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Persuasive Speech: By u/nixonx

04-26-2016

Topic: Alternate Addiction Therapy


Main points: 1. Root of addiction
2. Current treatments
3. Alternate addiction therapy
Introduction:
Attention Getter: Finding someone unconscious on the couch laying in their own vomit, and then
realizing it is someone you love and care about just crushes you. Disappointment, pity, anger,
disgust, sadness, and confusion are just some of the emotions one would feel given the situation.
The question is, what would you do if you found yourself in this type of situation? Some people
would get angry, others would start to cry, what I did was drag my father to his bed and spent
half my day cleaning up his mess without saying a word. All I felt was numbness, to a process I
have experienced countless times before.
Reveal the topic: Addiction is not an ugly enough word to describe its reality. It is clear,
according to my survey, that over half of you have bear witnessed to this evil thing called
addiction in one way or another. Or maybe I shouldnt call it evil. Maybe everything we knew
about addiction is wrong.
Establish Credibility: I used to think people who didnt have enough willpower struggled with
addiction and so I always saw them as lesser than me. When I first started here at NIU as a
freshman, it was pretty much high school me just in a dorm. I had hobbies and interests of all
kinds; in fact, I was quite addicted to videogames. At the start of second semester, I couldnt get
myself to play videogames. Let alone do any of the things I took interest in. I kept asking myself
the question, how could be so addicted to something and then suddenly not want to do it at all?
That is when I realized that there must be more to addiction than I thought. Thats when I
realized addiction is not a condition, it is a symptom.
Preview: The system we have created for handling addicts is flawed in countless ways. We lock
them up with the rest of the criminals and deem them to be not fit for society. Even after they
have recovered, we treat them as if they are a ticking time bomb ready to explode again at any
moment. Before I go any further, you have to first understand the roots of addiction which will
aid me in convincing you that current treatments for addiction are quite ineffective. After which,
you will finally get to know the truth behind addiction and how to treat it properly. Such
information would have proved useful to both my family and some of my relatives who would
still be alive today.
Connective: Its impossible for me to persuade you to look at addiction differently if you cannot
first see where addiction spawns from.

Body:
1. Many believe, to get hooked on something, it has to be fundamentally chemical. Its easy
to make that connection, and it still makes sense when it comes to non-drug based
addictions such as pornography or videogames, it is the dopamine rush that makes people
come back for more. And up until the 70s, no one ever bothered to notice that it wasnt
the chemicals themselves that were causing addiction.
a. According to a review of the rat park experiment, Professor Bruce K. Alexander
studied whether continued drug addiction was entirely due to the effects of drug
consumption, or whether outside factors could have an influence on the potential
for addiction.
b. He then put a rat alone in a cage with 2 options, regular water or heroin water.
With the obvious results being that 100% of the rats overdosed on the heroin
water.
c. He then built rat park, which Hari states as, basically heaven for rats. They've
got loads of cheese, they've got loads of colored balls, they've got loads of
tunnels. Crucially, they've got loads of friends. They can have loads of sex. And
they've got both the water bottles, the normal water and the drugged water. But
here's the fascinating thing: In Rat Park, they don't like the drug water. They
almost never use it. None of them ever use it compulsively. None of them ever
overdose. You go from almost 100 percent overdose when they're isolated to zero
percent overdose when they have happy and connected lives. And I have to say
that I could not have said that better myself.
d. The clean slate addiction site under the article, Addiction is NOT a Brain, It is a
choice illustrates to us quite well that every skill learned changes brain chemistry
just like drugs do. And the National Institute on drug abuse states that change in
brain chemistry is what constitutes an addict from a healthy person. In other
words, this article is proving the fact that addiction is something that cannot be
proven to exist in either a physical or psychological state.
e. Which leads me to the root of addiction; it is not disease that needs to be treated,
nor is there such a thing as a chemical hook. It is simply a symptom of a socially
and or mentally impaired life.
Connective: Now that you know what addiction really is, its time to convince you
that modern addiction therapy is actually outdated. And I would go as far as to say
that some of these treatments have the potential for a negative kickback.
2. When it comes to treating addiction, there are countless approaches. With the current
ones being Intervention, Rehab, Drugs, and peer therapy sessions. I found that using a
source that endorses these treatments will actually help you see how irrational and
ineffective these treatments really are.

a. The article named Co-Occurring disorders treatment describes that Rehab is


effective since it removes the person from everyday stresses and triggers from
their daily environment. Now imagine if we applied that to the rat experiment; we
take the rat that is alone and high on heroin and we nurse it back to health in our
rehab center. After it has made a full recovery, we put it back into its environment.
In the end, the rat still ends up dead due to overdose.
b. 11 of you in this room thought that was a good idea and not one of you thought it
was a terrible one.
c. Just because there are so many rehab centers and an absurd amount of money that
gets poured into them does not mean they cant be fundamentally flawed. You
know whats also on almost every corner, McDonalds.
d. Here is the problem with interventions says Hari, what they do is they take the
connection to the addict, and they threaten it, they make it contingent on the
addict behaving the way they want.
e. And logically thinking, healthy relationships do not spawn from threats.
f. Fortunately, most of you agreed that intervention and also drug therapy are not the
best treatments.
Connective: Now that you finally realize these treatments arent really helping you or
someone you care about, its time to know the truth.
3. If you dont believe me fully, the rat park experiment has been replicated in a way on
humans as well. Hari demonstrates that, Portugal had a terrible heroin addiction
problem. They then decriminalized all drugs and took the money used towards stopping
drug trade and used it to financially help the addicts re-engage back with society. Give
them a reason to wake up for in the morning. One example would be the government tells
an employer to hire the addict and they will pay half of his wage. After 15 years of this
method, drug users are down by 50% according to the British journal of criminology
a. The secret to healing this symptom we call addiction is to reignite purpose back
into the addicts life. It really doesnt matter what purpose that may be, as long as
it strengthens that persons bonds with society.
b. Instead of using the addicts connections as cannon fodder for treatment, we
should work on deepening the connection and telling them that we love you no
matter what state you are in.
c. The best part is, is that all of you thought that engaging the addict in social
activities and rekindling loving relationships in their lives was at least not a bad
idea with a quarter of you thinking it was a miraculous idea.

Conclusion:

Signal ending: There is no better insightful feeling than learning something that entirely
contradicts what you once thought was true. And with that, Ill finish up with a few more
thoughts.
Summary: Now that you have learned the true meaning of addiction, you can help yourself and
those around you to get rid of this suffering once and for all.
Vivid ending: The key to treating addiction is to show addicts the better part of life by
strengthening your love and compassion with them and getting them engaged in social activities.
And once they have seen that connections are more satisfying than shooting up, they seek out to
rekindle their bonds with society once more. That way, the addict then wants to maintain those
bonds of their own accord and will do anything to hold on. Even if that means letting go over
their addiction.

References:

Hari, J. (2015, June). Everything you know about addiction is wrong. Retrieved from:
https://www.ted.com/talks/johann_hari_everything_you_think_you_know_about_addicti
on_is_wrong?language=en#t-856302
Slate, S. (2015, November). Addiction is NOT a Brain Disease, It is a Choice. Retrieved from:
http://www.thecleanslate.org/myths/addiction-is-not-a-brain-disease-it-is-a-choice/
Alexander, K. B. (2016, April). Rat Park: the Importance of Good Mental Health. Retrieved
from: https://www.lifelineconnections.org/rat-park-importance-good-mental-health/
N/A. (2016, April). Co-occurring Disorders Treatment. Retrieved from:
http://www.dualdiagnosis.org/co-occurring-disorders-treatment/