TNG – S01E21: Symbiosis

A freighter is about to crash. The enterprise tries to rescue them but they beam over their cargo first and then themselves. What can be more important than their own lives?

It turns out this episode is about drugs and takes a look at two planets – one creating and providing drugs while the other planet provides all other goods. An odd situation in history where the medicine was needed, but its side-effect was an addiction to the medicine.

Wesley does not understand drugs so Tasha explains it to him – and it is a really heartfelt explanation. Does not put the blame on the drug user, just explains the overall circumstances that could push a person to use drugs.

In the end, the enterprise is bound by the prime directive and cannot interfere, but it also does not need to help. The drug-using planet will have to go cold turkey. While it is unclear if this can break the addiction… there is hope that things will get better.

It is a wonderful choice not to preach that drugs are bad, but highlights that unhealthy social structures can form and be enforced through society. There is no simple solution to fix it, the structures must break over time, there is no quick fix when you are addicted to drugs.

Exercise of the day

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