Originally Posted by ghost of ireland past
I haven't fully made up my mind on him but my first impression is that he's a charalatan.
Never heard of him before, looked up wikipedia and yep, he's a con man.
He's a journalist with little more than anecdotal experience on the topic of drugs, and a history of writing bull**** and running away when called out on it.
Johann's thesis appears to be that drugs are not addictive, and that people only become addicted due to despair. There is some truth to this but it is a trite observation. In other words, his observation is obvious and not of very much importance.
The observation might be obvious, but it's also wrong. While there is often a strong correlation between people with mental illness or depression and drug-taking, it's not a causative factor. That is, you don't have to be "in despair" to take or become addicted to anything.
The trope of the addict using drugs to "hide from his problems" is popular, but it's not universal. Plenty of addicts will recall having no real problems in their lives until they became addicted. From there is can become a downward spiral (though it doesn't always), and while the drugs become a crutch, the original addiction is just something that happened.
If that is his message, it's kind of dangerous. Because not only does it tell people that they're grand to take drugs if they're in a good place mentally, it also tells addicts that their problem is not the addiction and if they work on other things, the addiction will go away. For many (most?) addicts, addiction is their only real problem, everything else stems from it.