Dr Lawrence Kolb, the first medical director of the Public Health Service Narcotic Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky believed that addicts are thrill seekers; they are modest people who use drugs to overcome feelings of inferiority. Drugs allowed them to feel “grandiose” in life. They use their drug to escape their problems and feel like they can deal with any problem that they are subjected to. Each drug seeking episode is another opportunity to outsmart anyone, feel the thrill of the hunt and come back alive to feel the ‘high’ again.
For any individual to become an addict, he does have contributing factors like, biological, social, cultural and environmental. Research says that any addict can have the pre-disposing factor of being one if he shares the gene from anyone in his /her family. This is however one of the possibilities. There could be tons of factors for an addict to become one, but only one factor that could get him to recover and this is hitting rock bottom. Many long-term addicts describe their early experience as a part of becoming an adult. “Peer pressure” is a common cause for any addict to begin their journey of addiction. Finding the need to constantly prove you are old enough or tough enough to be able to experience anything or even handle anything. Most addicts never admit when they have a problem, it is the common mentality of most of them to always believe they can handle their addiction. Living in denial is their major drawback. They mostly refer to their substance as a cure for they feel if they don’t use. When an addict is abstinent from his substance, he/she would experience withdrawals.
You often have a person who feels ashamed, insecure, inferior and ill equipped to negotiate his or her way in the world. They believe they can only face their fears or feel any better when they use their drug.
The irony of this belief is that no one ever wins against addiction. You will never hear an addict say, “I have been using heroin my entire life, or drinking my entire life and I got the better of it”. The only way to win against addiction is to accept defeat, accept the powerlessness of your substance over you and the unmanageability of your life.
Your drug can be seen as a social lubricant, connecting with people. It provides an opportunity to step outside the isolation imposed by an increasingly complex, technologically driven society. Any addict always seeks that connection with another individual who uses, as he feels he won’t be accepted elsewhere. He uses his substance to escape reality and live in the world he wants to live in by ignoring his real life and the problems he has to deal with. What most of them miss out on understanding is that drugs, alcohol or any kind of addiction is a temporary escape. A person becomes an addict to constantly feel the sense of escape and sense the high. “It’s all about the chase.” The desperation to connect and find the need to escape speaks volumes about the levels of pain and emptiness any addict experiences.
Treatment centres offer help for people who have an addiction problem. A rehabilitation centre would cater to all the affected areas of an addict. Being an active addict with no control over your life would definitely mean having no control of your life either. Letting your substance take over you would mean letting the substance affect you mentally, physically, emotionally and socially. When most addicts enter the path of recovery, they meet faces that become familiar after attending NA or AA meetings with them and will let them establish a healthy positive bond with their group members. Running away from reality and enjoying the high is a habit that they will be taught to unlearn. Seeking new ways to deal with their problems and developing a better insight to their disease are aspects that will be taught to addicts in recovery centres. Some find a spiritual way of life and embrace the comfort it brings. Most successful recovering addicts have strong ties to the self-help fellowships of Narcotic Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous.
The essence for any treatment program is help addicts restructure their life and replace destructive habits and behaviour with healthy ones in order to recover and lead a positive and healthy life.
At Hope Trust, the individual is taught to gradually accept his reality, lead a healthy structured life and develop new methods to deal with life.