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Addiction and Opiates

Addiction and Opiates

Addiction and Opiates CHAPTER 1 METHOD AND PROBLEM While motives are not considered as causes of addiction in this inquiry they are not altogether irrelevant, since the study might be characterized as being concerned with the origins of the addict's drive to obtain and use drugs. Once established, this drive becomes a dominant feature of the user's motivational life and tends to extend its influence to virtually all of his behavior. The intricacies of this revolutionary change in personality are an appropriate subject for psychiatric exploration and beyond the limits of this investigation. The conventional view of addiction is that it is an escape mechanism for defective persons, variously characterized as "inadequate," "inferior," "frustrated," or "psychopathic." It is assumed that persons become addicts for the "Purpose" or "motive" of escaping from or alleviating their psychic troubles. This confusion of "cause" and "motive" leads to difficulty because of two stubborn facts which cannot be ignored or explained away: (1) some persons become addicts as a consequence of medical practice under conditions which preclude the influence of their motives on any part of the process of becoming addicted, and (2) a substantial percentage of addicts are admittedly "normal" prior to addiction; that is, no evidence of defects, inferiority feelings, inadequacy, etc., can be found. The proponents of this conventional view satisfy themselves in this situation by asserting that most addicts are abnormal prior to addiction and ignore or write off in advance a considerable body of exceptional cases. No satisfactory explanation is offered for the fact that "normal" individuals become addicts. It is even admitted sometimes that the generalization probably does not apply even to most addicts in some parts of the world. Since exactly the same explanation is applied to many other forms of undesirable behavior, it has no particular or specific explanatory power with regard to any of them. The defective individual is sometimes pictured as one who casts about, reviewing alternative forms of deviant behavior and choosing one more or less at random or on the basis of availability. A theory of this sort has the attraction of seeming to explain much with little investigative effort. Applied to drug addiction it has the added charm of making it superfluous to bother about examining the actual mechanisms involved. The logical inadequacies of this type of approach are obvious. If the validity of a theory is defined in terms of the empirical evidence that might demonstrate its falsity but does not, this theory is unverifiable, since the exceptions that negate it are admitted in advance. If one is concerned only with some, many, or most addicts, there are many variables in addition to personality factors that are positively associated with addiction rates. These variables differ from one country to another; they differ from one group to another and from one place to another; and they change with time even in the same country. It is therefore possible to formulate a series of theories, each of them applicable to some addicts in some place at some time, and none of them applicable to all addicts anywhere. Under such circumstances DO grounds exist for saying any such theory is wrong, that one is right and the others wrong, or that one is any better than another. Acceptance of one above the others becomes a matter of personal taste or professional prejudice. The point of view under consideration is based on preoccupation with variability and with statistical techniques of dealing with it. It involves a fundamentally skeptical or negative attitude toward the possibility of discovering ordered patterns in the behavior of the individual. Human behavior is said to be too complex, too dynamic, too indeterminate, and to vary too much from culture to culture and from person to person to be dealt with in any other way than in the aggregate or on the average. Kurt Lewin characterizes this viewpoint as Aristotelian, contrasting it with the Galilean position, which he views as characteristic of modern science: The conviction that it is impossible wholly to comprehend the individual case as such implies ... a certain laxity of research: it is satisfied with setting forth mere regularities. The demands of psychology upon the stringency of its propositions go no further than to require a validity "in general" or "on the average" or "as a rule." The "complexity" and "transitory nature" of life processes make it unreasonable, it is said, to require complete, exceptionless validity. According to the old saw that "the exception proves the rule," psychology does not regard exceptions as counterarguments so long as their frequency is not too great. The attitude of psychology toward the concept of lawfulness also shows clearly and strikingly the Aristotelian character of its mode of thought. It is founded on a very meager confidence in the lawfulness of psychological events and has for the investigator the added charm of not requiring too high a standard of validity in his propositions or in his proofs of them. . . . Methodologically also the thesis of the exceptionless validity of psychological laws has a far-reaching significance. It leads to an extraordinary increase in the demands made upon proof. It is no longer possible to take exceptions lightly. file:///I|/drugtext/local/library/books/adopiates/chapter1.htm[24-8-2010 14:23:31]

Addiction and Opiates CHAPTER 1 METHOD AND PROBLEM They do not in any way "prove the rule," but on the contrary are completely valid disproofs, even though they are rare; indeed, so long as one single exception is demonstrable. The thesis of general validity permits of no exceptions in the entire realm of the psychic, whether of child or adult, whether in normal or pathological psychology.(4) Writing on the nature of scientific systems, Braithwaite makes the following comment: The one thing upon which everyone agrees is that it (a scientific law] always includes a generalization, i.e., a proposition asserting a universal connexion between properties. It always includes a proposition stating that every event or thing of a certain sort either has a certain property or stands in certain relations to other events or things, having certain properties.(5) The significance of theories formulated in universal form, as emphasized by Lewin, Braithwaite, and many others who have concerned themselves with the logic of science, depends less on their truth than on the functions they perform in guiding the search for evidence, providing guidelines in the analytical process, and providing means for testing theories. A proposition or theory which affirms an invariable or universal connection between events, unlike one which affirms the connection in only some of the instances, lends itself much more readily than the latter to deductive elaboration and hence to falsification by negative evidence. Because it claims much, it is easily disproved if it is in fact false. Once a beginning has been made in the construction of theories of this type there is a built-in guarantee of progressive evolution, since evidence not consistent with the existing. theoretical structure forces changes in the structure, improving and broadening it. The progressive refinement of theory that is brought about by the necessity of taking negative instances seriously regardless of their frequency also makes for a progressively closer articulation of theory with the empirical evidence generated by research. Another important function of theory couched in the universal form is that it directs research efforts to the problematic areas in which its validity may be in doubt. Because the verification of a scientific theory consists primarily in the failure to prove that it is wrong, it is most effectively tested by the close examination of precisely those areas in which it seems the weakest or of the instances which appear to contradict it. This is why, in the advanced sciences, investigators do not simply go on replicating endlessly the experiments on which the established theories are based. Instead, new logical implications of the currently accepted scheme are traced into new areas where They are confronted by new evidence and tested by new techniques. Writing of a method which he called " analytic induction," Znaniecki said: The only reason for the existence of this method (analytic induction) is, as we have seen, the impossibility of arriving by enumerative induction at judgments of the type "All S are P," or rather "if p then 2." Whenever such judgments can be formulated, the use of the statistical method is precluded. Now everybody knows that in physical and biological sciences there are innumerable judgments bearing upon empirical reality which have this form. Every botanist or zoologist in describing a species means to characterize all the living beings of this species; every physicist or chemist in formulating a law claims that the law is applicable to all the processes of a certain kind. Does this mean that the reality with which the botanist or the physicist is dealing is so uniform empirically that no exceptions, no deviations from the type can ever be observed.? Of course not; the botanist or the physicist well knows that cases may be discovered which will contradict his generalization, But he is not afraid of them. He is ready to grant any exception as raising a problem and thus stimulating new research. The research may enlarge and confirm his theory by helping to discover a new species or a new law definitely connected with his previous generalization-which will mean that the exception was only apparent. Or further research may invalidate his former generalization and force him to reach wider and deeper in creating a new and more efficient theory.(6) It should be observed that Znaniecki neither invented this method nor was he by any means the first to describe it. The distinction between enumerative and analytical induction is derived from one of the oldest and thorniest problems in the logic of induction and is made by numerous writers, including for example, John A Keynes, who grappled with it using the terms "pure induction" and "induction by analogy." The distinction arises from the fact that some of the relatively secure conclusions of science have been derived from the examination of very few instances, as for example, from a few repetitions of a crucial experiment or even from one such experiment. On the other hand, highly file:///I|/drugtext/local/library/books/adopiates/chapter1.htm[24-8-2010 14:23:31]

Opioid Addiction
PRESCRIPTION ADDICTION