Greed obliterates authentic purposes to become an end in and of itself. Perhaps it helps create an ordered society, bureaucratic, impersonal, programmed — but that rather misses the mark as regards human services and well-being.
By way of cold categorization, it might be said that all addicts are criminals, but one may wonder what part are themselves predators and what other part preyed on by dealers and doctors or equivalents in counseling.
From time to time, I catch the boilerplate conservative prescription “personal responsibility!” in relation to the kind of damaged, enslaved, marginalized, and traumatized person that has lost all agency, confidence, efficacy, and esteem and wonder how pernicious and greed-ridden a society we have become. Can we tell the difference between the sad sack hipster and self-serving and profiteering sociopaths? Have we overemphasized the substance — whatever it may be or have been — and under-emphasized disconnection, marginalization, ostracism? And if so, for what?
In business terms, we are each and everyone of us our own “cost centers” — we want to live with means; we wish to pay our way; and for the most part, that’s what we do — but for a portion of America’s 320 millions souls — about a million or so the last time I checked (2019 with figures from 2017 compiled by authorities in 2018)— personalities or problems attach to expensive dependencies, and those persons then become the smallest of “profit centers” — revenue generators — for the money mad among sociopaths, and that from the curb to the corporate suite. Family’s gone and all the connections left are “fiduciary”, i.e., all about money and control bereft of conscience and soul.
As so often happens, a frantic mother called us about her 19-year-old daughter, who I’ll call Jen. A heroin addict, Jen had been shuttled between multiple treatment centers and sober homes by greedy marketers looking to cash in on the teenager’s insurance benefits by keeping her perpetually in recovery, but never sober.Aronberg, Dave. “Opportunists Are Exploiting the ACA to Prey on Opioid Addicts.” Time, September 20, 2017.
Aronberg, Dave. “Opportunists Are Exploiting the ACA to Prey on Opioid Addicts.” Time, September 20, 2017.
Daniels, Lisa. “My Son Got Stuck In the ‘Florida Shuffle’ and Lost His Battle to Addiction.” RyanHampton, January 13, 2019.
Fix the Florida Shuffle. “What is the Florida Shuffle?”
Lopez, German. “She wanted addiction treatment. She ended up in the relapse capital of America.” Vox, March 2, 2020.
National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators. “Florida Shuffle.”
Wooten, Colton. “My Years in the Florida Shuffle of Drug Addiction.” The New Yorker, October 14, 2019.