Actions once punished or scorned are sympathetically treated as if they arose from diseases rather than choices. Persons repeatedly caught in possession of illegal drugs (a crime that in theory attracts a prison sentence of several years) are not punished according to law, but supplied by the authorities with clean needles, put into the care of doctors, and, in some jurisdictions, given free substitute drugs at the expense of the taxpayer.Read more here.
It is no longer acceptable to disapprove of certain selfish and inconsiderate actions, some of them illegal. Of these alleged “addictions,” only the smoking of cigarettes is still disparaged by polite liberal-minded persons. This is probably because of its undoubted anti-social stink and foul mess, the huge shared cost of treating smokers for the diseases they voluntarily contract, and the alleged danger to nonsmokers exposed to its fumes.
As a result, huge numbers of supposed cigarette “addicts,” forced out of workplaces and bars and compelled to stand outside in pathetic gaggles, and frowned and coughed at when they light up in the privacy of their homes, have in recent years overcome their “addiction” and stopped smoking altogether. I personally know many such people. Several have been glad of the pressure to stop. It is interesting that the habit (as it used to be called) now tends to be commonest among the hopelessly poor, the ill-educated, and young women driven by fashion into seeking those tricky gifts which cigarettes still offer them—sexual allure and a pleasure that does not make them less thin.
Thursday, January 26, 2017
More on the subject of addiction
More insight from Peter Hitchens on the "myth" of addiction: