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Addiction Treatment and The Power of Mortality

By: Carol Morriscey

With the rise of apps like 'We Croak', a heightened awareness of mortality is becoming mainstream—and it could play an important role in addiction treatment!If we remembered that we are mortal, and our lives will eventually end, would we live happier lives? Would we make more of each day? Taking happiness and good fortune as it comes, instead of always hoping for more? Some seem to think so. An adage from Bhutanese culture advises thinking about death five times a day. This recognition of the human condition allows us to be prepared for the moment of our own death, and ironically, facilitates joy and happiness along the way. This phenomena seemingly results from the awareness of death leading us to seize the moment.

Thinking about death on a regular basis is becoming more common. But remembering to think about it for as many as 5 minutes a day can be a challenge. An app called “We Croak” is attempting to address this very issue. By sending 5 daily reminders of our mortality, through a combination of earnest and uplifting quotes and phrases.

treatment. Often, those struggling with addiction are aware of the risks of drug use, but do not personalize them. They may imagine these negative outcomes happening for others, but not to themselves. However, if they become more aware of their mortality, sobriety may become a higher priority. Recognizing the risk of mortality and the possibilities of addiction empowers the individual to seize the moment, taking control of their life and eschewing the thoughts of “this could never happen to me”. Further, it will facilitate a greater appreciation of the opportunity to turn their life around with addiction treatment—an opportunity many drug users have not been afforded. Therefore, a clear understanding of mortality is an important tool in addiction treatment, providing realistic understanding of life and death, while inspiring action to make the most of each day.

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