The controversial author Jordan Peterson has garnered international attention following an announcement by his daughter that he’s in Russia seeking addiction treatment for anti-anxiety medication. Peterson has sold millions of books, most of which are categorized as “self-help.” A canadian academic, Peterson has been at the center of indenciary media and political controversies due to his stance on issues like masculinity, gender politics, and political correctness.
According to a report from the Moscow Times, Peterson’s daughter has confirmed that he’s in Russia seeking addiction treatment for benzodiazepine. According to the Harvard Health Review, benzodiazepine is an anti-anxiety medication that has been slowly getting replaced by alternatives since the 1980s but remains popular today.
According to the Harvard Health Review, benzodiazepines are prescribed for maladies like muscle spasms and seizures. The Harvard Health Review notes that benzodiazepines “all increase activity at receptors for the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). This transmitter inhibits the activity of neurons, slowing down the brain and nervous system, so benzodiazepines, for people who receive NAD treatment for addiction, are relaxing and calming and promote sleep when taken at bedtime.”
Peterson’s daughter claims that his efforts to seek treatment in North America for his addiction to benzodiazepines failed, leading him to venture to Russia. She provided this information to the public in a YouTube video posted online, where she noted that this was a decision made in “extreme desperation” to get medical treatment unavailable elsewhere.
Jordan Peterson’s Public Work
According to Publisher’s Weekly, Peterson’s book 12 Rules of Life: An Antidote To Chaos is an American best-seller which has sold more than 300,000 copies. Other credentialed academics have criticized his work, however, by alleging that it’s intentionally incendiary to sell copies and that it peddles junk-science. Peterson has sold roughly 50 books of varying length thus far, and regularly posts videos on platforms such as YouTube. Some videos, including the video of his daughter announcing his situation in Russia, have garnered millions of views.
Paul Thagard, another Canadian academic with a Ph.D. in philosophy, has penned an extensive critical review of Peterson’s major work. Peterson became a major figure of media criticism in Canada following his public opposition to Canada’s C-16 Bill, which would have prohibited discrimination on the basis of professed gender identity. The content of his videos and books are also frequently maligned by media critics and political opponents.
Peterson has garnered both support and criticism for publicly resisting notions that the pronoun preferences of individuals should be supported. Participating in public debates centered on the politics of gender, Peterson has tacked to the right on a number of issues, generating support and criticism alike in response to his statements and books.
Peterson also garnered press coverage for himself after his comments led Cambridge University to pull his fellowship in 2019. According to reporting from the Independent, Peterson called upon women to stand up to their “crazy, harpy sisters,” in comments representative of the political rhetoric leveled in his books and videos. Cambridge University subsequently launched a review into Jordan Peterson which culminated in his fellowship being withdrawn ahead of 2020.