While certain government agencies and officials may have put forth what they consider to be a standard definition of addiction, seemingly more people than ever are willing to look outside the bubble to see what works for them. Sometimes these definitions are primarily made up of observed behaviors or chemical interactions, while others may try to look at it more holistically.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) says addiction is “a chronic, often relapsing brain disease that causes compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences to the addicted individual and to those around him or her.” Whether or not someone adopts the theory that addiction is a brain disease, the rest of the definition seems to fit – at least mechanically.
In The Serenity Principle, author and Gulf Breeze Recovery consultant Joseph Bailey wrote, “becoming addicted to drugs, alcohol, food, sex, gambling, or any other substance or circumstance represents an innocent, often desperate search outside ourselves for a positive feeling.” Bailey continued on to say that there is some sort of root insecurity as a basis for addiction.
Seeking comfort isn’t a bad thing, but when people are searching for that security in destructive ways then it is completely unhealthy. We believe that people are innately healthy and that the way to overcome addiction is to dive inward to find our own comfort deep within our true selves. This recognition eliminates the desire to become dependent on outside sources for that comfort or security.
Yes, addiction has many components and therefore many areas that need to be addressed both mentally and physically, but to pin someone down into a category or with a fixed label or definition when they have the power and ability to recover their own health seems like it would be counter-intuitive. People can develop more understandings about themselves and thus navigate life with their new found insights. More importantly, they can have the freedom to no longer suffer and create new definitions and meaning for their lives.
This is the path we seek for our guests at Gulf Breeze Recovery – to write their own present and future without addiction anywhere in it – to have it be something that only exists in the past rather than a perpetuating problem.
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