How Addiction Affects the Mind and Body
In the depths of addiction, we find a vicious cycle. A painful place rarely understood, unless experienced. The only thing I can liken it to, that an average joe may understand, is the simple need for food and water. But this cannot be so? I hear you ask. In the subconscious mind an addict or alcoholic will have a deep sense of unrest. The conscious mind suffers as a result. Addicted people suffer, in that the brain wants it, like it wants food, yet there is another part which knows it does not need it to live. However, a constant fight and battle between the primal workings of the amygdala and the frontal lobe persist. But which do you think is more powerful? Try not to eat for two days. This will not kill you, but it will be very hard. Now imagine keeping this up for a lifetime?
People that suffer with addiction have brains different from your own. And bodies that process drugs and alcohol differently rendering them powerless. If you were starving hungry, your mind would keep telling you repeatedly, YOU MUST EAT!! So, you can imagine the mind of an alcoholic or drug addict. (you must drink alcohol, alcohol, alcohol, alcohol, alcohol, alcohol.) or drugs depending on the person.
Fuelled by guilt and shame by giving into an urge as powerful as this, they believe they have a moral failing. Ironically this renders them even more powerless, as the communication to the decision making and reasoned part of the brain goes OFF LINE. Stress cuts the communication cord between the two, and so the cycle continues. Drugs/Alcohol…. guilt/shame…. stress…. drugs/alcohol… and so on and so on!!
Drugs and alcohol are used by many to escape the stresses of the word. But in an addict or alcoholic, something happens where after a point of no return, the alcohol or drugs become the master. The addicted person is a slave. A slave to satisfy this unsociable thrust and hunger like no other, that will only bring heartache and loss. Loss of homes, jobs, loved ones, children, and loss of self
So, what is it that can heal an addict from such an affliction? The answer is simply spiritual. A spiritual mind lives in the most advanced part of the mind. Away from the primitive drive for survival. This can take something profound yes, but profound as this is, a simple way can achieve this. A set of actions followed in a twelve-step program at an alcohol rehab clinic, that harnesses a spiritual and principled life. But an addict or alcoholic cannot walk alone. They walk together on this path. The power in a group of drunks is more powerful than the sum of its parts.