Health and Medical Ethics

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It is William Glasser who came up with the term, positive addiction. These are those addictions that make us stronger and better. There are certain factors that have to be achieved in order to declare something a positive addiction.

Glasser provides six criteria that must be fulfilled for a person to have a positive addiction to an activity. They are:

It is something noncompetitive that you choose to do and you can devote approximately an hour per day;

It is possible for you to do it easily and it doesn’t take a good deal of mental effort to do it well;

You can do it alone or rarely with others but it does not depend upon others to do it;

You believe that it has some value (physical, mental, or spiritual) for you;

You believe that if you persist at it you will improve—but this is completely subjective—you need to be the only one who measures the improvement; and

The activity must have the quality that you can do it without criticizing yourself. If you can’t accept yourself during this time the activity will not be addicting (emphasis original).

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Is it possible to have a good addiction? It maybe could be possible. For instance music can be categorized as positive addiction.

Friedrich Nietzsche, a German philosopher, once said “Without music, life would be a mistake.”

Can you imagine your life without music? Driving in your car from a long day at work, not having a song that reminds you of the special times with your significant other or doing any nonmeaningful task without any motivation.

I’m sorry, but I cannot fathom the thought of life without music. Music is an addiction worth having and I personally wouldn’t be around if music wasn’t. Music is everything to me and without it I wouldn’t be able to survive.

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Whether there are positive and negative addictions, it is important to what is not true about addictions. There are several myths surrounding the subject that need to be addressed.

The subject of addiction is plagued by myths and misinformation that were created to scare our children away from drugs. But these haven’t succeeded, and have actually made it harder for addicts to seek treatment and to return to a normal life.

Myth No. 1: There is an addiction gene

There is no single gene, or set of genes, that determines whether or not a person will become an addict. And even if a person’s parents are addicts, it doesn’t mean they will be too. Current addiction research shows that roughly 50% of addiction tendencies are attributable to genes.

That’s a high percentage, but it still leaves half of the equation up to the environment and personal experiences. The addiction gene myth lulls many people into a false sense of confidence about their own drug use while paradoxically also discouraging many addicts from seeking treatment.

Myth No. 2: Marijuana is a ‘gateway drug’


The addiction rate for marijuana is lower than that of alcohol, and there is little scientific evidence that it acts as a trigger for harder drugs.

While teen marijuana use is not to be encouraged, the real “gateway drug” risk might be from abusing prescription opioids and stimulants, like OxyContin, Vicodin and Adderall, or with inhalant drug use. These have strong addictive properties and more accessible to teens.

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