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Case by Case: Approaching the Subject of Drug Abuse in Times of Over-Consumption

The Letter, Issue 54, Autumn 2013, Pages 74 - 81


Gustavo Cetlin

The article argues that once nurtured by language, the human subject is removed from the condition of a natural existence where every instinct is matched to an external object; instead he is driven to pursue the lost object where satisfaction is rather a path than a fact Taking drug addiction as paradigmatic of modern illness, the author describes how the suffering and decay involving consumption pathologies are related tothe attempt to return to a natural state, non-dependent on language and desire, where objects of reality would be sufficient to silence the drive. However, by doing so it reinforces the constancy principle, later related in Freudian theory to the death drive, leading to the worst developments. In conclusion, basic directions for treating these patients are offered taken from the experience of the clinical practice of the ‘Centro Mineiro de Toxicomania’, a public health Centre in Brazil for patients with alcohol and drug abuseproblems and supported by a psychoanalytic orientation.

Keywords: consumption, modern pathologies, psychoanalysis, drug addiction, treatment, Centro Mineiro de Toxicomania.

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