Rarely have we seen a person fail, who has thoroughly followed our path (pg 58 alcoholics anonymous) these are the words of the big book of alcoholics anonymous, which introduced recovery through the twelve step process.
Why is recovery failing today? With so many relapses, the rehabs seem to be revolving doors, we have to ask:
Is recovery even possible?
And what is the problem exactly?
According to the medical field, it is not.
Addiction has been classified as a chronic relapsing disease , it can only be managed.
It is the only way to explain,how despite all the advances in medicine, neurology, and the proliferation of treatment centers. We aren’t seeing permanent results.
Its true ,that there is a medical component to addiction, but if it was just a chemical dependency, detox would suffice.
Not to mention we see relapse, early on in one’s use. And bad character, ie. extreme selfishness, dishonesty,manipulation, etc. Which goes hand in hand.
If it was just a mental health problem, why with all our knowledge and countless therapies. Haven’t we developed a method with results. It’s one thing to say the addict is motivated by pleasure, but serious addicts use even though it’s not enjoyable anymore.
Not to mention the consequences alone should motivate an addict, even an animal knows basic survival?
Maybe the problem is deeper, maybe were looking at the symptoms instead of the root.
The truth is for addicts, drugs started off as the solution to another problem, what is that problem?
For myself, was empty, always chasing things to fill myself up, nothing ever gave me lasting happiness. The deep pain of existential discomfort. Until I found drugs, which were not only enjoyable but gave me a deep sense of completion and purpose,until they stopped working.
Why was I restless irritable and discontent? Maybe the problem is a spiritual problem in essence. And a spiritual problem requires a spiritual solution.
The fact is the original members of AA, approached it as a spiritual problem,and the source of recovery was spiritual help. The majority ,not only recovered,but had complete personality change.
Dr. Carol Jung, refers to it as a vital spiritual experience.
They appear to be in the nature of huge emotional displacements and rearrangements. Ideas , emotions and attitudes which were once the guiding forces of the lives of men are suddenly cast to one side and a completely new set of conceptions and motives begin to dominate them. Although he himself admitted he was unable to produce it in an addict through plain therapy.
There have been thousands of people, if not millions who can attest to a spiritual experience, a psychic change, which they got through the practice of the twelve steps.