I have a fucking truckload to say about addiction.
And most that I want to say is directed at those who have never (yet) struggled with addiction but are full of advice about Dali g with it. It might also be of interest to others; fortunately the nice people tend to offer more support than advice.
Not all addictive behavior is solely about a lack of personal control over the impact of extended substance use.
The use of recreational drugs can be one of the last lines of defense against the influence of external control. Like “If I don’t have any control over the rest of my life, at least I can still control how i feel” kinda thing.
Obviously, this strategy is full of flaws. Prolonged substance use weakens the substances efficacy as the user develops an immunity / familiarity with the effects. Theres the obvious physical alterations and their related effects on physical and mental health and function.
I’m just saying that in treating substance use issues from a psychological angle, it should be considered that it’s not a search to be out of control, but the quest to retain it, if only in small doses.
I had a ‘Blankety-Blanks’ [see Face To Face Conversations post] conversation with someone late last year whom I considered to be a very intelligent, insightful and sensitive human being. It raised the topic of addiction with him because of a piece he had written that made a thinly veiled reference to it, and positioned it in the very generic pigeonholed context I mention above.
So I wanted to discuss this a bit, particularly as I took a guess that this guy had never been challenged by addiction (he said he had, to things like reading, religion etc… really not even close to the same bro.. had he said food I might have conceded…)
Anyway, I put forth the idea of substance use as a last ditch attempt at control when control was almost completely lost. His response:
“Well, not really, I think that’s almost never the real case”.
This is why detox facilities and rehabs often employ ex-addicts – at least they can see where the addict is coming from.