Alcohol, cannabis and other substances
The most common addiction in the Western World is the addiction to alcohol.
The first edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) from 1952 refers to the phenomenon of alcoholism as a medical condition and calls it a “sociopathic disorder” seeing the addicted person as a threat to existing social order. It’s a rather crude point of view which today would allow the labelling millions of people in Australia as sociopaths.
We should remember that alcoholism didn’t suddenly appear in 1952. The “folly of drunkenness” is mentioned in the old and a new testament written thousands of years ago.
The text mentions people who drink too much wine and condemns their dishonourable and silly behaviour. It even offers advice on how to drink in moderation. So it seems that even in ancient times drinking in excess was known as a social problem.
So where do we go from there if we want to stop?
In my opinion each person should use whatever means he/she possesses when it comes to battling the addiction. If talking to people helps, talk. If is it is reading, read. If the spiritual approach helps, pray. We should try whatever helps.
In New Life Counselling I concentrate first of all on the client’s own potential, and much later on the professional approaches (counselling methodology) because I believe that everyone has a certain set of tools which are very useful in battling their addiction. Of course this is helpful only when the client truly wants to stop. Addiction to any substance is usually created over time, so we gradually teach our brain to crave the substance of choice when crisis or depression shows up.
There are exceptions to this rule as new more addictive drugs come on the market ever year.