Body image and medicalization: Socially relevant behavioral “addictions” beyond drug use

We know that addiction can go beyond drug use, but are we becoming addicted to making our bodies perfect?

I put “addiction” in parentheses here because I think it’s important to distinguish substance-related addictions from behavioral ones. There’s no doubt that people’s behavior can become compulsive in the same way addicts become compulsive about using, but I’ve seen no evidence that behavioral addictions interfere with brain function in the way that cocaine, methamphetamine, and opiates alter actual brain mechanisms.

Still, this recent trend of obsessive plastic surgery is a dual-headed “addiction”, one that is both physical and social.  In many ways, people are now able to change aspects of their being that were once thought unalterable including their own physical appearances. To gain social acceptance, if you have money, you now have new tools!

This may also play a big role for those who are love addicted, at least if they have money… Continue reading “Body image and medicalization: Socially relevant behavioral “addictions” beyond drug use”

Michael Jackson’s death – A sign of prescription abuse trouble

Rumors are floating around regarding Michael Jackson’s use of prescription sedatives and its possible role in his death.

Propofol (or Diprivan) is a non-barbiturate sedative used for anesthesia induction in surgeries. The fact that Michael had this drug at all is perplexing as its use is carefully monitored and highly dangerous.

Along with his Diprivan bottle, prescriptions from up to 5 other physicians were discovered. I couldn’t help but consider the notion of this case looking more and more like our fastest growing drug problem – Prescription abuse.

As it stands in the US, while abuse of most drugs is either steady or dropping, prescription drug abuse is the fast growing. According to NIDA, more than 16 million Americans had used prescriptions drugs for non medical purposes in 2006.

Here’s a little Michael Video, just for fun: