addiction and recovery
“I was never addicted to one thing; I was addicted to filling a void within myself with things other than my own love”
– Yung Pueblo
Most people think drug addiction is caused by drugs, and while it’s true that repeated substance use can lead to withdrawal symptoms and physiological dependence, this is not the real root of addiction.
Addiction is the product of an inner emptiness that arises when a person’s internal narrative about themselves makes it impossible to connect to life in a meaningful and satisfying way. This results in a mode of decision-making that is driven by emotional pain:
We all have a socially-conditioned voice in our head that continually narrates our reality to us, defines how we experience life and dictates the choices we make. For some people this voice is kind and rewarding, making them feel good about themselves and at home in the world around them. Yet for others, this voice is extremely hurtful; it continually blames, accuses and degrades, generating low self-esteem and a sense of isolation. Drug use can offer an escape from this torment when it becomes too overwhelming, although this escape is of course only temporary and doesn’t produce a lasting reprieve from this painful subconscious narrative.
When seen this way, addiction is not really about drugs at all. Instead, drug use occurs as a necessary defence against a subconscious pain that is continually activated and experienced through daily life. Therefore, while it is possible to detox and get clean, cravings often return because this unbearable mental chatter remains. What is needed is a genuine transformation of consciousness in order to enable a reframing of this inner narrative.
how psychedelics can help
For centuries, indigenous communities worldwide have skilfully used visionary plants to produce exactly these kinds of changes in consciousness. In all such cases, psychedelic experiences are incorporated into rites of passage that help individuals connect to a sense of meaning, purpose, identity and belonging, thereby alleviating emotional imbalances and soothing existential suffering. Healing therefore comes not from ingesting a visionary substance, but from the way in which the insights gained during the experience are used to radically alter one's sense of self.
Similarly, when used correctly, psychedelics can help those suffering from addiction to transform their ego by attaching to new personal narratives and meaningful identities, opening the doors to a purposeful and fulfilling life without the continual need to self-medicate. Therefore, while psychedelics do not directly cure anything in particular, it is possible to learn to use these substances as tools to start living free from the pain, fear and shame that underlies addiction.
To learn more about how to use psychedelics to facilitate recovery from addiction, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on +44 7873 331 882 or +44 7535 618 189.