The cartoon head gapes an open mouthed grin while sporting a large white tablet atop his cherubic head. Captioning the character, who is designated "Speedy", read the words -"Relief is just a swallow away." The tang of irony tastes bitterly metallic to one grown accustomed, and accustomed to groan at the burden of addiction.
The inability to regulate one's emotions without the use of chemical agents signifies more than just inexperience or innocent ignorance; it becomes indicative of an endangered individual. For some, organic causes indicate biochemical alterations; without which, the means to a healthy and productive life are elusive, if not most improbable.
For others, the use of such agents result in a pattern of maladaptive behavior which renders a worthwhile existence nearly impossible, and threatens those with which they interact.
Forces remain, however, that reinforce such self destructive habits; whether they consist of a lust for personal profit, or a need to foster a vulnerability to manipulation, the impetus towards cultivating pharmaceutical dependencies carves a swath of carnage across the body of society.
By limiting the analysis of this problem to that of the individual and their personal responsibility, one risks overlooking the benefits others may derive from such actions, and hinder the development of effective solutions. It is never a simple chain of weakness that binds the chemically dependent to their habit of degeneracy, but an web of interlocking gain and loss the that captures both society and its members in a sticky grip.
Relief is forever fleeting, no matter the number of gulps; hawking debasement remains a constant that the community should find increasingly difficult to swallow.