In this episode of “Beyond Addiction,” a podcast dedicated to sharing an innovative perspective on addiction and recovery, we explore the observable behaviors of addiction. Our hosts discuss how these behaviors manifest into using drugs and alcohol, scheming and manipulating, and finding ways to get more. In this series, experts from Gulf Breeze Recovery discuss an innovative, “inside out” approach to recovery.
The Observable Behavior of Addiction
Gulf Breeze Recovery embraces a non-12 step, holistic drug and alcohol rehab philosophy. As part of our ongoing discussion about addiction, this episode’s conversation covers the progression addiction takes, using the metaphor of a plant underneath the soil in the form of internal unrest.
In this metaphor, the internal unrest makes the soil fertile for the roots of addiction that comprise primarily of insecurity, trauma, depression, and anxiety. Observable behaviors spring from and grow into the things that people begin to notice about the actions of the addicted individual. These actions comprise the use itself, whether it be drugs or alcohol or, in many cases, a combination of both.
In this way, individuals who began drinking or taking prescribed narcotics end up trying heroin and even fentanyl. Those who started smoking marijuana end up in a state of alcoholism. Concurrent with using are scheming and manipulating to hide the growth in substance use, finding new ways to get more financial problems, absenteeism at work and home, and more.
Once the components of internal unrest are in place, the observable behavior of addiction begins to be seen.
How to Overcome a Victim Identity
The fertile soil of addiction represents an “outside-in” misunderstanding that makes a person particularly susceptible to addiction. This misunderstanding happens when we attribute our feelings and our experience of life to people, places, things, and situations outside of ourselves. The individual susceptible to becoming addicted usually encounters a substance in an innocent attempt to feel better. When it works, the cycle begins with finding more to relieve more negative feelings. This then results in the observable behavior that is common before people realize its event taking place. The person’s behavior has changed. Then, even more, negative consequences occur, and so on.
Our co-occurring treatment program is designed to address this dynamic specifically. To address their mental health issues, they expose themselves to substances, often leading to an addiction. Our holistic approach looks to help the person learn to identify their issues, recognize and overcome triggers, and develop healthy coping mechanisms to lay the foundation for a lasting recovery. Some of the therapies we offer include:
- Exercise therapy
- Family therapy
- Non-12 step therapy
Here at Gulf Breeze Recovery, we use the simple plant analogy to simplify the complicated issue of addiction. When an individual suspects he is acting out of character or perhaps an individual is confronted by a friend, employer, or a loved one, he begins to initiate defensive mechanisms to rationalize or deflect interference. This mechanism may be more on the subconscious level. This is especially true at the stage where the negative feelings associated with the substance use, such as shame, are even stronger than the original feelings that initiated the internal unrest, to begin with.
Discover How Gulf Breeze Recovery Can Help
When an individual struggling with substance use disorder creates a victim identity, it serves as a self-protection mechanism. It is meant as a solution to the individual’s problem. Part of our holistic treatment method and approach at Gulf Breeze Recovery understands this is an innocent process and not a reflection of who the individual really is.
We are not the sum of what we have done or what has been done to us. The good news is, once this is realized as a misunderstanding, our process of insight can begin to take the blinders placed by the ego off of the individual, who then begins to see clearly again from a place of reality. We can clearly see why treating the behaviors rarely has any lasting effect on the individual in addiction.
Addiction does not originate at the level of the user and associated behaviors, and ceasing these behaviors is not the solution. The solution exists within the internal source of peace, power, and personal authority. That’s why one of the guests at Gulf Breeze recovery calls us “Gulf Breeze Re-Discovery.” We rediscover the location of our eternal “Yes” to life, and it’s within reach of our guests. This is especially true when they find out what happiness really is, not obtaining material things and the ability to sustain pleasurable circumstances, but from the abundance of peace and serenity obtained from within. Learn more by reaching out to us today at 833.551.2304.