“Any problem which can be solved with money is not really a problem.” – Anonymous
No amount of money and no amount of “medicine” will heal an addiction. The fundamental healing that occurs in the setting of addiction comes about as the result of a spiritual awakening. For some reason, as yet unknown by science, a spiritual awakening displaces the compulsion to drink or use drugs. Science, with all its power and knowledge, may assist the process but it cannot supplant it. This simple fact has been known for the past 74 years and the process for achieving the spiritual awakening was codified in the first 164 pages of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous some 70 years ago in 1939. Not one word of the first 164 pages of that book has changed since it was written. It is classic knowledge and it contains a “spiritual technology” which can enable anyone, regardless of their beliefs—or the lack thereof, to achieve a fundamental psychic change, which will ensure sobriety so long as that person maintains a fit spiritual condition.
Unfortunately for some, “spirituality” is inextricably bound to “religion” and many of the people who enter recovery have been traumatized by their early “religious” training. In effect, they have been “de-churched” and the mere mention of spiritual matters evokes strong feelings of resistance, or even revulsion. “God” or a “Higher Power” is an anathema to these people and it is something that they reject out of hand. In the course of growing up, our first contact with a “higher power” is often in the guise of our parents. Most addicts and alcoholics come from families in which the disease was active and emotional, physical, or even sexual traumas have occurred. Given this possible history of family trauma, it would make sense that these people would reject a “higher power” concept. Even when this type of trauma has not occurred, the afflicted may reject the idea of a higher power based upon their intellectual constructs or their life experience to date.
Alternatively, some people have a strong faith in the God of their religion, but this faith does not keep them sober. What this amounts to is “faith without works.” The spiritual technology set forth in the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous is hard work. Getting sober is hard work. Staying sober also requires ongoing work, however, it is much easier to stay sober than to get sober. Getting sober is like pushing a broken-down car on a flat road—it takes a lot of energy to get the car moving, but once its moving it takes less energy to keep it rolling. In any event, the key ingredient to sobriety involves a spiritual awakening which occurs as a result of “working the steps.”
The “science” involved in addiction medicine has to do with the use of various tools in order to facilitate a spiritual awakening. These tools include: an introduction to 12 step concepts and philosophy, individual and small group psychotherapy, and the use of medications to manage cravings and concurrent psychiatric disorders (aka. Dual Diagnosis). Science does not have a “magic bullet” for the disease of addiction. There is no drug, vitamin, or technical procedure that can ensure sobriety. However, treatment of concurrent psychiatric disorders has been shown to improve the duration and quality of sobriety in affected patients.
The purpose of this website is to offer encouragement, information, and general knowledge on the topic of addiction and alcoholism. The author believes that “healing and sobriety are possible for anyone” provided that the individual is willing to do some simple (but not easy) work.