August 15th, 2014


Addiction is not a disease (unless you're a tory)

So this happened yesterday. The Needle is a zephyrometer (pointy spike thing on swivels that responds to the wind) that has been in Evan's Bay out by the airport for as long as I've lived in Wellington. It's one of my favourite pieces among the public art sculptures that are built to take advantage of the wind out there. We had a sudden thunderstorm and it was sticking up into the air, and, well...

(15 second video) - Impressed that someone caught this on camera. Also, I hope they rebuild it.

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Anyway, I was glad to see this perspective getting some airtime in Nature magazine, because every time I hear people talk about addiction as a disease, I cringe a little. I know I'm on the extreme end of this view, in that I advocate for the recognition of psychoactive substance use as part of the normal spectrum of behaviour and incorporation of safe use guidance into our education system. I feel very strongly that the othering of drug users exacerbates any harm related to drug use, and I'm tired of hearing about how drug use is deviant behaviour. Put simply, it's not. And while moving problematic drug use from the criminal policy field to the health policy field is a step in the right direction, the medicalisation of problem drug use is problematic in itself.

Baby steps, I guess.