Wednesday, February 15, 2006

303.90

In his State of the Union Address, the Elf King stated that America has an “addiction” to foreign oil, specifically Middle Eastern oil. What an appropriate thing to say, the wording was just about perfect, coming from an addict, we can see where the use of the word addiction was appropriate, he himself being an untreated alcoholic. In this essay, I will confirm this diagnosis with a full diagnosis of Substance Dependence using criteria from the DSM-IV-TR. The criteria usually fit the diagnosis for one person; however, they will be applied to the nation as a whole.


One of the features of Substance Dependence, as stated in the DSM, is “a cluster of cognitive, behavioral, and physiological symptoms indicting that the individual continues use of the substance despite significant substance-related problems.” I think you would agree, despite the war and other problems oil has caused, we are still using oil that is primarily from the Middle East. Folks are still tooling around in their SUV’s, probably not giving a thought of how they are doing their part to “fuel” (bad pun, I know) the war and the greed of American oil companies that lie behind it.

The criteria have been met for Substance Dependence, which is defined as “a maladaptive pattern of substance use, leading to…significant impairment or distress…occurring at any time in the same 12-month period.” I think it’s safe to say that we have been using Middle Eastern oil regardless of the great loss of human life that has occurred during the current Iraqi fiasco, which was sponsored by large American oil companies. The following are the criteria that have been met to make an accurate diagnosis of Substance Dependence.

1. Tolerance, a need for markedly increased amounts of the substance to achieve the desired effect. US oil consumption jumped 1.5 million barrels from 2002 to 2004, and I can only imagine that number has increased since then. This is what I consider the development of tolerance comparable to alcohol tolerance. As the body gets used to the amount of alcohol it once took to make a person intoxicated, it takes more and more to produce this effect over time.
2. Withdrawal, the same (or closely related) substance is taken to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms. This applies to the intention of the Elf King to increase research of alternative power sources for automobiles, batteries for hybrids, and the production of ethanol from various sources. This is comparable to using methadone to relieve the withdrawal symptoms of heroin.
3. Persistent desire to cut down or control substance use. That was covered in point 2.
4. A great deal of time is spent in activities necessary to obtain the substance. I know a great deal of people that put some time and effort in the search for cheaper gas, even to the point of driving to neighboring states to get the cheapest gas possible.
5. Important social, occupational, or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of substance use. I’ve talked to some people who had cancelled travel plans because gas was so high. More people have started carpooling and taking public transportation to work, which I don’t think is such a bad idea. And finally, a really big one…
6. Substance use is continued despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem that is likely to have been caused or exacerbated by the substance. Um, okay, the WAR MAYBE?!

The prognosis doesn’t look good.

In keeping with a theme, I have used the DSM-IV-TR diagnostic code for Alcohol Dependence.

1 Comments:

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4:01 AM  

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