TALKING DRUG ABUSE 3

Drug Addiction is a symptom of spiritual crisis. There are three major categories of spiritual crisis:
1. Biographical, due to trauma in and abuse in a person’s history
2. Perinatal, which occurs around the time of birth – these have to do with being and non-being energies
3. Transpersonal, which are to do with transcendence of the ordinary boundaries of the personality – often to do with the occult, mystical, religious, and paranormal experiences.
Human development follows a spiral course of departure from and higher return to the origins of being. We begin to disengage from the sea of spirit at conception, leading to estrangement from our divine roots as our essence becomes contained into matter.
When wounding occurs in childhood, for example when the authentic self isn’t mirrored or when it experiences annihilation, it reinforces the earlier experiences of separation from the whole and our sense of isolation deepens and becomes cemented into place.
Drug addiction, from this perspective, is a way of managing these biographical, existential, and spiritual crises.
All addicts experience an internal loss, a spiritual bankruptcy or soul sickness that cuts them off from the world around them. They enter the soul’s dark night and wrestle with the demons of fear, loneliness, mental dislocation, and death that are so common in spiritual crisis. Thus begins a search, a longing, a thirst, and a hunger for spiritual connection and identity. The problem is that the addict searches for spirit in all the wrong places.
Using drugs is not just to numb pain experienced through biographical wounding. Addicts also use their drugs of choice to search for “something” spiritual: connection through texting, validation and acceptance through “friends”, love and soothing, and perhaps joy, goodness or confidence when using drugs (substances).
Most addicts are often drowned in a sea of despair, rage and shame. They either ” act out” through their addiction or “act in”, turning the feelings inwards, creating further crisis and providing more fuel for the addiction. They want a ” fix” for their problem but at the core they believe “I am the problem”.
If we only see the addiction as something to get rid of, to fix or to cure, we are reducing the addict to his symptoms.
It’s not good to produce symptoms unless we have no other route to express distress. If we remove addiction without exploration, we would only be producing “symptom switch”.
The addict is more than his pathology (body) and his psychology (mental). He is a self on a bio psycho-social-cultural-sexual-spiritual journey. He is a being with a purpose in life and with immense potential for love, intelligence and creativity…also as a personality, an individual made up of a unique blend of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual characteristics.
The best approach to drug addiction treatment is to my mind such that helps the addict connect with the physical, emotional, mental, cultural, sexual and spiritual hungers and passions. This connection helps him find new, healthy and meaningful ways to satisfy and nourish the cravings of the soul and spirit. And this is the approach CADAM, a faith- based drug treatment and rehabilitation programme employs.

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