While I am a Star Trek fan, I am not an expert in “The Next Generation” lore, except I did like the movies “Generations” and “First Contact” that featured the actors from that series. The Borg character was interesting, and thinking last night about how addiction as a general matter seems to resemble the behaviors of the Borg in their persistent and disruptive efforts to make people accept their agenda, well, the Borg analogy is what prompts this post. I had a commenter ask previously about the roles of enabling and codependency, so I have decided to talk of both in two consecutive posts. The first is what do the Borg and addicts have in common, well…
They are a collective. Addicts have a network, they share much in their actions and choices and opportunities. Like, what doctors are available to get controlled substances as example A.
They live to assimilate. Negotiation and being redirected is NOT an option with addicts. No, it is about their way only.
They will not accept boundaries. Rules, they don’t need no stinkin’ rules. Laws have no applicability to them. And when they break them, there is no interest in what the courts have to say. Oh, if it involves incarceration, then…
They live by primitive defenses. Denial, projection, minimization, avoidance, and inappropriate rationalization as starters. Hey, when the behaviors bring out the best in narcissism and antisocial intents, what do you expect!?
They destroy, and twist it if able as instead promoting and building an alleged colony that will be beneficial. Oh, to whom is irrelevant if it is not part of the collective.
Finally, for the sake of this post, one of their adages is “the needs of the few always outweigh the needs of the many.” Fortunately, to this point in time, addicts are still a minority population in this country, but, if they continue to try to flourish, then at some point their pathological ways will make the adage reverse in perverse ways.
Interpretation is an individual specific definition, but for me, enabling and codependency matters are what addicts depend on when mingling with the aliens of their culture. They need to convince and manipulate the “outsiders” or “troublemakers” (really, I had a patient once refer to family trying to get the addict into care as troublemakers!) to allow them to try to thrive, at least maintain some contact with the sober/clean portion of the world. Access to money, resources, food & shelter, legal contacts, medical and psychiatric care, transportation, sympathetic ears, and I am sure those who have been such enablers and codependents can add to the list here, note it is about the addicts’ alleged needs, they deny it is wants.
It is about the addiction, and note I do not limit the term “addiction” to just chemical matters, no, our two biggest addictions outwardly in America are still money and power. There may be more people who use drugs, but, there are more disruptions to society from those who seek money and power. Remember one similarity above to the Borg, “the needs of the few outweigh the many”, well, appropriate with these addictions!
I have no interest in being an expert in addiction, but, I think my life experiences both as a psychiatrist and person living in America give me some expertise. I haven’t walked in the shoes of an addict, but, I have walked next to them, so that gives me some right to comment.
Well, the next post will be about the roles of enabling and codependency from the perspectives of what providers and patients as interacting with providers should, and should not be doing. If I have one point to make to bring this back to why we should reject the agenda of the Borg, and what the addict tries to insist upon the rest of the population around them, it is this:
Assimilation is NEVER healthy, insistence that supports and loved ones should be accommodating and accepting of unhealthy choices and actions, and the needs of the few outweigh the many, well, resistance is futile, ON THE PART OF THE ADDICT!!!
Enable and codepend sobriety and abstainance, only a winner there!