Saint Paul said it best 2000 years ago: I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.
So it has long been the human condition, that our unconscious and biology can override what we would consciously choose to do.
I’ll start out by saying I’m not an expert in addiction, but I have helped many people change many long standing habits.
I think there is too much attention paid to the specific thing or habit a person happens to be addicted to. Like focusing on a particular type of cancer, instead of treating the entire person as a whole. There is alcohol addiction, drug addiction, sex, smoking, gambling, video game and even cell phone addiction.
It is good to step back and look at addiction more philosophically. Underlying all these compulsions is the general idea that something outside of me is going to make me fulfilled or happy. Everything has diminishing returns. I have noticed that when I find a fragrant rose, that the first sniff is bliss, then second one I smell less, then by the 4th or so I can’t smell a thing.
When I was a teenager I smoked pot frequently. At the beginning it was torture, the coughing and the burning throat. But I was told to persevere. Soon I got a joyous feeling, lots of laughter and it would last for hours. But over time the return diminished. I would get the high for a few minutes, then feel sluggish and sleepy and down for hours. It was similar when I tried to get off sugar. I thought I was healthy getting off sugar but then I found a date bar. It tasted so good. But then the same thing happened, it would be pleasant while eating it, but afterwards my blood sugar would spike then drop and I felt exhausted and depressed. One day I just said “That is enough, it is not worth a momentary pleasure to feel awful for hours afterwards, and I just gave it up.
I have helped thousands of people get off sugar addiction, which is not as insignificant as you might think. In studies rats became addicted to cocaine and then were given a choice of sugar or cocaine and they would choose sugar. When people slowly wean off sweets then started to get their taste buds back. Sweet potatoes and winter squash started tasting sweet and fruit became the dessert of choice. When they tasted their old chocolate bar they were appalled. They couldn’t enjoy it, it was just too sweet and waxy. But not in all cases, some people are off sugar and they feel great, then they go to some family gathering and try a dessert, and suddenly they have a daily sugar craving again.
There is another thing about sugar and alcohol I’d like to mention. There is a situation in the body where there can be an overgrowth of yeast or candida. These organisms can hijack our body and send out chemicals that cause us to crave what they need for survival, sugar or fermented beverages like alcohol. So if you go to an Alcoholics Anonymous group and everyone is happy they are off alcohol, but pouring sugar in their coffee, then they are still feeding the yeast, which ferments the sugar into alcohol, so you have a still inside your gut. As proof of this, I once treated a teacher with a horrible case of candida but she never drank alcohol. A police officer came in her health class to speak of drunk driving. He brought a breathalyzer and put it on her table. She breathed into it and it showed she was legally drunk. He gave her quite a look!
So this gets to the fact that we all have individual physical and psychological differences. Some people get opioids after a surgery or dental operation and then the pain is gone and they never need it again. For others, their brain lights up and suddenly they have an irrational need for the drug, and if they can’t get it from a doctor they will get something like heroin on the street, even though logically they must know that this can kill them.
There are many alternative methods available that can help besides the traditional medical and treatment centers that would give far better results. I have done Auricular Medicine for 25 years. There is a whole protocol called the NADA protocol of 5 points that are needled and cravings disappear. Some courts in Florida give you a choice, stay in jail or get ear acupuncture and be let free.
Hypnosis is another method known to be effective for addiction, even of tobacco. For a while I shunned it after a patient went to be hypnotized and the person said, “Smoking is bad for your health, it is killing you.” Well he ended up not quitting but instead of just a mild cough, now he became deathly ill. To his subconscious it became not just and annoying habit, but a deadly poison. But if you work with a reputable hypnotist it can be very helpful. Of course making a conscious decision to just stop is ideal, but not workable or practical in many cases.
I myself had a spiritual experience while on a hallucinogen. I felt an inner master give me a telepathic message that I can achieve bliss and joy by applying the spiritual path, instead of an outer drug that lifts you up and drops you down making you yearn for more. I gave up all my drug paraphernalia and have never taken a drug besides occasional alcohol since that day over 34 years ago. Though counter intuitive, certain drugs like Ecstasy and Psilocybin mushrooms are being studied to have people have transcendent experiences and spiritual visions along with a trained therapist, that makes them let go of PTSD and need to have addictions.
Every week I grieve for the hundreds that are dying of opioid addiction. These are probably kind, generous spiritual people that had a life plan and life purpose that are snuffed out due to addiction. We can’t just focus on the brain chemistry and using drugs to stop other drugs. We need to look beyond symptoms at our past emotional trauma, our imbalanced biology, our spiritual core. Most addiction is about trying to dull our pain of being alone and not being able to just be at peace in the present with what just is. Why is someone who was alcoholic 30 years ago and hasn’t had a drink since, still considered alcoholic. They may just not need that particular substance to kill their pain anymore.
In my book, The Soul’s Journey: A Prelife Adventure, I have a scene in the psych ward where people have a giant worm wrapped around them and attached to their third eye, forcing them to need to smoke cigarettes. This is the other dimension of addiction. There are alcohol entities, marijuana entities, tobacco entities. Sometimes there a discarnates or the astral bodies of those who were addicted in life. If this ghost tries to grab a glass of beer, their hand goes right through the glass, but if they can latch onto a susceptible host, they can cause that person to crave alcohol and enjoy it through their nervous system. I think this is why AA is so successful, by admitting there is a higher power they attract assistance from higher levels that can clear these entities.
Clean eating, exercise,good relationships, serving life, healthy psychology, spiritual practice all strengthen the physical and energy bodies and protect them from these negative forces as well as the feeling depression that invites addiction.