Publication Date
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Dalgarno Institute
Original Language



Dreaming Up or Dreaming Off: Re-engaging the Keys for Sound Personhood in the AOD Context.


Personhood is a profound and complex mix of Agency, Capacity, Personality, Knowledge and Experience. However, there are many factors and elements that mold and craft that personhood for better or the worse. We posit, as a rule, that every individual on the planet starts life as a ‘Wheelbarrow’. Wheelbarrows are empty and powerless vessels, that are invariably filled by someone/something else and pushed by someone/something else 1 for the first stages of our developmental journey – essentially from birth to puberty. Even at the onset of puberty and the ‘differentiating’ process it enacts, what has gone before, may still assiduously inform agency and capacity either directly by surrender to, or, reacting against – the catalyst for these responses is still driving behaviour. 2

The ‘Dream’ of the fully actualized human unit is more to do with process than projection. Substance use does not add anthropological sound value at any stage, rather it detracts and/or diminishes from that visualization of a better future, not a chemically induced and sensate manipulating visual noise with no destination that one may, or may not which to replicate.

Determinants of this actualization must include an understanding of what may be best practice for, not only the biological unit, but the psyche within. Without a fundamental understanding of what a physically, mentally, psychologically, spiritually, and socially healthy human is, then arbitrary and subjective factors can determine conduct and its subsequent outcomes. 3 In an era of hyper-stimulation of every sense and even expectation, when mixed with any sense of entitlement in the ‘Dream Space’, many other fundamentals for well-being are neglected or even jettisoned. Boundaries and the core elements that help us set and maintain them, are often sabotaged, and any ongoing disappointment that may be experienced in this now unrealistic arena, only fuel the ‘felt need’ of pleasure, fun, satisfaction, or simply respite.4

In equipping a community’s resilience, they need to have all elements for sound well-being in the ‘dream scape’ of the human experience. Only then will this lead toward the actualization of the authentic psychotropic toxin free human-being. 5

The panel will look at some of these key elements over three presentations, that will clearly not ‘answer all’, but it is envisaged, lead to a more measured discussion about what the pursuit of long-lost keys and the rebuilding of the significance and influence that is the key to every human ‘dream’ looks like, all without substance use.  

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