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Addicted to the Addiction Excuse

Originally published in early 2000

In a recent newspaper article, it was reported that fifty percent of Canadians know someone whose family life is threatened by addiction to the Internet.

Isn't it marvelous to be able to blame something other than the individual?

bullet It is the fault of the Internet, not the fault of the individual making a conscious choice between the computer or the family.
bullet We blame the Demon Rum rather than the individual who makes a decision to drink.
bullet We blame the Video Lottery Terminal (VLT or slot machine) rather than the individual who chooses to act like a laboratory rat pressing buttons to obtain a random pellet of food.
bullet We accept excuses of "sex-addiction" for the individual who should have gone to jail for willful child-molestation.
bullet We forget that it takes a deliberate act to light a cigarette, and put all the blame on an addiction to nicotine.

The puritans of the world who would ban or regulate activities are in an unholy alliance with those who choose to participate in those same activities to excess. Both groups blame the activity and deny individual responsibility. The puritans seek to deny the activity to everyone claiming participation is harmful or sinful, using the abusers as evidence. And the abusers seek to deny responsibility using the puritans' claims as evidence.

It is time to say enough!

It is time to take away this addiction excuse.

It is time to recognize that we are human beings and that we possess free will.

We can make our own choices. And we are fully responsible for those choices.

bullet Demon rum is not to blame. It is the drinker choosing to drink to excess who is responsible.
bullet Gambling is not to blame. It is the fool who does not exercise the common sense to limit losses.
bullet It is not sex addiction that is to blame for boffing the baby-sitter, the student or the intern or for sexual harassment in the workplace. It is the individual choosing not to recognize the boundaries of acceptable behavior.
bullet And the cigarette does not miraculously jump out of the package, light itself, and place itself in the smoker's mouth.

Let's do away with the addiction excuse. Rather, let's tell the truth - the individual consciously made a choice not to act responsibly.