GRATIFICATION CULTURE CONTRIBUTES TO DRUG ABUSE by Diane W. Mufson

GRATIFICATION CULTURE CONTRIBUTES TO DRUG ABUSE by Diane W. Mufson

In response to the tragic situations brought about by drug abuse, many causes have been suggested: poverty, feelings of hopelessness, unemployment, ignorance, thrill seeking. “Bit PhRMA,” over prescribing by physicians and more are all considered to play a part in today’s drug crisis.

Yet, I suspect that there is something else, something that is so prevalent in our American way of life that we no longer see it as a problem That is our desire for immediate gratification, which contributes to drug abuse. We want to feel good and have the good things in life immediately without enduring any discomfort.

INSTANT GRATIFICATION

INSTANT GRATIFICATION

In 2007, I wrote a column, “Never waiting for what we want leads to problems,” even before the seriousness of our substance abuse issues were fully understood. That column was prompted by an iPhone ad that stated in big bold print, “Waiting is so last week.”

We are a society that is impatient for everything. We do not save money for the future regardless of whether money is tight or adequate. Poor people end up forfeiting their partially paid-for possessions and some rich people declare bankruptcy and let others suffer the fallout.

Commercials for vehicles advertise, “no credit, no problem.” approved-29149_640Budgeting is “outdated.” It is what parents and grandparents might have done. As a child, I recall my parents wanting to buy a house. The money just wasn’t there, so we lived in many small unfashionable apartments for six years until there were funds for a down payment. Do people still do such things today?

These thoughts bring me back to my hypothesis about instant gratification and substance abuse. Prohibition clearly didn’t work, so alcohol was legalized and became part of the American social and economic fabric. Alcohol traditionally offered an “escape” from life’s everyday stresses, even though more problems followed heaving drinking. Our country has learned to adapt to drunken driving deaths, broken families, violent behavior and health problems because these problems rarely come in big batches or lead to immediate deaths.

ALCOHOLISM FREQUENTLY RESULTS IN HOMELESSNESS

ALCOHOLISM FREQUENTLY RESULTS IN HOMELESSNESS

But in the past decade, alcoholism has taken a back seat to pills, which promised to do away with physical aches and all other painful situations. What few people, including physicians, realized initially was that these pills would addict more swiftly and deadly than any liquor had before.

When the easy and constant supply of pain pills finally dried up, the heroin and drug dealers were waiting in the wings. So now the addiction and overdoses from pain pills have been supplanted by even more astonishingly large numbers of overdoes and deaths from lethal street drugs.

We seek immediate gratification. We want high paying jobs and homes that have every convenience, but do not want to suffer through years of schooling and training that is necessary for those good jobs. We want to feel good physically, but choose to not eat in a healthy fashion, exercise or seek appropriate medical care. We get frustrated easily with our family, neighbors, jobs, bosses or those who drive too slowly.

Looking for a quick way to feel very good works for the moment, but as with drug abuse, the joy is fleeting and many lives are damaged instantly.

DRUG ABUSE KILLS

DRUG ABUSE KILLS

Unless we Americans become a society that values future planning and can again learn to delay gratification, we  are likely to see our drug culture continue to ruin lives.

Drugs themselves are physically addictive, but they are also culturally addictive in a society that wants to feel good at all times without doing any of the heavy lifting.

[Diane W. Mufson is a retired psychologist. She writes a weekly column for the Huntington, WV Herald-Dispatch.  We share this article which first appeared in the Herald-Dispatch with her permission. Ms Mufson’s email is dwmufson@comcast.net.]

THE ASHLAND STORY by David C. Williams

THE ASHLAND STORY by David C. Williams

“Paul G. Blazer, a brilliant if parochial businessman, promoted a small independent oil refinery into a highly efficient petroleum company. He also attracted and trained some very energetic hard-driving young executives. When they finally had the company drop in their laps the world was their oyster. Great strides were taken and objectives reached - and “visions of sugarplums danced in their heads.” With success cam pride then greed and avarice. It was a wild ride and one hell of a lot of fun while it lasted.” [from the back cover of the book]

THE ASLAND STORY - a new book by David C. Williams

THE ASLAND STORY - a new book by David C. Williams

David C. Williams lives in Ashland, Kentucky.  His career with Ashland Oil is chronicled in his book.  A ninety-three year old engineer, writer, philosopher and raconteur, Williams is the author of several books, including The Royal Crown Caper, Northlight, Sumarny River Bridge, and Two Old Men and God.  His books are available at Amazon.com or ordering from your local bookstore.  Readers can also order his books by sending $14.95 with your order to P.O. Box 913, Ashland, KY 41101.

THE OLD SPINNING WHEEL by Ernie Tucker

THE OLD SPINNING WHEEL by Ernie Tucker

WHAT GOES ‘ROUND COMES ‘ROUND!

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         As a historian, if something has a bit of age on it–a house, a building, tool, book, anything–I seem to be drawn to it. My house is full of “things,” all of them pretty old. “Everything in our house is old,” I once said to my daughter Alice.iron-1166042_1280 (1) “I know, I know,” she said, staring me straight in the face. I didn’t take it too personally, realizing that my genes were again having their way. I especially like spinning wheels, made evident by the four of them I have scattered about our house.

          When we were youngsters, Mother had a Saxony (flax) wheel which she kept behind the living room door, always admonishing us to “Watch out for the spinning wheel,” never making any effort to move it to a safer spot.

          One day, when I came home from school as a young man, the spinning wheel–often used as a prop in grade school plays and church productions–was missing from its usual place behind the door. “Where’s the spinning wheel?” I asked. My mother gave a convoluted account about how some of her Virginia relatives had come by to visit: “It really was their wheel,” Mother finally admitted, “and I let them take it.”

          Their wheel, I thought. Their wheel! That spinning wheel had been in our family for as long as I could remember! I was pretty perturbed and vowed that one day I would, indeed, have one of my own. And I did, four in all, all different. One of them just happens to be the same one which left our house years ago.  Here’s the story.

          About ten years ago, I got a phone call from my eldest brother in Louisville. Sounding like an Old Testament figure, he announced, “The spinning wheel hath returned,” after a forty-year absence. “What do you mean?” I asked. “It’s back, at Brother Bill’s house in Raleigh, North Carolina.”

          I called Bill immediately and inquired about our wheel. “It’s right here,” he said. “I’m looking right at it! And,” he said, “There’s a long note attached to it that tells the story of where it has been and where it originally came from.” I was especially excited when he reported that the final words of the note were, “And, it belongs to Ernie Tucker.” I said, “I’m on my way!”

marshall-university-81218_1280          Marshall University in nearby Huntington, West Virginia, just happened to be playing North Carolina State’s football team in Raleigh that very Saturday, so after detouring through the spectacular Great Smoky Mountains National Park, great-smoky-mountains-1098985_1280we arrived at Raleigh, completely worn out from a long trip punctuated by our usual wrong turns. We attended the ball game, stayed the night, visited with Bill and his family, and then headed back to Ashland with my old friend the spinning wheel in the back seat. It was exactly as I had remembered it and had not been damaged in any way.

          It had been in the Nashville home of my first cousin Alice, a nurse, and her surgeon husband for all those years. Both now had retired and had decided to dispose of some things, including our old spinning wheel. Their daughter, a Presbyterian minister, was going to be in Raleigh at a church meeting, which explains how it got there.

          My mother had rescued the wheel in the 1920’s from Cousin Alice’s husband’s family who had lived on Brown Creek in southwestern Virginia, not far from where my mother had been born and raised. Mother had always thought that it might have been destroyed had she not been on the scene at the right time, and I think she was right.spinning-wheel-63007_1280

          I guess we can say that our spinning wheel was passed down in my family by marriage, since Cousin Alice’s mother was my mother’s sister who had married into the family who had owned the wheel originally.  (You may need to read that again!)

A LETTER FROM A DAD TO HIS AFRAID, GAY SON by GoGoGo Everton

A LETTER FROM A DAD TO HIS AFRAID, GAY SON by GoGoGo Everton

dog with pencil and eraserWhat a great way to end the week! This is an extremely touching letter that has gone viral. One day, this is how most dads will react, as we continue to work toward a national attitude that favors equality and the right economy for all fathers to stay and support & love their children. My father loves me, and I know he wouldn’t have disowned me if I came out as gay, but I’m also not confident I would’ve gotten this letter either.

Text is below the picture. Pick reposted from FCKH8.com

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“I overheard your phone conversation with Mike last night about your plans to come out to me,” it reads. “The only thing I need you to plan is to bring home OJ and bread after class. We are out, like you now. I’ve known you were gay since you were six, I’ve loved you since you were born.”

He signs it “Dad” and finishes with a post script: “Your mom and I think you and Mike make a cute couple.”

 
Obviously, anonymous. But, the piece has gone viral. It has appeared in other places, but we are pleased to pick it up from Daily Kos with permission.
HOW JEB BUSH INSULTED ALL AMERICAN WOMEN by Laurence Lewis

HOW JEB BUSH INSULTED ALL AMERICAN WOMEN by Laurence Lewis

And here we thought his brother was the dumb one! Bush seems intent on proving that his older brother George the Lesser isn’t the biggest idiot in the family. Jeb! seems to want to claim that title for himself. Which would be no small feat.

 

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In last night’s Republican clown show debate, when asked the question:

Earlier this year, the Treasury Department announced that a woman will appear on the $10 bill. What woman would you like to see on the $10 bill?

Jeb! answered:

I would go with Ronald Reagan’s partner, Margaret Thatcher. Probably illegal, but what the heck?

That would be former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who partnered with Reagan in launching the era of cruel supply side economics, which succeeded in eviscerating the middle class on both sides of the pond. Which makes Jeb! a good Republican.

That Jeb! realizes it might be illegal suggests he is at least aware that the United States won the Revolutionary War, and became independent of Britain, and that Thatcher therefore wasn’t the Prime Minister of the United States. Jeb! may be the Bush family’s biggest idiot, but his idiocy goes only so far.

But it does say something about Jeb! that he couldn’t name one American woman who deserves to be honored by having her face on the $10 bill. Not one woman from the entirety of American history. For that singular and historic honor, he had to pick a woman who wasn’t even American. Which shows how much he respects American women. All American women. In the entirety of American history.

politics

Originally blogged by Laurence Lewis. Re-blogged by Daily Kos, Thursday, Sep 17, 2015. Used by permission of Daily Kos.