Battling addiction in the public domain

In principle we should welcome all educational initiatives designed to raise awareness of the use of drugs; we must also welcome all preemptive strategies, and every attempt to curb the world’s appetite for an altered state of mind.

That said I read about the latest FADA campaign, Fundacion Anti Droga Aruba, challenging anyone who drinks alcohol to “take advantage” of the upcoming Lent period, and try to abstain from alcohol for 40 days.

The campaign AWE NO is about to become a Facebook event, and will deliver daily “tips & tricks” for those brave enough to answer the challenge. While FADA reports their focus will be alcohol, those who want to focus on fast food, or smoking, the consumption of coffee or soft drinks, are also welcome.

I dare say that anyone who came up with this cock·a·ma·mie plan, knows nothing about obsessive compulsive behavior, and the compulsion to drink. They also know zero about the disease of addiction, and zilch about alcoholism.

I can explain. True. If you are battling with the question whether you are an addict or not, you could try put down drink for a while, see if you can stand it, see how you feel. If you won the inner battle and abstained from drinking as a proof that you are not an addict, it still doesn’t mean anything, you might have white-knuckled the desire to use. However, it would be safe to assume that by the mere fact that you are questioning yourself, something is amiss, a red light should go off in your head, you should ask yourself what is happening here.

For people who are not addicts, 85% to 90% of our population, why should they give up drinking for 40 days? Their drinking has no negative consequences, so why would they stop. It makes no sense, unless they are religious, and then of course if you would like to observe Lent, go ahead you have our blessings.

Incidentally, it is also a very flawed practice to attach religion to our war against drugs; one has nothing to do with the other.

Finally, if you are an addict, 10% to 15% of our population, the last thing on your mind is stopping. You have tried stopping many times, and you never stayed stopped. The stopping is never a problem, the staying stopped is. So on their own without spiritual help, emotional support and some medications, no addict can ever get off the juice for 40 days just because FADA suggested it.

To summarize: For non addicts, the idea to stop is ridiculous. Why would they? Their drinking has never been a problem

For addicts, the idea to stop is ridiculous. They tried many times, it’s an obsessive compulsive behavior, how can they just say NO, it doesn’t work, it never did.

Besides, who wants to battle addiction in the public domain, on a FB page, with tips and trick, are you kiddin’ me?

And, for religious individuals who give something up for Lent, FADA is an irrelevant organization.

The campaign that no one wants to follow starts on Feb 10th and lasts until March 20th.