Posts tagged addiction
In early 2007, JonnyM, as he’s known online, was seriously injured when his car was struck head-on by a drunk driver. Left with severe back pain, he told me, he was prescribed “a massive amount of pain meds” and referred to a pain management specialist.
Despite having a valid prescription, he found pharmacists condescending and hesitant to give him the powerful painkillers he needed.
Once, a pharmacist refused to give him his medication when his usual prescription was signed by a different doctor in the same clinic.
“A lot of pharmacists would look down on me ‘cause I was young, and I was having to take all these pain medications,” said JonnyM, who’s now 27. “You get so many problems [filling prescriptions], it almost feels like you’re carrying around this weird medical scarlet letter.” Looking online for advice and support, he came across Opiophile, an online forum for users of opiates both legal and not.
“When I first joined, it kind of helped just to have an outlet to kind of talk to someone or just kind of express frustration,” said JonnyM, who like other forum members asked that he be identified only by his online handle.
“Even getting advice, [like] ‘I get this a lot, switch to a mom-and-pop pharmacy where you can get to know them better, and you won’t get as much of that kind of criticism.” About half of Opiophile’s members use drugs like Vicodin, Percocet or Oxycontin for pain relief, JonnyM estimated.
Many of them are looking for advice on talking to doctors and pharmacists, along with a sympathetic ear.
(In a World of Opiate Addicts, the Internet Plays Doctor and Therapist)

In early 2007, JonnyM, as he’s known online, was seriously injured when his car was struck head-on by a drunk driver. Left with severe back pain, he told me, he was prescribed “a massive amount of pain meds” and referred to a pain management specialist.

Despite having a valid prescription, he found pharmacists condescending and hesitant to give him the powerful painkillers he needed.

Once, a pharmacist refused to give him his medication when his usual prescription was signed by a different doctor in the same clinic.

“A lot of pharmacists would look down on me ‘cause I was young, and I was having to take all these pain medications,” said JonnyM, who’s now 27. “You get so many problems [filling prescriptions], it almost feels like you’re carrying around this weird medical scarlet letter.” Looking online for advice and support, he came across Opiophile, an online forum for users of opiates both legal and not.

“When I first joined, it kind of helped just to have an outlet to kind of talk to someone or just kind of express frustration,” said JonnyM, who like other forum members asked that he be identified only by his online handle.

“Even getting advice, [like] ‘I get this a lot, switch to a mom-and-pop pharmacy where you can get to know them better, and you won’t get as much of that kind of criticism.” About half of Opiophile’s members use drugs like Vicodin, Percocet or Oxycontin for pain relief, JonnyM estimated.

Many of them are looking for advice on talking to doctors and pharmacists, along with a sympathetic ear.

(In a World of Opiate Addicts, the Internet Plays Doctor and Therapist)

The computer is like electronic cocaine.
Peter Whybrow, director of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA, argues the Internet is like “electronic cocaine,” fueling cycles of mania followed by depressive stretches, in our cover story on the Web making us crazy.

usakeh:

newsweek:

ADDICTED TO INTERNETS, Y’ALL! 

(But srsly, think this whole thing is making us a little nuts? That’s our cover this week: How “connection addiction” is rewiring our brains.)

An excerpt:

Questions about the Internet’s deleterious effects on the mind are at least as old as hyperlinks. But even among Web skeptics, the idea that a new technology might influence how we think and feel—let alone contribute to a great American crack-up—was considered silly and naive, like waving a cane at electric light or blaming the television for kids these days. Instead, the Internet was seen as just another medium, a delivery system, not a diabolical machine. It made people happier and more productive. And where was the proof otherwise?

Now, however, the proof is starting to pile up. The first good, peer-reviewed research is emerging, and the picture is much gloomier than the trumpet blasts of Web utopians have allowed. The current incarnation of the Internet—portable, social, accelerated, and all-pervasive—may be making us not just dumber or lonelier but more depressed and anxious, prone to obsessive-compulsive and attention-deficit disorders, even outright psychotic. Our digitized minds can scan like those of drug addicts, and normal people are breaking down in sad and seemingly new ways.

Read more.

I don’t know how I feel about this. As a person who has been diagnosed by several psychiatrists as manic depressive (or bipolar, whatever), and has been hospitalized for it more times than I can count, I don’t know if we should compare the effects of going online to actual mental illnesses. Admittedly, I haven’t read the article in full yet — and I’m not sure that I will based on the excerpt, frankly — so I could be misjudging it.

The thing is, not only does this sort of comparison trivialize the pain experienced by people who are actually mentally ill, but it also invites people to self-diagnose and incites panic. I can’t count the number of times I’ve read things, even in the New York Times, that claim that such and such a food or medication causes cancer or dementia. Then nothing comes of it; the study was probably just faulty, you know?

Unless done with extreme rigor, see, I just don’t buy into this sort of shit. And it’s really difficult to do studies on things like the effects of internet usage sufficiently scientifically. I have a degree in mathematics, and I’m the daughter of a research scientist; consequently, I tend to be very skeptical and, unless I can see the methodology and actual, you know, statistics in an actual scientific journal, I don’t trust this sort of new development.

Totally feel ya. But for real, give it a read. Those two excerpted paragraphs don’t do the piece justice. Our reporter put a lot of time into reviewing the findings from more than a dozen countries and says the answers are all pointing in a similar direction. We’re not trying to claim the sky is falling or anything here, but the science seems to be suggesting more than just a “OH LOOK TREND.” 

(via usakeh-deactivated20130416)

ADDICTED TO INTERNETS, Y’ALL! 
(But srsly, think this whole thing is making us a little nutso? That’s our cover this week: How ‘connection addiction’ is re-wiring our brains.)
An excerpt:

Questions about the Internet’s deleterious effects on the mind are at least as old as hyperlinks. But even among Web skeptics, the idea that a new technology might influence how we think and feel—let alone contribute to a great American crack-up—was considered silly and naive, like waving a cane at electric light or blaming the television for kids these days. Instead, the Internet was seen as just another medium, a delivery system, not a diabolical machine. It made people happier and more productive. And where was the proof otherwise?
Now, however, the proof is starting to pile up. The first good, peer-reviewed research is emerging, and the picture is much gloomier than the trumpet blasts of Web utopians have allowed. The current incarnation of the Internet—portable, social, accelerated, and all-pervasive—may be making us not just dumber or lonelier but more depressed and anxious, prone to obsessive-compulsive and attention-deficit disorders, even outright psychotic. Our digitized minds can scan like those of drug addicts, and normal people are breaking down in sad and seemingly new ways.

Want more? Read: Is the Web Driving Us Mad?

ADDICTED TO INTERNETS, Y’ALL! 

(But srsly, think this whole thing is making us a little nutso? That’s our cover this week: How ‘connection addiction’ is re-wiring our brains.)

An excerpt:

Questions about the Internet’s deleterious effects on the mind are at least as old as hyperlinks. But even among Web skeptics, the idea that a new technology might influence how we think and feel—let alone contribute to a great American crack-up—was considered silly and naive, like waving a cane at electric light or blaming the television for kids these days. Instead, the Internet was seen as just another medium, a delivery system, not a diabolical machine. It made people happier and more productive. And where was the proof otherwise?

Now, however, the proof is starting to pile up. The first good, peer-reviewed research is emerging, and the picture is much gloomier than the trumpet blasts of Web utopians have allowed. The current incarnation of the Internet—portable, social, accelerated, and all-pervasive—may be making us not just dumber or lonelier but more depressed and anxious, prone to obsessive-compulsive and attention-deficit disorders, even outright psychotic. Our digitized minds can scan like those of drug addicts, and normal people are breaking down in sad and seemingly new ways.

Want more? Read: Is the Web Driving Us Mad?

An excerpt From Bill Clegg’s memoir Ninety Days:

All at once it hits me: I’m alone. No one besides Dave knows exactly where I am. I could be doing anything. I’ve been an inpatient for weeks, under the thumb of nurses and doctors and counselors the entire time. No more morning gatherings, group meals, and in-bed-by-10 room checks. I’m alone and unaccountable. And then, like a dead ember blown to life, I think about my old dealers, Rico and Happy. I remember how I owe each of them a thousand dollars and wonder—despite all that’s been lost, everyone hurt, despite everything—how I’m going to get two grand to pay these guys off so I can buy more? I start to puzzle through credit cards and PIN codes for cash advances. Suddenly a few thousand dollars seems within reach, and I can feel that old burn, that hibernating want, come awake. I imagine the relief that first hit will deliver and I’m suddenly up off the couch and pacing. No no no, I chant. No f—king way. That craving, once it begins, is almost impossible to reverse. What my addict mind imagines, my addict body chases. It’s like Bruce Banner as he’s turning into the Incredible Hulk. Once his muscles begin to strain against his clothes and his skin goes green, he has no choice but to let the monster spring from him and unleash its inevitable damage.

[Photo: Chris Buck for Newsweek]

An excerpt From Bill Clegg’s memoir Ninety Days:

All at once it hits me: I’m alone. No one besides Dave knows exactly where I am. I could be doing anything. I’ve been an inpatient for weeks, under the thumb of nurses and doctors and counselors the entire time. No more morning gatherings, group meals, and in-bed-by-10 room checks. I’m alone and unaccountable. And then, like a dead ember blown to life, I think about my old dealers, Rico and Happy. I remember how I owe each of them a thousand dollars and wonder—despite all that’s been lost, everyone hurt, despite everything—how I’m going to get two grand to pay these guys off so I can buy more? I start to puzzle through credit cards and PIN codes for cash advances. Suddenly a few thousand dollars seems within reach, and I can feel that old burn, that hibernating want, come awake. I imagine the relief that first hit will deliver and I’m suddenly up off the couch and pacing. No no no, I chant. No f—king way. That craving, once it begins, is almost impossible to reverse. What my addict mind imagines, my addict body chases. It’s like Bruce Banner as he’s turning into the Incredible Hulk. Once his muscles begin to strain against his clothes and his skin goes green, he has no choice but to let the monster spring from him and unleash its inevitable damage.

[Photo: Chris Buck for Newsweek]