramatically and the world is a very different place now from what it was 40 years ago.
Human nature doesn't change
But one thing hasn’t changed at all – people. Human nature does not change, it is the one constant and it transcends races and nations. It does not evolve, because what drives people today is what drove them a thousand years ago, three thousand years ago.
People want what they want and they want more of it. Most of the world’s wealth winds up in a small percentage of pockets, because human nature demands that nothing is enough. I have met captains of industry, driven men who lust for success, power, influence and more money.
They say they are happy, or they think they are happy, but in reality they are miserable because they are needy.
Nothing is enough
Addiction is an indicator. It illustrates the limitations of the human condition by never being satisfied with enough, because there is no such thing as enough. As the addiction grows and takes over the soul of men and women, it seeks to be fed, leaving no room for satisfaction. It is never enough.
As a person goes through the stages of addiction, the idea of “partying” and having a good time dies and is replaced by the reality of needing more and never being satisfied. The drug does not fill the hole that is left when person gives up their humanity, not does it offer any promise of a better tomorrow, only misery and despair.
We ALL make choices
We make choices in life, based on our own perception of what is needed or desired. The choices are not always the best, nor does a person necessarily see the entire picture before going one direction or the other. We are so often so sure of ourselves that we do not consider the alternatives, nor do we think of the negative consequences of the decision.
We deny any faulty decisions and with that knowing look on our faces, explain away any concerns that someone else might have that we are headed for a terrible future.
Left unchecked and without treatment, addiction all too often kills its host, because nothing can help because nothing is enough. Addicts fight treatment. The disease takes lover and they are bound to it, and even if they give in and allow treatment to move forward, they are opposed to its boundaries.
Human nature has not changed. No magic pill, or psychotropic treatment will change our human nature, only mask it. Our exercise of free will and willingness to allow others to help are keys to unlocking the prison cell that is addiction. Nothing has changed in thousands of years. People are the same.