Stanton Peele on How Television Distorts the Nature of Drug Addiction


"The Knick"

The definition of addiction makes clear that addiction is not a drug-centered trait. Addiction doesn't occur only with drugs and doesn't invariably occur when certain drugs are used.  There is nothing inherent in narcotics, cocaine, alcohol, tobacco, or marijuana that makes them irresistibly addictive. Moreover, people who do become addicted, contrary to both popular mythology and government pronouncements, usually attenuate or end their addictions.

So where have we gotten our idea that addiction is the inevitable and irreversible result of the use of one or more kinds of drugs? As Stanton Peele explains, we get it from watching television.