Years of hard work, strength and optimism, have helped us reach the 32nd issue of EXARTISEIS. A journal that, since 2002 has been hosting, translations of the most reliable studies from around the world, in collaboration with the international journal ADDICTION. Equally important is the contribution of Greek scientists who work for years as therapists, trainers, researchers and are in direct contact with people seeking treatment and support in order to address, not just their addictions but mental pain and loneliness, as well.
Mental pain cannot be treated with drugs, substitutes and “magic pills”. Its roots go deep, and are linked with the accumulated traumas in the souls of children who become adults without being able to find Winnicott’s holding environment to help them become autonomous and emancipated individuals free from any type of dependency. These concepts are not new: from John Bowlby’s theories on the importance of ‘emotional bonding’ to Freire’s ‘internalized oppression’, they still remain central for those working with people, with the human nature and the meaning of life itself. Of course, they remain unknown for those who limit the problem of addiction, based on distorted social and epistemological assumptions, according to Mezirow, as an exclusively medical issue where the body is cut off of the soul, and addiction is only treated medicinally as if this is the only ‘treatment solution’. Ignorance of the deeper causes of addiction, based on distorted social, political, economic, and epistemological assumptions, perpetuates the vicious cycle, attributing magical properties to legitimate pharmaceuticals in the same way that at the beginning of use some people seek to alleviate mental pain via ‘magic substances’.
In the current issue, we focus once again on the problems that according to addiction research are related to: childhood abuse, incarceration, and the consequences of the financial crisis. The answers have never been easy. Only by understanding people’s personal narrations and by revealing their experiences, what they have gone through, and understanding their struggles for a drug free life, and social rehabilitation, do we hope to be able to come closer to the real needs and paths that lead to self-sufficiency, autonomy and emancipation.