Emotional Scars tell us where we've been, but they don't have to tell us where we're going.
- Dr. Reef Karim
Being addicted to a substance (alcohol, pills, cannabis, cocaine, etc.) can absolutely destroy your life – quickly becoming your primary relationship – destroying marriages, jobs and family with eventual financial, legal and health consequences.
The treatment of substance use disorders is complicated. It requires a strong framework and philosophy that takes into account the biological, psychological, social and spiritual underpinnings causing the individual to rely on substances to get through life – and avoid discomfort.
An effective treatment program must have a strong basis in neuroscience with medical experts as well as strong spiritual practitioners, experts in psychological medicine, addiction medicine and trauma. An addiction is truly a spiritual condition requiring deep internal change.
Although more research needs to be done, behavioral addictions (particularly food and gambling) have shown to massage the same neurobiology as chemical addictions often rendering someone powerless over their condition.
The reliance on a behavior (eating food, gambling, shopping, sex, expressing love, playing videogames, etc.) can be debilitating – taking over one’s life – leading to relational, social, health, legal and financial consequences.
Treatment for behavioral addictions can be challenging as some of the behaviors being treated (food, sex, love) are normative behaviors that are part of the human condition. Other behaviors like gambling, shopping and videogames are legal and easily accessible online.