Letting Go of the Monkey Bars

by The Discovering Alcoholic on January 7, 2009

Original photo by stjnky now at The Discovering Alcoholic

My battle with the laptop nasties earlier this week has left me playing catch-up with work. Long work hours mean late night blog posts. Finding myself behind the eight ball, short on time, and staring at the computer it’s unfortunate that I have a penchant for compounding the not enough hours in the day problem with indiscriminate surfing. I did however run across a blog of substance called Drugmonkey– incidentally proving the wired version of the infinite monkey theorem that states even a semi-intelligent recovering alcoholic will run across a worthy article given enough time. The post and comments that caught my attention were semantic not simian in nature discussing the finer points of the language of addiction.

Click “Read more” to continue…

My take on the topic minus the cerebral nerd banter that I wish I had the smarts to join in on is the that drug monkey has it right. Most people think the definition of addiction is a one line entry when the truth of the matter is that every day there is a new volume written on the subject.

A substance or action can be addictive yet not cause an addiction. There is a considerable difference between a physical dependence causing “discontinuation syndrome” and addiction. These distinctions are generally lost on the public. Why is methadone maintenance as treatment for something as serious as an opioid addiction stigmatized while taking antidepressants for trivial matters is considered socially acceptable if not expected? There’s thousands more but I’m tired, so go read the article yourself while I clumsily tie this profusion of monkey references and misleading headline photo into a relevant theme with a quote.

“Understanding a complex problem is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go of your assumptions at some point in order to move forward.”

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