Human beings have a natural and innate need to bond, and when we're happy and healthy, we'll bond and connect with each other, but if you can't do that, because you're traumatized or isolated or beaten down by life, you will bond with something that will give you some sense of relief. Now, that might be gambling, that might be pornography, that might be cocaine, that might be cannabis, but you will bond and connect with something because that's our nature. That's what we want as human beings.Do go listen to this talk or read the transcript. This just reinforces the core message I learned from Brené Brown in The Power of Vulnerability talk. Which I also recommend.
And what I've tried to do now, and I can't tell you I do it consistently and I can't tell you it's easy, is to say to the addicts in my life that I want to deepen the connection with them, to say to them, I love you whether you're using or you're not. I love you, whatever state you're in, and if you need me, I'll come and sit with you because I love you and I don't want you to be alone or to feel alone.
And I think the core of that message -- you're not alone, we love you -- has to be at every level of how we respond to addicts... The opposite of addiction is connection.
Johann Hari, TED Talk,
Everything You Think You Know About Addiction is Wrong