Addiction Soul Care: A Disease of the Soul For years people have been trying to gain an understanding of exactly what alcoholism and drug addiction are all about. That sounds like an elementary question, but the research, as vast as it is, hasn’t uncovered a cure, nor has it fully explained the nature of the affliction that has devastated millions of people. You can follow a disease model and try to document the progress of the condition, but how to arrest its development is somewhat of a mystery to us because we are all so different. There are too many questions. What if alcoholism and drug addiction were diseases that start out as diseases of the brain, just as the science has shown, but as the disease progresses it takes on a spiritual component and also becomes a disease of the human soul? There are many who would argue that bringing in the spiritual is pure folly, as you cannot observe the soul and the mere mention of spiritual will almost certainly morph into an argument on religious beliefs. The medical community recognizes that people are body, mind and spirit, yet outside of institutions having a chaplain on staff, usually to facilitate the ritualistic needs of patients, such as prayer and blessing, not a great deal is done for the human soul because you can’t treat it medically. The human soul is soothed with a connection to the transcendent, or with the teachings of a particular religious sect, but the very notion of the soul is a mystery to us. We say “He is a kind soul,” or in times of distress we shout, “Save our souls,” but that’s just a figure of speech. Other InformationSearching for Answers If you have landed on this page it is because you’re searching for answers, either for yourself or for someone you love. Something has gone wrong. We wonder how things got out of control and what can be done to make things right again. If we suffer from the disease of addiction, we want to know how to get well, or if we are a friend or family member we want to know how to help. We’ll try to help, or at the very least, help you to ask the right questions. You want to know what causes drug addiction. The theories on that are varied and abundant, and while they all offer food for thought, none really explains why it happens. Bottom line– we really don’t know what causes drug addiction. That isn’t a cop out, but an acknowledgement that research gives us an explanation of what happens, but not necessarily why. We can gather information and make predictions on the likelihood that someone will potentially become an addict, but it isn’t conclusive. You really have to look at everything on the table to try and get your hands around it. Don’t misunderstand, the research is important and we applaud the effort. Researchers are learning more every day and the writers and editors of this site are convinced that answers are forthcoming, but we just don’t have the complete picture now. For example, the DSM-IV (the standard diagnostic reference used by mental health experts) avoids causation issues entirely and we are awaiting the publication of DSM-V later this year or early next year. We only have ideas on why. The research is fascinating, but every time a question is answered, another question arises.Body, Mind and Spirit We are all body, mind and spirit. All three have to be considered to truly understand the human experience and how addiction claims its victims. Many writers and researchers prefer to use the disease model to explain drug addiction. It’s an excellent place to start, because there is ample research on neuro receptors in the brain and how certain drugs affect those receptors. It explains that some people will be pre-disposed to the disease of addiction due to genetic factors. If your father was an alcoholic, you are likely to become an alcoholic, or if your family is of a certain ethic origin you’ll be more likely than others to fall into addiction. The mind is certainly a mysterious place, as we are all unique and have an amazing complexity. Our emotional and psychological makeup will play a part in the drugs we chose to use and the relationship that develops with those drugs. Faith-based ViewThe least popular and often vilified theory for why people become addicted can be found in the Christian worldview and in the views of many world religions. The idea that we have a free will, and that we make bad choices and have to take responsibility for those choices is extremely unpopular, because it doesn’t allow for a quick fix with no consequences. What is the soul? What is the soul? There are two meanings for the word soul in Judeo-Christian scripture. The first meaning for soul is that which gives the human or animal body life. In the New Testament the Greek word for soul, “psuche,” is translated “life.” The second meaning for soul is probably more like the way we will use the word in this web site. Soul is the inner life of a man or woman, their emotions, the personality. The Book of Genesis’ account of creation talks about God breathing life into the man he created, giving the body life, and he “became a living soul.” The Hebrew word is “nepesh,” and it implies more than physical life, it suggests being made in the image of God, set apart from the animals. Human beings are interesting because of their complexity and each is unique. The soul becomes an important focus in a person’s relationship with the transcendent and we would argue an important focus in his/her recovery from a substance use disorder. Everyone is different, but we all have a soul. There are many religions, but we all have our own set of beliefs. When the 12 Steps were created, there was no religion attached to them, just “God, as we understood him.” The 12 Steps also incorporates the major psychological models, so the mind and the spirit are a focus, not just the body. Body, mind and soul are inseparable and so each must have its due. In his book, “The Road Less Traveled,” psychiatrist Dr. M. Scott Peck examines the human condition and mental health issue like addiction in terms of four areas –
Peck makes no distinction between the mind and the spirit and often talks of caring for our soul. He challenges the concept that body, mind and spirit are separate and distinct but rather all integrated together. This concept opens doors in terms of examining these four areas and our own part in addiction and recovery. He contends that we must balance Discipline, Love, Growth and Grace to overcome our addictions. We at Drug-Addiction-Support.org offer information and links to information to try to help your search for answers. We believe that alcohol and drug addiction are complex and involve all of the above…body, mind and spirit. Drug and Alcohol Addiction are diseases of the brain and become a disease of the SOUL! Drug addiction turns into a disease of the soul. We have “lost control” and substance abuse has taken control of our lives. How can you explain the change in behavior that takes a bright, well-educated, ambitious, engaging person and transforms them into a heartless, self-centered liar that steals from his/her own family, abandons their spouse and children, and willfully chooses the road to death rather than z happy and fulfilling life? Addiction poisons the very soul of a person and turns them into an unreasoning animal. Because addiction is a spiritual disease, if you are going to be healed, your soul must be healed. That’s what the 12 step process tries to help you do, heal your soul. You can try to overcome addiction on your own, like pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps, and some people might be able to do it, but most can’t. Healing our soul is offered as a gift from a “power greater than ourselves.” People in recovery from addiction will tell you that one drink, or one hit is too many and a whole ocean-full of drinks, or even the most potent drug isn’t enough. Addiction does not have to be the winner, but addicts need the tools to access strength and support. You have to be honest with yourself and realistic about the problem. Addicts must realize that they can’t use drugs and they can’t take a drink because the consequences are serious at a minimum, and too often deadly. There is hope! Our Recommendations for Everyone! Regardless of what theory of addiction you choose to embrace, our recommendation is that you take the following steps if you believe you or your loved one is addicted to drugs and/or alcohol: Where to Start!– Have a complete medical examination to assess overall health – Go to detoxification and treatment, as recommended by an addiction professional- Go to meetings with AA or NA or another 12 Step based group – Family members and loved ones should go to Al-anon meetings – Explore and nurture your spirituality… your faith… your soul For more about Addiction Soul Care visit our home page.
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Read these five pages and learn what you need to know to spot Addiction to Drugs in: Yourself… Your Family… Your Friends… Your Community…The rest of the pages are there for your reference to explain important topics in more detail.
Finally don’t miss the Spiritual and 12-step sections to fully explore how understanding THE SPIRIT can lead to recovery! Bookmark & Share