What if I told you there might be a new way to treat drug addiction?
I don’t mean spending billions failing to police the drug supply, or mopping ineffectually at addiction’s results, which are ill health, violence, sold bodies, damaged families . . . let me reword that, blood infections and oozing facial sores, fractured skulls, oral sex in alleyways and toddlers weeping in shock at a mother’s slap or a father’s sexual fondling. We throw up our hands and claim not to understand why people want hard drugs in the first place, those drugs that make them beautifully high and pain-free for a brief interlude, gosh that’s mystifying. But even if we don’t have an abundance of empathy, perhaps we might help in a practical way and consider supporting a new approach to treating human emotional pain, a technique that doesn’t just treat symptoms but goes to the core of why people damage themselves this way. And what if this radical new strategy actually worked? It’s cheaper. If that is how we measure things now, and it is, this could be a moral and medical triumph.