Addiction’s Opposite is Connection
February 28, 2018
How do we even begin to wrap our heads around the fascinating and terrible nature of addiction? After all, we are talking about a disease that is invisible; the symptoms may reveal themselves on the surface, but by and large, use disorders linger beneath the surface. Experts spend their entire lives endeavoring to explain how a healthy individual can, seemingly, throw everything away in service to an invisible pathology.
There is a significant amount of data from which to draw insight originating from countries around the world. None of the information, however, provides a concise explanation or answers why one person becomes an addict, while others use drugs and alcohol without consequence. Sure, we can say that some people have a genetic predisposition to mental illness, others still suffered terrible trauma that would make anyone want to find escape; even again, that doesn’t provide adequate reasons for why certain individuals can take opioids for months and not want to continue after the prescription runs out.
There may never come a time when we can conclusively say, “this is the reason why people get stuck in the cycle of addiction!” There are so many factors to consider, unique to each. All of us have different genetic roots, we come from various belief systems and have different levels of education; simply put, there is not one road to addiction. To go one step forward, recovery from addiction is achievable by many different modalities. There is at least one element consistent in each path to recovery, connection.
Singing Love Songs to Addicts
Some of you, especially those who are trying to make heads or tails of mental illness, might have read “Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs” by Johann Hari. He published another book recently titled, “Lost Connections: Uncovering The Real Causes Of Depression – And The Unexpected Solutions.” Reviews of both his books are glowing to say the least, but for this article, we will stick to addiction.
Some years back, several months after Chasing the Scream went on sale, Hari gave a TED Talk, “Everything You Know About Addiction is Wrong.” A bold statement, to be sure, but not exactly inaccurate upon closer examination. His Talk wasn’t just for people in recovery or those hoping for a reprieve from this most serious mental health disorder; his words were in many ways for the general public.
Those whose understanding about addiction derives from what they see or hear, rather than science. He discusses the impact that “wars on drugs” (we are not the only major nation to take up arms against substance use) has on the fabric of society. His TED Talk form 2015 aired recently on NPR’s TED RADIO HOUR, which likely has thousands of Americans reëxamining their views about the nature of alcohol and substance use disorder.
Please take a moment to watch or listen:
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Hari’s observations may not have led him to all the right answers, yet, but they have probably led to many of the right questions. Along the way, he discovered how the human connection could be a useful antidote against addiction. It’s an idea that anyone working a program of recovery can probably agree with; without fellowship, would anyone be able to live, recovery?
Are you or a loved one suffering from an alcohol or substance use disorder? Christians Drug Rehab can help. Our faith-based addiction treatment program is the perfect start to a life of lasting recovery. Please contact us today.