Addiction is not a Choice
Most people don’t realize that addiction is not a choice, nor is it a weakness of character, a failure of will, or an inherited brain disease. Addiction is a response to human suffering, and it is usually going to be harder on individuals who were traumatized as children.
Some of them have been sexually, physically, and emotionally neglected. This is not just my perspective, it is also what the scientific and research literature shows. Addiction is a temporary attempt to escape suffering and this is one of the reasons why it can become such a difficult problem to handle.
The key is to find the source of the pain
Addicts need to be helped with a much deeper emotional approach to heal from their trauma. This is the perfect word to use because it is all about the traumatic experiences that scarred them and made them susceptible to addiction.
The media depiction of addicts is usually one that portrays them as desperate people, but they are not showing the reasons why they are desperate. So all this shows is their desperation for the drugs and it makes them seem like irrational people.
Rejection plays a major role in their inability to recover
Some people do heal from addictions, but the most entrenched addicts have the hardest time. In addition, they are the ones society will condemn as lazy people with no desire for a better life. This makes helping them even more difficult because they feel like society sees them as hopeless cases that are beyond help.
This rejection by society, can actually program a person to think that they are not worthy of compassion or help. When someone is trapped in this mindset, they will feel that being sexually abused was their fault and being treated badly as a child was something they deserved.
Therefore, there is a deep sense of shame that is very difficult to overcome. Then there is tremendous emotional pain that accrues from abuse and neglect. Tremendous emotional pain that is nearly unbearable.
They are simply trying to escape from themselves
Addicts find great comfort in numbing their pain with substances, or with compulsive behaviors. Then the trauma shapes their brain circuitry in such a way that the person will be more likely to find themselves relieved and happy in a constant drug induced state.
Then you take these traumatized people and make their habit illegal. This makes it even harder for them to recover. Unfortunately, it is not illegal to drink yourself to death or to make yourself sick with emphysema or lung cancer, by means of cigarettes. However, it is illegal to use other substances that most drug addicts will use to get away from their emotional pain.
To make matters worse, we put addicts in jail and harm them all their lives, treating them like criminals and bad people who are less than human. Then we wonder why they do not get better.
Drugs are never the real problem
The addiction is not the real problem in this kind of situation 99% of the time. The emotional pain that they feel is the real issue that needs to be addressed before they can heal and conquer any addiction. If drugs had the power to enslave people on their own, there would be a larger number of drug addicts in the world.
So why do people use drugs?
They do this because they have a problem that they are unable to deal with effectively. In addition, if you really want to understand their addiction, you have to find out what happened in their lives to create such a painful emotional wound that is yet to heal.
For the addict, the use of drugs is a way to help them handle their emotional pain for a period of time. They are unable to deal with their emotions if they are sober, and they will do anything in their power to avoid feeling those emotions.