Beat Drug Addiction
Beating Drug Addiction
“How can I beat
drug addiction?” It’s asked of this web
site and all the other addiction web sites every day. There are countless answers, but for the sake
of this article let us focus on one specific fact—we are all body, mind and
spirit. This is an important topic
because in order to beat drug addiction one must deal with all three areas.
The “body” area
is the most obvious one to begin our discussion, because the physical effects
of drug addiction are so clearly evidenced.
It may be a slow deterioration of a person’s overall physical state of
health, or something striking like the gaunt, zombie-like look of a
It could be the puffy eyes of an alcoholic, or the constant
runny nose of a cocaine addict. Over
time, the drug of choice for any addict is going to wear away at the body,
causing damage to the respiratory system, or the heart, or to other internal
organs such as the liver and kidneys.
A disease of the
The second area
of concern is the mind. Addiction is a
brain disease and drugs impact our ability to function and reason. To beat drug addiction you need to fully understand this. Drugs alter brain chemistry, alter neuro
pathways and cause dramatic changes to our whole thought process. The brain is tricked into thinking it needs
the drug to function.
Even if an addict/alcoholic knows they are doing harm to
themselves, they will use their drug of choice, because they are compelled to
use it. They can’t reason their way into
stopping, they can’t think through the entire issue to make a wise
decision. Bad choices are the hallmark
of the addict, who will choose the drug rather than treatment.
They will deny any problem, even though everyone else in the
room knows they are an addict. They will
get angry at the mere mention of treatment, because everyone else has the
problem, not them. They have to learn
new ways of thinking, without the drug, and be able to make a good choice
rather than going to the old default and using.
The spirit MUST be addressed to beat drug addiction!
The third and
most overlooked area is the spirit. This
is not religion, although religion can be a component of a person’s
spirituality. Spirituality is what
separates us from the rest of God’s creation, as it is what gives us a
connection to the world around us and the universe we live in.
The Bible (Genesis 1:26) states that we were created in the
image of God, that is the spiritual image of God. I share this because the three major religions
of the world Judaism, Christianity and Islam, all agree on this fact.
Our humanity is based on our spirituality, which is
important because drug addiction strips us of that humanity. As they slip further into addiction, people
do things they never dreamed of doing, like robbing money from their children
to buy drugs, or stealing and hocking their mother’s wedding ring to get the
drugs they crave. People with throw away
their family relationships, lose custody of their children, and go to jail
because they must get high.
the Alcoholics Anonymous “Big Book” says about addiction. You can substitute your drug of choice for
alcohol, as it all applies. It states on
“If, when you honestly
want to, you find you cannot quit entirely, or when drinking, you have little
control over the amount you take, you are probably an alcoholic. If that be the case, you may be suffering
from an illness which only a spiritual experience will conquer.”
experience; it does not say theological revelation, religious conversion or
membership in a church or synagogue.
Some fight the idea
facilitated group discussions in treatment centers and in so many cases there
was always that one person who bristled at the thought of spirituality as a
major component in the recovery process.
Sitting with arms folded, he/she dared me to convince them
that they were spiritual. I always
appreciated their candor in these discussions, but more often than not, once
they immersed themselves into the treatment program and allowed a recovery
lifestyle to formulate, they embraced their spirituality.
For those who did not, it was most often due to relapse, or
an outright refusal to accept that they were spiritual beings. Alcoholics
Anonymous discovered very early that the self-discovery of the 12 Step process
produced a spiritual awakening, but it makes no mention of denomination or
faith group. Spirituality is universal.
A pill won’t work
that there is no cure for drug addiction or alcoholism. You can’t beat drug
addiction by taking a pill. There are
medications that will help addicts through the withdrawal process, and there
are drugs designs to help cravings, and drugs that help to wean the addict off
his/her drug of choice, but none will cure addiction.
Of course, people will claim that you need willpower to quit. The problem is they can’t just quit. “Joe Herzanek’s book, “Why don’t they just
quit?” explains why mere will is not enough.
Our American culture calls for us to be rugged individualists, who by
the power of our will, shall pull ourselves up by our boot straps and overcome
The trouble is, with addiction, it doesn’t work. Addiction is a family disease and requires a
family solution. People need help.
Because it is a spiritual disease, our spirit needs to be healed.
Spirituality verses Religion
spirituality and religion are different, there are many faith-based programs
that are effective. Teen Challenge comes
to mind, as does Celebrate Recovery.
Both of these Christian programs are outstanding and have been
All addicts are
unique and require personalized care.
Because of that one size does not fit all and treatment programs must be
designed to meet individual needs. The best way to beat drug addiction is to
enter into a treatment program and stick with it.
Relapse is a part of
the disease and a part of treatment, but it is necessary to keep
trying. You are body, mind and spirit
and when all three areas are addressed, people do recover and live healthy, happy
Other Addiction Resources
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Don’t miss the Spiritual and 12-step sections to fully explore how understanding THE SPIRIT can lead to recovery!
and Finally Remember:
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”
– Matthew 7:7-8
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