Addiction is a chronic, recurring condition defined by compulsive behavior, such as the persistent seeking and use of alcohol in the case of alcoholism, despite the negative repercussions. In my work, TANGLED DARKNESS, addiction is a prevalent theme, with various characters grappling with different forms of addiction, including pathological gambling, severe opiate use disorder, alcoholism, workaholism, and an insatiable desire for power.

Alongside addiction, corruption is another significant theme in the narrative, embodying the saying that ‘absolute power corrupts absolutely.’ [A quote by Lord Acton.] Corruption, defined as the act of moral degradation or the state of being morally compromised, is a fitting description for the central antagonist in TANGLED DARKNESS. This character, laden with immorality, perversion, and dishonesty, exemplifies the decay that corruption brings to the human soul.

As I wrote TANGLED DARKNESS, a connection between addiction and corruption emerged. Nowadays, it’s virtually impossible to ignore the frequent reports of corruption in the news, as well as the escalating incidence of alcohol and substance use disorders, and other addictive behaviors. As I delved deeper into the narrative, addiction and corruption appeared to be not only related but deeply entwined. The dishonesty characteristic of addictive disorders mirrors the deceit inherent in corruption. The antagonist in the manuscript, intoxicated with power, epitomizes this link.

Their addiction to power and control leads them to partake in corrupt activities. The victories they achieve through their nefarious schemes further inflame their hunger for power, regardless of the consequences, such as fractured relationships and loss of respect among peers.

However, the antagonist isn’t the only character in TANGLED DARKNESS battling addiction and corruption. The entire group involved in the antagonist’s scheme is poisoned with a lethal cocktail of greed, desperation for acceptance, and disregard for ethical conduct. Those who refused to compromise their principles were deemed weak or disloyal.

As I continued to write, I realized that addiction and corruption were not just themes in the story but also reflections of broader societal issues. The relentless push for success, the exaltation of wealth and power, and the normalization of substance abuse all contribute to a culture ripe for addiction and corruption.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than a million people have died from drug overdoses since 1999. Over 75% of drug overdose deaths in 2021 involved an opioid, with the death rate increasing by 14% from 2020 to 2021.

The 2021 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reveals that of the 133.3 million current alcohol users aged twelve or older in the US, 60 million, or 45.1%, were past month binge drinkers. In 2021, 25.6% of young adults aged 18 to 25 were diagnosed with Substance Use Disorder, approximately one in four. For adults aged 26 and older, the rate was 17.2%, which is between one in five or six adults. 

These alarming statistics underscore the alarming state of substance abuse in the USA.

As a writer and aspiring author, I perceive it as my duty to spotlight these issues and delve into the intricate interconnections between them. Although TANGLED DARKNESS is a work of fiction, it reflects our reality and compels us to confront the uncomfortable truths we often choose to ignore.


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