Modern society is not necessarily conducive to a sober lifestyle. Drugs, alcohol, and gratuitous sex have been pervasive for a while now. The more ubiquitous hedonism has become, the further people have gotten from living by fundamental spiritual principles. When seen from a religious perspective, many people identify less and less with any religious or spiritual denomination.To some this represents a form of liberation. In reality, more people who suffer from addiction issues appear lost.
For many years it seemed that religious, and other, institutions tried to motivate behavioral change through fear. This was partially as the result of a misunderstanding of addiction, particularly with young people. For someone who is abusing drugs, alcohol, or any other form of instant gratification, fear is a poor motivation. An addict or alcoholic knows exactly how to change the way he or she feels and can do so immediately. Fear may work for a short period of time but it rarely lasts. Those who abuse chemicals need a way to create real and permanent change.
For an addict the desire to experience immediate pleasure takes precedence over delayed rewards that came from emotional maturation and spiritual growth. In the age of blind consumerism it is difficult to convince someone to take the necessary steps to truly work through a challenging situation when there is a pill, person, or product to remedy any pain. Young people are as susceptible to these messages as adults. Any real transformation begins with the acknowledgement of the problem followed up by the acquisition of real emotional and spiritual coping mechanisms.
Psychological well-being requires effort. Spiritual fulfillment involves sacrifice. Personal connection depends on the willingness to truly listen. How often do people shy away from any semblance of personal responsibility?