How comfort is achieved is irrelevant to a person in pursuit of a quick solution. Our system will adapt to whatever is providing relief. 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 getting better through medicinal means, he will rely on the chemical crutch. This creates true addiction. Relying on a substance in order to establish change sets a person up to believe that transformation is impossible without the assistance of a drug.
A drug doesn’t know if it is legal or illegal. People will often use “legality” as a justification for drug and alcohol abuse. The negative effects of marijuana, especially among young people, are the same after legalization as they were before. On the subject of prescription medications, millions of people 12 or older use prescription drugs non medically. The bottom line is that those who are abusing any drug are seeking a particular outcome; immediate relief.
The pursuit of alleviation isn’t wrong. The means of this seeking is what can create problems. The belief that instant gratification must be achieved has to change. The reason why the twelve step approach is effective is because it requires a person to thoroughly examine all aspects of his or her life. The effects of this major overhaul may not be immediate but the change is likely to be permanent with some basic maintenance. The goal of recovery is to achieve sobriety and not fall back into patterns of self destruction.