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Exploitation gave rise to America’s addiction epidemic

Exploitation gave rise to America’s addiction epidemic

By Kevin Palmer

Exploitation is one reason why many Americans no longer bother to exercise their unalienable right to pursue happiness. Instead of feeling blessed, millions of Americans feel cursed because of mounting debt, subsistence type wages, and existing in an expanding police-surveillance state. Therefore, instead of pursuing happiness, a vast number of disillusioned Americans have decided to pursue alcohol and drugs, which has led to an addiction epidemic. For some, the addiction epidemic is good news because it is another opportunity for exploitation. Alcohol manufacturers, drug manufacturers (both legal and illicit), and addiction treatment centers, earn tremendous profits feeding and treating substance abuse with no end in sight.

Repeatedly, millions of Americans consume mass quantities of drugs and alcohol in order to cope and find a little genuine happiness. However, drug and alcohol abuse usually leads to irresponsible behavior and trouble with the law. One example is provided by author Dorothy Parker who described her experience with alcohol. She wrote, “I like to have a martini, two at the very most. After three I’m under the table, after four I’m under my host.”

For this reason, Americans will not find happiness by smoking marijuana, snorting cocaine, injecting heroin into their veins, attending happy hour at a local bar, or ingesting an opiate based prescription drug.  In other words, happiness cannot be found by self-medicating, but by becoming aware as described by author Henry David Thoreau. He wrote, “Happiness is like a butterfly – the more you chase it, the more it will evade you. But, if you notice the other things around you, it will gently come and sit on your shoulder.” Indeed, happiness will sit on your shoulder, but exploitation will ride on your back.

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