It seems like addictions are in the news these days a lot. The statistics around Opioids alone are startling. I don't think I know anyone addicted to them but it seems like statistically we all probably do. I know a few people that took OxyContin after surgery and luckily they didn't get addicted.
In terms of what you can you
1) If they are prescribed to you I'd ask if there is an alternative
2) Michael Botticelli former Director of the USA's National Drug Control Policy recommends talking about it more. If you need help, ask for it, if someone asks for help don't think less of them, provide them help like you would to someone with a broken leg, addiction is a disease.
3) Change the words you use:
Excerpt from Times Colonist article by Sarah Petrescu
Some of the suggestions are using terms such as “person with a cocaine-use disorder” instead of “cocaine user” or “addict.” Others include referring to a person having an “addictive disease” or “substance-use disorder” rather saying they are a drug “abuser” or “junkie.”
Counterintuitive things you should know:
1) Our whole mental model of what causes additions is not quite right, check out the first video below. I put it at the top because out of all of these because our mental model dictates so much of this problem, and most of us are walking around with on that's not backed up by science. By knowing this we can see there are more factors to addiction than just the drugs, and how big a factor the stigma around addiction can compound the problem. Link to the article where I found it.
2) Criminalizing drugs has not been as effective as decriminalizing them. Portugal is the first country I heard of that decriminalized all drugs put their resources into helping and they've seen an amazing turn around. Check out the clip from Michael Moore's documentary
Here is Michael's TED Talk - Addiction is a Disease
Here is John Oliver's take on Opioids
And here is a terrifying article outlining the plans to spread the epidemic beyond North America to the rest of the world. This reminds me of Stephen Hawking's quote that "we should be more afraid of capitalism than robots". I'm not against capitalism, just based on my cursory look into this it seems like a huge risk of human suffering is being taken for the sake of making money.
OxyContin Goes Global - We're Only Just Getting Started
I don't know what to do to stop this, any suggestions?
People seem more interested in politics these days and lifehacker has a nice post on how to get your voice heard between elections (U.S. advice).
Just read this article by A.J. Jacobs on giving effectively, it actually wasn't too helpful. I love his books, but his article, like most articles, didn't provide an answer. He did highlight some good resources though. There are groups that look into how to get the most out of your donation dollar, and this pursuit is called Effective Altruism (EA). Apparently some people really don't like these groups for various reasons. I can sympathize with both sides of the argument but I think the ones against Effective Altruism are the ones that are losing out. The Effective Altruism groups are a great resource trying to do good, the most good possible with the resources provided. The debate it really over the scoring criteria. I think the people against these groups need to embrace these groups and work with them on the scoring criteria. Possibly leave the weighting of the criteria to the person searching for a charity and simply provide a database of criteria and their ratings.
Here are some of the groups he mentions:
Herer's the article:
I was reading in Happy Money that charities which provide the option for people to buy gifts rather than simply donate tend to bring in less when they do this because the profit margin is pretty low and people don't tend to donate in addition to buying. However, some companies are set up so selling products is their main business model. Check out the two below that I like, and let me know if you have any you like.
Combat Flip Flops - https://www.combatflipflops.com/
Empowering the mindful consumer to manufacture peace through trade
Dude. be nice - https://www.dudebenice.com/
This seems like a nice company, putting the spotlight on nice. Check them out :)
The goal of this site is to be a resource of 'things you can do'. Not just any 'things' but if you have a goal or a cause you're concerned about you can look here for a list of things you can do.
To be the most useful I need you to send in what it is you're interested in. Either put it in the comments or send it in via the home page. Until some suggestions come in I'll help people out with their goals on Kiva.org. Today I lent $25 to a group of seamstresses in Paraguay. Kiva is amazing, you're not donating money you're just lending it to someone that really needs a small loan and they'll pay you back, then you can lend it out again. If you ever need the money back you can withdraw the money from your account once it's paid back.
Some things will be easy, some things will be counter intuitive, some things will take some dedication. Lending money on Kiva is pretty easy, if you're looking for a way to help someone trying to better their lives through hard work. But I've got one that is even easier.
Try using only one paper towel to dry your hands, that is, next time you need to use a paper towel. The trick is shake off the excess water first and fold the paper towel in half. It's amazing, you think it's not going to work, but then it does, and it really gets your hands drier than you're probably used to. Here's a video demo.
So you don't have to read through the entire blog and all of the comments to find things I'll try to use tags for these posts and I'll make pages to summarize everything. You can think of the blog as a 'what's new' section.
Eventually I hope this turns into a wiki of what you can do but for now just send me ideas you have or guest posts and I'll put them up for you.