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Caroline Pegram

intern, Path of Hope

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Should there be a TEDTalk on addiction and substance abuse?

I believe that those who suffer from the disease of addiction and substance abuse is still a very stigmatized population. There are many debates, regardless of scientific research and DSM criteria for addiction, on what constitutes and addict. "Why don't they just stop?" "Aren't addicts all criminals?" These are questions still being asked on a regular basis by a great amount of the American population. Many people are still unaware of how to handle this population as well as this issue as a whole. Addicts and alcoholics are considered diagnosed with mental health disorder(s) (and believe me, mental health is a stigmatized conversation as well) yet, those who suffer from addiction are looked down on by society more so than many other mental health disorders or diseases. TEDTalks have covered a wide variety of misunderstood populations in order to bring education, awareness and advocacy for these individuals. I believe we are in a good place and time to bring addiction and substance abuse to the table so that the tolerance and support for this population can grow.

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    Feb 23 2014: Here are some TEDx talks on addiction: http://www.youtube.com/user/TEDxTalks/search?query=addiction
    • Feb 24 2014: Wow thanks! It's so weird nothing comes up on the TED website when you search for addiction topics. Can't wait to watch these! Thanks for posting
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        Feb 24 2014: When you search among the featured talks posted on the main site, you won't get all the TEDxs, though you will get some. It is also true that the search function is not perfect.

        You should also always check by putting something like TEDx youtube into your browser, which will take you right to the TEDx youtube channel. There you can search for your topic within the much broader set of talks.
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    Mar 21 2014: Addiction is not a "bad habit" it is a disease. Which is why we need more discussion on this issue
  • Mar 21 2014: There should absolutely be topics on addictions, and bad habit epidemic in society. I actually cant believe that there are no considerable amount of topics on the addiction issue.
  • Feb 24 2014: Tied in to that is our need for instant gratification and stimulation. Someone in a bored, lonely and depressed state might struggle to reach for the choices of creativity and working towards goals or manageability, and instead reach for the easiest solution to get high or act out in whatever way their addiction manifests. Then the cycle of shame, isolation, boredom, depression and despair continues.
  • Feb 23 2014: Addiction, like much of human behavior, is a symptom of boredom. It is boring at the top of the food chain. Let's discuss it, here and now. I haven't got anyrhing else to do.
    • Feb 24 2014: Afraid it's not that simple, but I do think boredom is one factor that can drive addiction.
      • Feb 24 2014: I think that Boredom is the One factor that is Never discussed. Why is that?
  • Feb 22 2014: I was JUST wondering that myself!! I can't believe that when I decided to search for a TEDTalk on addiction there is nothing! This is such an important topic for our time, and so related to many of the issues discussed on TED. But no speaker dedicated to this issue? It seems wrong to me. I 100% agree with the fact that addiction is misunderstood and stigmatized. TED could be a good opportunity to break some of those barriers and start a conversation. Most people just say, "make better choices." Addiction is an illness as valid as breast cancer, bi-polar or any other health issue of our time. It deserves compassion and understanding. It deserves a TEDTalk! I know many addicts who watch TEDTalks for encouragement and growth anyway. It would be nice to be represented on this platform.