My experience in counseling people who have problems because of using alcohol and other drugs is that healthy social connections are incompatible with continued use. This Ted talk shifts my personal observation. His conclusion is that the lack of healthy social connections is the root cause of these issues. I find it a compelling idea.
What would happen if we shifted the enormous amounts of money that we spend on incarceration and law enforcement to job creation, addiction counseling, and housing support? What if the people who have addiction issues had help with their relationships to keep families together? Not all people who are chemically or behaviorally dependent are unemployed and homeless. Yet, we know that continued addictive behaviors are difficult for families. Sometimes the pressures split the family down the middle. What support can we offer to those families?
But to do that, we would need to shift our attitude toward the people who are caught up in negative cycles of substance use, joblessness, and despair. We would have to see them as people who deserve our help.
What would it take to shift these attitudes?