Dr. Michael Laitman To Change the World – Change Man

The Solution to the Opioid Crisis Is More Opioids – of the Natural Kind

Our inherent wiring for human connection is a natural upper and there is an abundant supply. The opioid crisis tells us exactly what we have to change in our society.”

This is the typical storyline of 91 Americans who die from opioid overdoses every day. A number that has quadrupled in less than two decades, making opioids the number one killer of Americans under 50 years of age. More than guns. More than car accidents. More than cancer.

They start with painkillers. They discover that they can get really high off these pills. Especially if they crush and snort them. So they keep going to the doctor to get more. But at some point, it becomes too expensive, and they realize they can get a similar high for a lot less money on the streets. It’s called heroin and they don’t know exactly what is being mixed with it, but they start using it regularly. After a while, their life revolves around doing anything just to get another fix, until they end up taking a higher dose than they can handle, putting an end to their life.

This is the typical storyline of 91 Americans who die from opioid overdoses every day. A number that has quadrupled in less than two decades, making opioids the number one killer of Americans under 50 years of age. More than guns. More than car accidents. More than cancer.

 A System That Generates Profits and Heroin Addicts

This growing epidemic should come as no surprise to us, however. Heroin addiction is a natural outcome of a broken society. From the pharmaceutical companies to the doctors, to the drug lords – every player is simply looking to maximize profits and make their job as easy as possible whenever possible. An increasingly growing heroin addiction is the inevitable result at the end of the funnel.

Trying to hold the gigantic pharmaceutical companies accountable is a battle lost from the outset. Cracking down on doctors pressures them to under-prescribe, driving users to look for heroin on the streets a lot sooner, as was clearly shown in the case of Florida. The UN’s so called “war on drugs” has been recognized as a colossal failure, and that leaves us blaming the addicts themselves, which is like beating the messenger instead of reading the message.

The message we should heed is clear as a bell: We must look deeper into the root cause of opiate addiction and ask more profound questions such as “What makes people in our society turn to opiates to begin with?” And, “What is our society not doing to prevent the making of ever increasing numbers of heroin addicts?”

The Craving for Opiates Is a Craving for Connection

First, it’s important to recognize that the vast majority of opioid abusers don’t start from taking them for genuine physical pain. Rather, in most cases, those who abuse opiates turn to them due to a different kind of pain – an emotional pain.

There are opioid receptors all over our bodies, and they are designed to balance emotions such as panic and anxiety, in addition to physical pain. When we were babies, the milk we got from our mothers was rich with opioids, and when someone gives us a hug today, our brain stem generates opioids.

Many might be surprised to learn that, likewise, social support, mutual trust, a romantic relationship, a loving family or even just a safe and positive social climate, all drive the production of opioids right within our body. Thus, the need for opiates is deeply intertwined with our inherent wiring for human connection.

With this in mind, let’s look at what’s happening today: Our society actually makes people so stressed, anxious and lonely that their naturally balanced, healthy supply of opioids just doesn’t cut it. To put it into a simple social equation: We generate a lot more alienation, uncertainty and stress than we generate safety, compassion, and camaraderie.

Therefore, masses of people turning to artificial opiates can be seen as a natural counter-balance to an off-balance human society.

A Wakeup Call for Western Culture

The interesting thing about the opiate crisis is that it’s as if nature is telling us exactly what we need to change within our society.

This crisis exposes the deeply interconnected nature of the social species called humanity. We are connected with each other to our core, like cells in a single organism, and we are naturally drawn to each other for a sense of support and security. Both our biological and psychological resilience depend on positive and healthy relations within our social environment. And just like cells in a body, when we lose touch with the body as a whole, we grow sick and degenerate until we die.

However, this drug crisis also joins a list of other painful symptoms, all converging to show us that we cannot escape a massive transformation of Western culture. We have to acknowledge our dire need for healthy human connections and positive social climates. And sooner or later, we will have to actively heal our broken society.

In order to do that, we simply need to tap into the same mechanism we currently abuse – our inherent wiring for human connection. There is a method of Circle-style workshops that provide safe and positive social interaction. These should be introduced into our workplaces, schools, retirement homes, and even kindergartens. They should be on our TV screens and all around the virtual world, so that anyone, long before they turn to opiate abuse, could easily find a supportive community that generates warm human connection.

Once we begin to do that, we will discover the natural high we are wired to experience just from being positively connected to our fellow man.

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