It is crucial for addicts, parents and spouses to understand this and not be misled by treatment professionals who don't understand the nature of addiction. Let's face it, if you don't understand addiction, then you don't know what you are treating, let alone how to treat it. Counseling and medication has never truly worked for any really bad addict, and anyone who is really honest (in the deepest possible way) will admit as much.
The condition of powerlessness cannot be restored via typical human methods. It just isn't possible given the nature of the condition, which is the presence of the mental obsession and a soul that is very sick indeed, a soul that is spiritually bankrupt, starving, and crying out for nourishment. Of course we are all free do whatever we want, just don't be surprised if an addict fails miserably with therapy and medication. In fact, I would expect relapse. And I would definitely expect the addict to remain the exact same person.
I had severe, clinical depression. Yes, the kind that is bio-chemical. The kind that all sorts of doctors and people claim can only be addressed with medication. Hmmm, that's weird, because guess where my depression is? Gone! Oh wait, guess what again? I'm completely unmedicated, and have been since I began taking Steps almost ten years ago. Upon reading this, many addicts and parents will push the play button in their heads and say,
"No you're wrong, Charlie. I tried that Step thing or my kid tried AA and relapsed, so it doesn't work for everybody!"
First of all, which Steps did you actually take? The watered-down non-steps that are so prevalent today in AA and in most treatment centers? And did you sincerely vow to turn your entire life over to this process and to live by spiritual principles? Did you leave anything out of your inventory, even just one little thing? Did you make all of your amends? Did you continue writing inventory, praying and meditating day after day, month after month, year after year? Did you work with other addicts, taking them through the Step process as others did for you? If your addict answers yes, but failed, they are lying to you, trust me. Second, if you actually took Steps the way they were laid out in the original AA text, you would never relapse again. To see why this is, you'll have to go back and read every single previous post, so please go ahead and do that before replying about how the Steps only work for some, or how the Steps failed me or failed my child. The Steps and God don't fail anyone. We fail ourselves.
Treat the core of the addiction and the chemistry in your brain changes. Actually, it has been neurochemically proven that actions such as prayer and meditation change our brain chemistry. There is now an entire wing at MGH devoted to the effects of meditation and mindfulness. Don't you love how they call Zen Buddhists whackjobs and then once it's proven scientifically, they take all the credit and act like they knew the entire time? There is nothing more arrogant than an f'ing doctor, besides maybe an elected official or a fed chairman.
But forget about the chemical changes induced by just prayer and meditation. What do you think performing an exorcism of your entire life via a 4th Step written inventory and then reading it for twelve hours and then meditating on it for an hour and then getting on your hands and knees and reaching out for God with single fiber in your being does to you? Yup, that's right. For one, it annihilates your chemical imbalance, and that's just the icing on the cake. In fact, you'll probably be high as shit for a good long while... but high as shit on the Spirit and Power of God. Try that for some medication.
Before I took Steps and committed my life to spiritual growth and good old fashioned hard work, I was in therapy for years, as well as on various psychotropics, and guess what? I got worse. Much worse.
Why is that?
Because I knew deep in my heart that I was lying to myself, avoiding the truth, and ignoring my real problem. I knew I wasn't addressing my core illness. I hope it is starting to become clear what addiction is, that it is nothing but a byproduct of an underlying spiritual malady, or life malady. We don't have a drug problem, we have a life problem. We have no purpose. Simple logic thus dictates that we must be treated spiritually and given a purpose.
There is absolutely no reason to try to treat every single skew known to mankind with a never-ending buffet of medications. Why do you think doctors are always changing the concoctions, trying new ones, taking some away, adding others? Um, yeah, because they have no fucking clue what they're doing and what they're really giving to you, let alone the long-term danger. Go ahead, try them regularly for a while and then go off of them one day and see what happens. You will turn into a horrifying nightmarish creature, as your depression mutates into suicidal or homicidal psychosis. Sorry, but that can't be good for you... or the local elementary school... or the local movie theatre having a midnight showing of Batman.
I'm also good with developing Tardive Dyskinesia from too much Seroquel. Adderall and Ritalin will cause this type of brain damage as well, amongst others, and all for a purely situational, social disorder. Put one of those kids on a ropes course or behind a computer and he'll climb to the moon or design a computer and become a billionaire. Ridiculous. Give him an instrument and he'll change the world with beautiful music. Give her a paintbrush and you'll have high society bidding up her abstract paintings. Please never let anyone convince you that ADD is an actual disease.
Listen, I'm all ears but is it not absolutely insane how hell bent we are on medicating our children into zombies? Does nobody want to deal with anything anymore? I suppose I'm not really surprised. This is what you get when the masses have been programed to expect more and more and more, and all for free, despite the reality that there is no such thing as free. By the way, anything you get for free is taken from somebody else, and take a wild guess what happens when there are more people riding in the cart than there are pulling the cart? Yup, that's right, the cart stops. Brilliant deduction. If we cannot understand this most basic of equations, then please do yourself a favor and pare back your expectations for future prosperity.
Part 2 re counseling and the futility of trying to figure out why we use coming up soon... We may also get into the dual-diagnosis hoax and why treating multiple disorders in an addict is totally wrong, as again, it is treating the symptoms and not the real problem. There is a difference between symptoms and core disease. Treatment professionals treat the symptoms (which is only a temporary band-aid) whereas the spiritual program of action of the twelve steps treats the core disease. The point is that drug addicts need more talking and more drugs about as much as they need to speedball heroin and crack into their eyeballs.
God, please give me knowledge of Your will for me and the power to carry it out...