Sunday, July 5, 2015

The Real Cause of Addiction.

And It's Really Not What You Think...


I felt I needed to write about this article going around,

The Real Cause of Addiction, AND It's Not What You Think :

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/johann-hari/the-real-cause-of-addicti_b_6506936.html
(***Warning: Be careful of the thumbnail articles on the right hand side of the article. Sometimes they are risky)




I am a drug, alcohol and sex addict and have been in Sober Recovery for 7 years.

Yes most of what this article is saying is true. Its not a new concept that addiction is caused and fueled by disconnecting debilitating negative beliefs. This is exactly what Andrew Pippanne explains in the ABC's of Addiction on http://rowboatandmarbles.org/abcs-of-porn-addiction

A) Debilitating Negative Beliefs, which causes > B) Lust, obsession, preoccupation, isolation, yellow light behavior, entertaining ideas, detachment etc., which leads to > C) Acting out.

Every addiction is caused and fueled by debilitating negative beliefs. And where did those negative beliefs come from? They came from some type of past traumatizing/scary/stressful event or events which made us not feel attached/connected to our loved ones, and left us in fear. Abuse, sexual abuse, mental abuse, bullying, neglect, accidents, addict parent, over controlling strict parents, extreme shame, early pornography exposure, death of a loved one etc etc , basically any those things can cause someone to feel not connected/attached, aka not "SAFE".

This article makes it seem like this is a "new" concept. Haha there's a reason why addiction is referred to as "self medicating".


Here are a few things I did NOT agree with though :



1.
"So if the old theory of addiction is right -- it's the drugs that cause it; they make your body need them -- then it's obvious what should happen. Loads of people should leave the hospital and try to score smack on the streets to meet their habit. 
But here's the strange thing: It virtually never happens. As the Canadian doctor Gabor Mate was the first to explain to me, medical users just stop, despite months of use." 

OK that's funny..... and also the biggest lie in the world ;) People in legit pain become addicted ALL THE TIME haha. Its how a lot of painkiller addiction starts. Of course, someone without major debilitating negative beliefs will be at less risk of becoming emotionally addicted, but people can become physically addicted to a substance, and even go through withdrawals, without being emotionally addicted yet....yet.

I've known many people with legit reasons to be on pain killers who start out healthy and great, who later are buying pills on the street or faking illnesses the second the Dr takes them off their meds.

Same with pornography. I've known great great men who were happy with loving families, who had self confidence and self respect, later turn around and become dark and unrecognizable after being accidentally exposed to pornography and quickly becoming addicted, which later developed negative beliefs/disconnection.

I know children who've come from healthy happy loving homes who are accidentally exposed to pornography and are instantly hooked and later develop negative beliefs/disconnection.

No one can say that Addictions Substances don't create addicts because of the simple fact of: Without the Addictive Substance, there would be nothing to become addicted to. No one can say that the Addictive Substance is not also a part of the problem.



2.
"But if drugs aren't the driver of addiction -- if, in fact, it is disconnection that drives addiction -- then this makes no sense." 

It's both. Debilitating Negative beliefs aka Disconnection, AND the Addictive Substance are BOTH the driver. Both. Both. Both.

You can't be physically and emotionally addicted without the "Drug". And physically and emotionally addicted addict's can't have their "drug" without the developed or pre-existing disconnection/negative beliefs that fuel it.

3.
"....Since total decriminalization, addiction has fallen, and injecting drug use is down by 50 percent. I'll repeat that: injecting drug use is down by 50 percent". 

Yea, that's great its down 50%....But what happens to the remaining 50% of drug users who were basically given a free pass to be on drugs while being supported to do so by receiving free housing, free food, etc. Are the remaining 50% MORE doomed to destruction because theyve been enabled? We need to fight drugs AND have programs that reinstate addicts into society by teaching them to connect. Its more efficient to do BOTH.

4.
"We need now to talk about social recovery -- how we all recover, together, from the sickness of isolation that is sinking on us like a thick fog." 

GREAT IDEA!! We should try this! Maybe someone should create social type meetings for this very reason, where we can all recover and heal together.

Oh wait, we already have those. Its called 12 step groups & therapy. ;)






This next quote is by far was the worst thing said. All the other things above would have been no big deal if it weren't for this one paragraph:

5)
"Loving an addict is really hard. When I looked at the addicts I love, it was always tempting to follow the tough love advice doled out by reality shows like Intervention -- tell the addict to shape up, or cut them off. Their message is that an addict who won't stop should be shunned. It's the logic of the drug war, imported into our private lives. But in fact, I learned, that will only deepen their addiction -- and you may lose them altogether. I came home determined to tie the addicts in my life closer to me than ever -- to let them know I love them unconditionally, whether they stop, or whether they can't."

So should we just love the addict MORE and continue to let them wreak havoc in our lives while they put us, and our kids, in great danger? Who here hasn't already burned themselves to the ground trying to love and support their addict?

Yes, addicts need unconditional love, we all do, but unconditional love does NOT = "No Boundaries". Nor does it mean that we should let them walk all over us while we tolerate their crap. Unconditional love does not mean we put their oxygen mask on before our own. In fact, this is the opposite of unconditional love. (Heck, the drama triangle would even call this selfishness.)

We can't love ANYONE if we are passed out.

Enabling is dangerous for an addict and extremely dangerous for the enabl-er. Addict's NEED consequences just as much as they need love. This is what God does with us. He loves us unconditionally, but even He has boundaries.


Also, the author of the article made the TV show Intervention sound like they shunned and shamed addicts. Intervention NEVER shuns or shame's. They simply teach families how to have healthy Boundaries, (e.g.  "I love you. For my safety, I can no longer tolerate any abuse, lying, manipulation etc etc. If you do not get help, I can no longer be a part of your life"). Then the show pays for the addict to get treatment and tons of therapy, AND also helps the family members receive therapy.

Would you consider that a bad thing?





Overall this article made it seem like the driver of addiction can only be one or the other: Addictive Substance OR Detachment.

But it's both. Addictive Substance and Detachment go hand in hand. Its both. Why WOULDN'T it be both? Neither idea contradict each other, instead they support and feed each other.

Again, you can't be physically and emotionally addicted without the "drug". And physically and emotionally addicted addict's can't have their "drug" without the developed or pre-existing disconnection/negative beliefs that fuel it.

Unconditional Love alone will not help an addict get into Sober Recovery. Recovery from addiction is more like a recipe. You take out one of the necessity ingredients and it just won't turn out the same. But If an addict is not willing to be honest and is not willing do whatever it takes to get better, they will never get into Sober Recovery.

Even with all the unconditional love in the world.



6 comments:

  1. Amen! Thank you SO much for sharing this. I love your perspective and really appreciate your willingness to share.

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  2. Excellent , great writing . Thank you . Very balanced perspective . Appreciate that unconditional love alone will never cut it . Actually makes it worse sometimes .Wish you could send THIS to huffington post !

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  3. Excellent , great writing . Thank you . Very balanced perspective . Appreciate that unconditional love alone will never cut it . Actually makes it worse sometimes .Wish you could send THIS to huffington post !

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  4. Watch his video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XV_W9p2nRU

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  5. I couldn't agree with you more. While every addiction is different, the root has always been some sort of negative beliefs. It's frustrating when a 'professional' tries to release 'new' information that really has been known by professionals in the mental health field and field of addiction for many years. Maybe self medication would not take place if people were more accepting and there was better assistance available.

    Johnnie Smith @ Ranch Creek Recovery

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  6. Congratulations on your recovery! Overcoming an addiction is very hard and stressful. I definitely agree that there is a misconception about people who are addicts. People who suffer from addictions need unconditional love and support from friends and family. Thanks for sharing you opinion and keep up the good work!

    ReplyDelete