Vol 12 No 1 (2020)

Addiction: Imprisoned Emancipation

Wycliff Arie Matanda
Former Athabasca University student (2016)
Published June 23, 2020


Addiction is a biopsychosocial condition, unveiling itself as a by-product of personal and social adversities set against a backdrop of Western consumerism. Addiction is an oxymoron--a compound of emancipation, yet, also an ostensibly sempiternal imprisonment. Addiction is a means of liberation from a fragmented personal and social identity intertwined with a deep-rooted socio-cultural malaise. Within the deceivingly liberating confines of addiction, individuals seek to reconstruct their own structure and order. Simultaneously, addiction becomes a prison cell as the fleeting moments of liberation is a guise and soon make way for an unpleasant, and inescapable milieu of emotional pain and enduring emptiness. As we cling to the devoid virtues of Western life and consumerism (e.g. wealth and power)--mere substitutes for a meaningful, constructive existence--we are doomed to fall into a continuous emancipation-imprisonment cycle.