It is a common misconception that drugs and alcohol are the only offending substances to cause addictions. Many of us battle something during our lifetime that becomes an unhealthy preoccupation, whether it be with drugs, money, pornography, food, gambling, dangerous risk taking, tobacco, alcohol, sex, or work, to name a few. Why are humans prone to self medicate with destructive habits? The reasons are multiple and complex, but I believe that at our core we have a deep yearning for “more” in life. A pleasure that initially gave us a “break” from the ordinary gradually becomes an escape that eventually controls our lives.
The only cure for an all-consuming addiction, in my opinion, is a spiritual one. In my 20+ years as a physician, the real success stories I have seen seem to come from the 12-step program, where one admits he has a serious problem and asks God for deliverance, believing only He can deliver him. Certainly medication, counseling and peer support are also necessary, but until one honestly reaches beyond himself to Someone greater for deliverance, he usually is doomed to failure…RRS