What to expect in this episode:
- The drug and alcohol treatment industry tends to be very reactive
- How addiction works in relation to social phenomenon and social systems; increased anxiety and depression
- Prediction: Vaping, vaporizers & increasingly complex designer drugs.
The Future of Addiction
The question of what drug addiction looks like in the future is massively important. What I am experiencing working in drug and alcohol treatment is that we are very reactive. We’re in the midst of an opiate epidemic, methamphetamine use is also on the rise, and we’re so busy dealing with that we’re not looking at what’s coming down the pipeline, which I think is an important conversation to have.
I see addiction working in relation to social phenomenon and social systems, things that are happening in the world around us. I think the biggest thing that’s happening in the world around us, the biggest event of our time, is the rise of technology and the complexity of human urban life; and we don’t know how to deal with it. So we know how to engineer complex systems but we don’t know how to deal with our feelings. We’re not necessarily training our children to make their bed and do the laundry, even though they can be top scorer on Fortnite or whatever.
And so what I see is (this is already happening) I see massive growth in anxiety and depression which are internal disorders that come from coping with the difficulties of life. And so when I think about what’s happening in the future of addiction, I think of what’s happening in the future of mental health. My prediction is that there’s going to be more and more complex designer drugs.
Designer drugs are drugs where the molecular structure is modified usually from an existing drug for a specific application like Pharmaceuticals are designer drugs and what I see is a massive growth in designer drugs and their distribution online and so if you go online right now and you look up how many different kinds of drugs there are that list is growing more rapidly or drugs are coming out in the recipes are available and I think they’re going to be used for people to self medicate to treat feeling that they don’t know how to deal with a don’t know how to live into.
The other thing that’s happening is the way that drugs are being ingested is changing. There’s been maybe seven different routes of ingesting drugs for the last hundred years and when the vaporizer came on the scene I took notice. It was a new way to ingest a substance rapidly right that you can inhale and it’s also concealed you can flavor it however you want so the odor changes. We know that with marijuana THC and nicotine that you could… we have high schoolers that are running around vaping weed and nobody knows, nobody smells it so you can completely conceal it.
Now you can also Vape methamphetamine, you can also Vape dimethyltryptamine, in fact you can be anything that’s water soluble. So you can imagine the mix that you can see on the horizon as clever human beings all of these designer drugs all of these mental health problems and having a way to ingest them that’s hidden difficult for police officers and authorities to detect, parents, Etc.
So, I see a lot of complexity on the horizon and I see nobody talking about it. Interestingly I am not anti-drug. I think human beings have had relationships with two substances for all of history and it’s not a bad thing. The question is how we collectively deal with our relationship to drugs and alcohol, which is a really deep question.
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