Confused by the title? It’s simple, really. A sneeze is a cold symptom, but not the source of the cold. A sneeze, cough, or runny nose simply tells you (and everyone around you) that you’re suffering from a cold virus. The cold virus is the hidden culprit.
Addiction works the same way. Addictive behavior is a symptom of deeper issues for the vast majority of alcoholics and drug addicts. Drinking and drug abuse are signs that something went horribly wrong in the addict’s past. The issues I’m referring to include child abuse, domestic violence, bullying, sexual abuse, or a host of other types of trauma the addict has suffered at some point, often in early childhood. These types of problems are at the root of addiction. They are the problem behind the problem of addiction.
Nothing causes more damage to a child’s spirit than being emotionally or physically abused by those he or she most trusts and loves. Children don’t yet possess the ability to protect themselves or articulate feelings of hurt, sadness, and betrayal caused by those closest to them. All any child can do is absorb the pain and try to forget the past as they move from children to adulthood. But trauma doesn’t just go away on its own, no matter how hard we try to ignore it. Feelings of inferiority, low self-esteem and resentment remain, well into teenage or early adult years. This is the time many future addicts begin to drink or use drugs as a way to numb emotional pain and to escape the past. And it works, at first. Drinking or getting high feels good and helps the user forget all his problems. Unfortunately, these feelings of grandeur are temporary and keep the future addict coming back for more. Over time, however, the habit increases while the pleasure of getting high decreases. The user needs to drink more or use more drugs to feel good and eventually turns into a full-blown alcoholic or addict.
It can be many years before an addict becomes willing to admit he or she has a problem. Some never do. But for those addicts that are ready to overcome addiction, they must also be willing to face painful memories of the past – the same memories they’ve tried so hard to escape through alcohol and drugs. Looking in the mirror is not as difficult as it sounds. There is a simple way to eliminate years of addiction treatment and go straight to the heart of the problem, using just 3 Steps to overcome addiction. I know, because they worked for me.
Dan Farish is a former addict. Today, he works as an Addiction Recovery Coach helping others to beat addiction. Dan is also the author of Three Steps to Recovery – One Man’s Triumph Over Alcohol and Drugs – A Simply Approach Anyone Can Use to Overcome Any Addiction.