The world of the addicted person
Drug addiction undermines intentional consciousness. Whereas in normal conditions we have a fluid intentionality and our common sense is the obviously pre-reflexive result of this situation, under the influence of a drug intoxication we lose this intentional stability and, as a consequence, suffer from a kind of intentional instability, which we can identify with the term floating world. This floating world is characterized by splitting, vibration and a multiplication of images which can be both sequential or overlapping. On the other hand, following chronic drug assumption, we have a sort of an intentional dramatic capture or seizure of the world, which we can call frozen world. The lived time, space, body and other existential parameters differ enormously in these two contrasting ways of being. For example, there exists a violent twilight state of consciousness in patients who are suffering from the effects of drugs and are, consequently, in the situation of a floating world. Their lived body has become disjointed. Their senses have started to become something like a wild kaleidoscopic. The lived space is haemorrhagic and the perception is of a loss of space, of being nowhere. There is a contrast between the cold space of substance suffering which can be defined with the word “absence”, and the hot space of substance enjoying which can be defined with the word “presence”, and with the vanishing space under substance effect . Lived time is liquid and indefinite. There is no present, no past, no future. Having lost the connection of interior time all the drug addict has left is the transient moment of satisfaction. However, as soon as the drug addict achieves a moment of pleasure it suddenly vanishes and he is condemned to impulsive and compulsive repetition. When the patient experiences craving, both past and future have been lost. The past is reduced exclusively to “the last time in which I have taken drugs”. The patient’s existence is centred around where the pusher is - the exact square, the road, the underpass. When the patient experiences highness, he feels so absorbed in the present that he is no longer able to see the future. Not experiencing the past and having lost touch with the future the patient ends up being unable to grasp the present. “The addict is trapped in this repetition with no chance of moving forward”. (V.von Gebsattel,1957). The instantaneity , the pure instant is the "hole" between the last dose and the next one: the liquid instant of "high" rules. The moment of altered consciousness and the time of the depthless instant dominate everything else. Thus, the patient is trapped in a sort of circular liquidity of lived time, and suffers the pure illusion of linear movement. Everything is manipulated and everyone is reduced to just being an obstacle in the way of the addicts only remaining relationship - with the drugs he takes. On the other hand, following chronic intoxication, the patients’ consciousness becomes viscous, and the lived body is blocked - now he finds himself in the state we call the frozen world. The body is modified on a neurobiological level by a chemical graft which inserts a relevant new artificial element into the lived body. The object body (Koerper) is the vehicle of powerful substances which can successfully alter all sensations and perceptions, and the whole world experience, reducing the addict’s self into nothing more than a denatured, mineralized body (Koerper-ding). His intentionality is coagulated, time is insular and has been reduced to a pure frozen present without past and without future until the complete loss of the passing of time is experienced - others have become unattainable objects which are lifeless, like unattainable distant snow-men. Tragically these patients become mere bystanders to their own existence. In order to feel themselves still alive they need more substances. The crisis of the temporal-spatial vortex eventually and inevitably leads to the blow of the void (le coup de vide): the experience of unreality or no self experience. The total collapse of the world is the common final destination/ result of the breaking down of the temporal and spatial structure of “being-there”(“Da-sein”). Being-in-nothingness becomes the typical state of addicts in the frozen condition. In this case, the frozen condition has become a sort of terminal point in the existence of addicts.