Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Choice Of Addiction

I want to point out this story of a nurse anesthetist who has been accused of stealing and abusing potent pain medications prescribed for a patient on whom they were operating. According to the article -
The patient screamed and writhed in agony during surgery at a Minneapolis hospital. Nurse Sarah May Casareto allegedly told him to go to his "happy place" and to "man up" because she couldn't give him more medication.
The reason that I'm pointing this out is because I want everyone to understand just how seriously self-centered, apathetic, and cruel people with addictions are towards anyone who comes between them and their drugs.

Nothing, and I mean NOTHING is more important to these selfish addicts than getting their next fix. As this story shows, you could be restrained on a table, carved up with a knife, screaming or writing in pain, and the addict would only be thinking about himself/herself.

The exact same behavior happens with nicotine addicts every day.

Nicotine addicts smoke their cigarettes in places where they know they shouldn't be smoking, they flick their cigarette butts anywhere they please without a second thought about the consequences, and pollute your air with their secondhand smoke without a care in the world about how it affects you or your loved ones.

Again, all that matters is that smokers get their fix whenever and wherever they want it.

Unfortunately, I don't think many non-smokers give it much thought because cigarettes aren't illegal, and the media (on behalf of the tobacco industry) has been promoting smoking as "normal" for so long. In essence, the public has been trained not to complain and to tolerate whatever the nicotine addict decides to do. Smoker's rights seem to be more important than the rights of people who DON'T smoke!

While non-smokers are starting to wisen up, it seems as though smokers are still being treated with kid gloves no matter how seriously bad their behavior becomes. The "addiction" is always blamed for the smoker's behavior instead of the smoker's own individual choice to behave in that way. We are expected to sympathize with the smoker because they are addicted, or because it's considered "politically correct".

Again, this story points out what I mean when County Attorney Mike Freeman said -
"Obviously she has a severe addiction to pain medication, for which we can empathize," Freeman said.
Well, I disagree with this empathetic concept wholeheartedly. Let me explain why -

It's a well-known fact that almost EVERYONE is aware that drugs, alcohol, or tobacco are potentially harmful and addicting before they make that INDIVIDUAL CHOICE to abuse them.

Addicts weren't addicted before they made their choice to abuse these drugs, yet foolishly decided to abuse them anyway, while also fully knowing the potential consequences.

So, it should go without saying that the addiction didn't cause their bad behavior, their own apathetic choices did, and no one should be expected to sympathize with them afterward. They are personally responsible for their own actions and don't deserve any sympathy.

This doesn't mean that I don't support the efforts of those who want to quit smoking.

We all make mistakes. As long as an addict realizes and acknowledges his/her mistake, and wants to change, we should support their efforts to quit smoking and wish them the best. It's in everyone's best interests for them to quit smoking.

However, as this story highlights, there are addicts who truly don't care about anyone but themselves, don't care about how their addiction affects you, don't want to change, and will continue with their bad behavior as long as they can get away with it.

Think about it. Do these people deserve your sympathy? You tell me.

1 comment:

  1. I've learned a lot about nicotine addiction since first writing this post, and have come to realize that "choices" are for adults, not for children. Because the vast majority of smokers became addicted to nicotine before they were adults, I now believe that yes, nicotine addicts do deserve some measure of sympathy.