Drugs and alcohol mimic the essential need for a relationship with the Creator through a ”pseudospiritual” sense of connection and transcendence, and a false sense of “good” that in actuality leads to greater dissatisfaction, emptiness, despair and eventually death. Intimacy with G-d is the only way to fill the existential loneliness felt by the addict, then followed with healthy relationships with the self and others. Although we recognize the importance of taking care of the body and we make available education pertaining to physical health and nutrition, the solution for addiction is primarily on the spiritual and altruistic plane. Self-centeredness is what fuels most problems and without a profound character change or spiritual awakening, the addict will continue to use drugs and alcohol in spite of all consequences, sincere desires to stop, or obvious necessity. They will often suffer a delusional belief or “insanity” that they can handle it “this time.”
We offer a Jewish Addiction Recovery Program for persons with Drug and Alcohol Problems.
One major problem the addict faces is he is overwhelmed with the thought that there is nothing to live for without the drugs, and he often can’t yet conceive of a life of happiness. We believe is that there is no way to fully replace and satisfy the sense of loss when the substances are removed without some meaningful form of pleasure that exceeds the quality of the pleasure experienced while under the influence. Spiritual pleasure through the transformation of character provides this unique “connection” sought which can correct the pursuit of all unhealthy pleasures.
We agree with the following:
Selected Quotes from the Second Edition of the text Alcoholics Anonymous: Italics are our notes.
Pg 25. If you are seriously alcoholic as we were, we believe there is no middle-of the road solution. We were in a position where life was becoming impossible, and if we had passed into the region from which there is no return through human aid, we had but two alternatives: “One was to go on to the bitter end blotting out the consciousness of our intolerable situation as best as we could, and the other to accept spiritual help.” Thus if one suffers chronic relapse, and cannot seem to stop when sincere he is probably in the above category. Thus there is a need for spiritual help, whereby only medical and psychological help is what is described above as “human aid.”
Pg 26. That “prevention of relapse” through psychotherapeutic methods and “self-knowledge” is insufficient as described in the story of an apparent successful treatment from the famous Dr. Carl Jung which states, “Above all, he believed he had acquired such a profound knowledge of the inner workings of his mind and its hidden springs that relapse was unthinkable. Nevertheless he was drunk in a short time. More “baffling” still, he could give himself no satisfactory explanation for his fall.” Being on mental guard for relapse and learning prevention skills will not provide the defense against using again, it must come from The Power Above, with integrity only achieved through spiritual principles. Personality change removes this “baffling” as well as cunning feature of addiction, and one is freed from the bondage of active addiction by rising above the problem although one must continue to grow spiritually in order to remain free.
Pg 58 “Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path.” We speak with similar conviction that successful recovery is near, especially with our enhanced program of combining the Torah and the Twelve Steps. Only personality change through spiritual principles is the guarantee for freedom from the obsession to use. The famous Dr. Bob, co-founder of AA, at the end of his personal story uses the term it (the program) never fails, if one makes even half the effort used to obtain his booze.
Pg 93 In reference to helping with the Steps someone with a strong religious background and education the AA text states,” Call to his attention the fact that however deep his faith and knowledge, he could not have “applied” it or he would not drink. Perhaps your story will help him see where he has failed to practice the very precepts he knows so well.” It is important to acknowledge that someone who” applies” a life of Torah will not become an alcoholic or addict. Torah is the purest source of spirituality, the addict who honestly practices Torah in his life will be fully in the recovery process and will not want to use mind altering chemicals again.
The Talmud states that the Torah is the “Tree of Life”, whereas the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was the grapevine and wine, which brought physical death into the world.
The Kabala teaches the angel associated with the snake in the Garden of Eden is named (Samael), translated literally as the “Angel of Drugs”.