June 12, 2018 by David Saffold
What exactly is drug and alcohol addiction? A good definition, for our purposes, is continuously doing an action that is destructive to your life. In this case that action is consuming drugs and alcohol. The addiction to these substances is both physical and psychological. The physical addiction basically derives from our physical body’s need to balance its chemical makeup. When we continuously introduce potent chemicals into our body, it responds by adjusting other chemicals in an effort to re-balance itself. Detoxification is when our bodies are thrown into severe chemical imbalance due to the removal of the potent chemicals from drugs and alcohol. The physical addiction is remedied by stopping the use of drugs and alcohol and letting our chemical structure come to a new chemical balance.
With that said, it is the psychological aspect that is the real problem in drug and alcohol addiction. This is evident because of the fact that most people who have been through detox and rehab eventually return to their addiction. This is very perplexing to the friends and family who have been witness to the devastating effects of addiction in the lives of their friends and loved ones. It is completely understandable when you understand the inner psychological world of the addicted person.
Our inner world is created by our beliefs and the addict most likely has a very distorted belief system that makes life feel very threatening. In my book, A Beginner’s Guide To Perfection, I call these beliefs “Destructive Beliefs”. Destructive beliefs are distorted beliefs that contain self-hating definitions of a person. Most of us have some level of destructive beliefs that create problems in our lives. The addict usually has very severe destructive beliefs. By understanding that our beliefs are deep seated emotional constructs that we feel are absolutely true about ourselves, life, other people, and the world, then you can comprehend what the addict is up against in his or her fight for freedom.
People invariably use drugs and alcohol to medicate the emotional pain stemming from the destructive beliefs they hold about themselves. Their destructive beliefs create a world that is filled with threat, fear, and doom lurking around every corner. This pain is all pervasive and makes existence a living hell. The severe pain of life creates a desperate need for relief – a relief that they once felt with drugs and alcohol. However, drugs and alcohol have stopped providing real relief and have started actually increasing the pain by fueling the power of their self-hating destructive beliefs. The addict is caught in an insidious cycle of destroying their lives in the desperate attempt to find relief from the pain that their destructive beliefs are fueling.
Understanding that the pain caused by destructive beliefs is what is causing the addicted person to keep returning to their addiction is the key to understanding how drug and alcohol addiction works. The severe emotional pain of destructive beliefs is also a major contributor to suicide, anxiety, depression, and other major life problems. Thus, the remedy for addiction is to remove the emotional pain of life caused by destructive beliefs. The addicted person has to change his or her beliefs by creating new beliefs that are constructive to life while removing the power of their destructive beliefs. When existence and life feel nonthreatening then a major part of the cause of addiction is gone and permanent recovery is possible.
David J Saffold is an Author, Speaker, Coach, Pastoral Counselor, and Minister specializing in helping people change their lives through the power of their beliefs. For a more detailed explanation of how to permanently recover from addiction read David’s groundbreaking new book A Beginner’s Guide to Perfection.
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