Addictions have begun to run rampant in the world today more so than ever in the past.
Even the use of the word “addiction”, according to Google Books, has increased in use over 650% since 1920. And there are many avenues of theory about the cause and “cure” of addictions. We offer an acknowledgement of these theories, but choose to bypass the jargon to focus on the most important point – Overcoming Addiction Now.
The false belief of “… I can do it myself” in truth says “I don’t want to give up my addiction.”
Do medical diagnosis help or destroy the ability to overcome? Let us review a few of the many definitions or explanations of the blame assigned to addiction.
According to American Society of Addiction Medicine, the definition of addiction is: “Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors.” (https://www.asam.org/)
American Psychiatric Association says: “Addiction is a complex condition, a brain disease that is manifested by compulsive substance use despite harmful consequence. People with addiction (severe substance use disorder) have an intense focus on using a certain substance(s), such as alcohol or drugs, to the point that it takes over their life.” (https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/addiction/what-is-addiction)
The Center on Addiction says: “Addiction is a complex disease, often chronic in nature, which affects the functioning of the brain and body. It also causes serious damage to families, relationships, schools, workplaces and neighborhoods. The most common symptoms of addiction are severe loss of control, continued use despite serious consequences, preoccupation with using, failed attempts to quit, tolerance and withdrawal.” (https://www.centeronaddiction.org/addiction)
THERE IS HOPE!
What is curious is how willing everyone is to give cause as a disease or illness, outside the control of the individual.
I would like to bring up an experiment done in the 1970’s by Canadian psychologist Bruce Alexander, at the Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada called Rat Park. Based around the addictive power of cocaine, the experiment gave lab rats, placed in a blank cage the choice between water and water laced with cocaine. In that situation the rats all consumed the cocaine water.
But, when moved to a different cage with colored walls, and ball and toys, other mice to play with and still the two types of water, choices changed. The rats gave up the addictive water going to plain water instead and the opportunity to intermingle and play with their new friends.
Despite the controversy from the psychiatric community about the incomplete eternal criteria, it none the less still reveals that when the opportunity to change thoughts arrived, the rodents chose the change themselves, even after going through withdrawal process.
Let’s point some fingers!
Let’s get real about “addiction”. It is so easy for the world to point fingers at the drug and alcohol addicts. After all, it certainly takes a tremendous amount of pressure off the rest of us. But if honesty was to rise to the top here, addiction is really about a “too much” behavior.
Granted, too much alcohol, too much chemical drug use but what about all the others? What about:
- Too much shopping
- Too much eating
- Too much golfing
- Too much gambling
- Too much porn
- Too much video games
- Too much working
- Too much church
- Yes and things like too much gossip and life drama
Are they not also addictions? In fact any “too much” behavior is an addiction. It may not get the notoriety like drugs and alcohol, but they are just as damaging.
So consider the thought. Rather than give in to the claims of mental disease, heredity, chemical imbalance and more, what if – just what if – addiction was about mental stress that a person doesn’t know how to deal with? What if addictions are about deterrents?
And forget not the mantra of every addict…… I’m not hurting anyone but myself.
People in addictions lose money, jobs, relationships and more to their choices plus battle every day in recovery to avoid going back to that awful place. What makes addiction so insidious, though, is that the addict is not the only one to suffer. How addiction affects the family of the addict is complicated. Sometimes the family situation contributes to addiction, but the addiction always impacts the family in devastating ways.
In truth most addicts, regardless of their denial to others, know their behavior is out of line. For most of these they want to do it different, but just can’t. Some even try – repeatedly – only to fall back into the pattern.
Isn’t it time to do it different?
Achievement Inspired conducts a program of discovery, change and faith to assist an individual from moving away from the addictive behavior forever.