After decades of changing treatment approaches and the continued deepening of drug and alcohol abuse, professionals still struggle to find effective techniques for helping addicts and alcoholics. The medical approach utilizes drugs to combat the physical addiction. “Harm reduction” has also increased in popularity. Many of the medicines used do provide a short term solution. In fact when giving a prescription a doctor or psychiatrist will often make it very clear a drug is “non-addictive.” The problem for a person with a drug or alcohol problem is that if given the opportunity to use a drug as an aid, the addict will become dependent on the chemical rather than seek a holistic solution to his or her problem.
The substance abuser is at risk of believing the drug is the solution. Anything an addict takes has the potential to tap into the addictive personality. An addict or alcoholic wants to feel immediate relief. How comfort is achieved is irrelevant to a person in pursuit of a quick solution. When someone with a drug or alcohol problem begins to heal he will give credit to whoever or whatever provides the perceived solution. This perception is dangerous when it involves drugs. If an addict is convinced he is better through medicinal means, he will rely on the chemical crutch. This creates true addiction. Reliance on a substance to establish change sets a person up to believe that transformation is impossible without the assistance of a drug. The non-addict is at risk as well. If the non-addict relies on a drug, even if it is “non-addictive” he or she will be less likely to resolve the emotional issues causing trouble. The drug removes the impetus to change; i.e. the anxiety. The spiritual solution, finding a connection with God, is not always the easiest or most comfortable answer. However, combined with physical and emotional recovery, it is the most permanent.