Interesting, interesting article.
The premise is that addiction is mainly rooted into the environment. Meaning: if you live in an environment conducive to addiction, you can get addicted. I know, I know.. "Duh!". But they made experiments with rats, so this goes beyond common sense.
[quote]... a cursory historical and cultural survey reveals that the incidence of addiction is essentially a social phenomenon. Many historical and indigenous cultures have lacked even the concept of addiction - but many of these same cultures, once their traditional structures have been disrupted by conquest or colonisation, have been destroyed by it. All across the Americas, the Pacific and Australia, hundreds of 'demoralised' cultures have descended into vicious spirals of addiction, usually to alcohol, in many tragic cases wiping themselves out entirely. The root causes of addiction, then, must run deeper than any individual pathology: they must be sought in a larger story of cultural malaise and 'poverty of the spirit' that forces individuals, often en masse, into desperate and dysfunctional coping strategies.[/quote]
The articles talks about addiction in general, but it even recognizes the presence of less common forms:
[quote]Once addiction is reconceived as a symptom of the dislocation embedded in modern cultures, the practical measures required to manage it become vast in scope. Treatment of addicts needs to become more holistic, and interwoven into a far wider spectrum of social programmes. Education and treatment need to lose their narrow focus on illicit drugs and alcohol, and to encompass addiction in all its forms.[/quote]
Recommended reading. I would buy the book, but it's freaking expensive!