This article is based on observable results through the Torah and the Twelve Steps approach. That is the twelve steps as exactly practiced as was done in early AA text, nicknamed the Big Book. This is not a theory or philosophy, it is an experience far deeper than any therapy, it is based on Divine Providence resulting in a complete psychic/personality change thereby healing the addict mind. Addiction is primarily a spiritual malady, thus we are talking of a spiritual solution, requiring ego deflation, moral inventory, confession of wrongs, and selfless service to Hashem in order to help others recover also. The core problem is an addict is existentially discomforted, empty and alone. Drugs provides a pseudo-spiritual solution, a false sense of connection, wholeness and there is absolutely nothing in this world nor any human therapy that can solve this, only a genuine spiritual experience, a Higher Therapy if you like. Drugs replace the essential need for a conscious connection to our Creator.
The medical model states addiction is a chronic relapsing disease based on some type of brain disorder. This belief sets up serious questions as it casts doubts that renewed faith and character change truly solves the problem, as does one really need a moral inventory for diabetes, or any other medical condition? Substance abusers may be treatable by specific therapies but the real addict is according to 12 steps “beyond human aid”. The first Step is accepting powerlessness that is that there is a loss of free will choice over the first drink or drug. There is at unpredictable times a mental block of the ability to recall the suffering of the past to avoid relapse, and the almost certain consequences of drug use do not enter in the mind of the addict to stop him. He is literally insane, and this is much deeper than any other mental condition with criteria of obsession or impulsivity. It is impossible to treat this insanity and to teach the addict to prevent this relapse. Thus step two states the necessity for a Higher Power to restore him to sanity. He is doomed without abandoning himself to Hashem, and no other mental illness is like this, that it is G-d who removes it. Thus the real addict cannot benefit from any therapy model as in other mental conditions as he is incapable of learning and practicing cognitive behavioral strategies and methods to avoid relapse when the INSANITY comes as his mind will BLANK out and all self knowledge of his addiction and information learned will be BLOCKED and he will pickup and start another episode, without any triggers.
The Alcoholic Anonymous Big Book states the alcoholic will neither tell the whole truth to his therapist, nor will he follow his advice. Addicts are expert at acting, and will often pretend to be compliant to a caretaker, they will manipulate almost anyone, even when the that other person knows the addict may be lying. Hugs and affection will not help, it’s harmful and emotional appeal is not effective. It is a baffling and confusing problem that engulfs anyone who gets close to the addict, followed by endless enabling “to HELP” the addict, which always is a form of distraction to real recovery. If bipolar, schizophrenia, OCD, etc most people understand they are sick and although there may be initially a denial of their mental health problem, they will mostly after some time acknowledge the need for help, and often benefit from treatment. However the fact the addict is beyond human aid, interestingly will draw many into a “saving the addict mode,” even some clinicians, thereby causing a an ever deeper denial of the hopelessness of his spiritual dilemma, delaying recovery.
The addict resistance is overwhelming and he doesn’t not trust completely anyone to the degree needed to be helped. Why? Because subconsciously he knows they have no answer that will really save him, so his fear of realizing his hopeless condition sets up intense denial and games. Also he can’t imagine any happiness without drugs. How then can he be helped? When the addict sees the evidence of a real solution within a group based on this same common process his defenses are subconsciously reduced enough to finally begin to trust those with this solution. The provider is transmitting a real experience not just mere academic information that goes in the head, but not the heart. Thus the provider must live the 12 steps, information and book knowledge will not work.