Why is not everyone an addict ?

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Boland, Jackie
Issue Date
MA in Addiction Studies
Dublin Business School
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The aim of this current research was to investigate 'Why is not everyone an addict? There were three main areas of inquiry. The first explored the relationships between other pathologies and addiction. Freud places alcoholic intoxication and mania in the same class of states, while Glover considered alcoholics to have more in common with paranoia and Verhaeghe and Davidson identified a correlation between addiction and borderline pathologies. The second theme related to the death drive, pleasure and jouissance. The main question concerned the idea 'that addicts desire death' . According to Loose some toxicomanias are a death-drive searching out this Other jouissance beyond pleasure but others use alcohol and drugs to protect themselves against the death-drive of the jouissance of the body. (Loose, 2002). The final argument in this thesis relates to Freud's actual neurosis. Verhaeghe and Vanheule (2005) suggest that in the development of an actual neurotic structure the impact of the Other is absolutely central. Failure of the Other to take on his or her mirroring function in relation to the drives impacts on the subject. Loose elaborates on this point and maintains that the effects of drugs are co-determined by the specific interactions that take place between the Other and the subject prior to the pre-oedipal stage of the child's life. Loose believes this very particular and unique interaction that each infant has with its primary caretaker has an effect on the body and therefore also on how the infant will experience its body. This experience, will decide to a large extent how an individual will experience the effect of drugs; and thus offers one solution as to why some people become addicts and not others.