Addicts don't need pills and therapy, they need purpose and God... and meditation helps too.
Let's follow up to the post about the utter failure of the Establishment to fix drug addicts. There are two central reasons why. But generally speaking, they don't understand that addiction is a spiritual problem and thus calls for a spiritual solution.
It's deeper than just: we picked up, we used a lot, we became addicted. We addicts weren't meant to be addicts (even though heroin and oxycontin delivered me to God). We are on the wrong life path, if you will. When inherently good, talented people get on the wrong path, it damages them spiritually. And many of us already had a spiritual void within, an emptiness. For me, I had no purpose or meaning in my life. Sure I had talents and did creative, productive things but there was no real purpose behind any of it, only selfishness. I had no idea of the importance of adopting and living by moral/spiritual principles.
Sure addiction is a physiological dependence. But that is merely a symptom of an underlying spiritual malady. Failure to understand this leads the mainstream to only address the symptoms and not the underlying malady. That is why I tried everything under the sun and failed miserably every time. So it's not really the drugs and alcohol we need to address, it's ourselves - our spiritual condition.
And no one better understands how an addict thinks and feels than a recovered addict. As well, they are best equipped to give the addict what he or she needs to fix themselves. And I'm not talking about airhead AA sponsors who recite slogans, drag you to meetings, and call you for bowling on Saturday night. I'm talking about masters of addiction and the spiritual solution who are strong, grounded, free, at peace, and solid as rocks. It MATTERS who you follow. Trust me.
An even larger problem regarding the establishment is that they can't even address the one symptom that cripples an addict and ensures chronic relapse: The mental obsession - a very special type of insanity that addicts acquire.
So let's summarize the two problems with MSM, and what to do instead of falling into their traps.
Mainstream methods fail because they don't understand the crux of an addict's mental problem - the mental obsession. Triggers don't exist. In any given moment, a thought will come into the head of an addict and at that point they go temporarily insane. They suddenly forget everything they know about their problem and the idea of using (irrational and destructive) seems rational and reasonable. They obsess until they use again. It is like having a chip missing but one that no human method or remedy can replace. And even if they could, what can they replace it with? A new hobby? A job? School? Friends? A girl? A group? A therapist? Sorry, not gonna cut it. It must be replaced with something as powerful as the addiction itself. Thus I believe that an addict must have a vital, profound and fundamental spiritual experience to fix such a condition. That is, God must play a part.
The other problem with the establishment and the other reason why addicts fail to restore themselves back to sanity and achieve lasting freedom from drugs is that they fail to fix themselves morally and spiritually. No addict can stay clean for any length of time if they continue doing the wrong thing, if they continue to lie, steal, cheat, manipulate, deceive, wallow in self-pity, remain depressed, see themselves as a victim, complain, get angry, hurt others emotionally or engage in violence. We need to grow, evolve, and rid ourselves of narcissism. Everybody suffers, not just addicts.
So I received a wonderful question on my 'Establishment' entry the other day, which essentially asked, 'What then are we to do if these other avenues fail to fully restore the addict to sanity?'
Needless to say, there are many ways to address a spiritual illness across cultures and religions. But for drug addicts, there is no other method as effective as embarking on the rigorous set of spiritual actions contained within the original Twelve Step program, as it's laid out in the original Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. So we need to find a recovered addict who has taken Steps to bring us through this process.
Or, if we cannot stay sober long enough (out in the world) for the process to work, we may need to be removed from our environment and given the opportunity to take Steps at a place that offers this solution, and that does it the right way. Generally, these places need only be staffed by recovered addicts and/or alcoholics, as the solution and the process have nothing to do with clinical interventions, drugs, therapy, doctors, nurses, social workers, etc. In fact, the solution is free. Imagine that.
God, teach us and show us the truth...