Drug abuse is incredibly prevalent in society that it amazes me to see that more people don’t link it to a spiritual crisis. It’s a problem of isolation and spirituality fixes that problem. As an ex policemen who has seen drug abuse first hand I know that the current approach toward drug addicts is outdated and benefits no one at all. In this age of science the term ‘spirituality’ is often frowned upon and comes in for much derision. Those who go in search of their spiritual side are often treated with contempt, referred to as ‘hippies’ or accused of ‘vague woolly thinking’. However, there is nothing irrational about spirituality. It’s an integral part of your psyche. It’s part of humanity and has evolved over millennia. So if you ignore it you do so at your peril.
You need spirituality, or something that connects you with a higher power. Your subconscious mind yearns for this and the problems in our society are testament of this yearning. If you don’t your spiritual side some form of expression, your psyche will find other ways to get the spirituality it needs. One of these is through drug abuse.
The nineteenth century, with it’s mechanisation and western society turning to science saw an enormous increase in public drunkenness and alcoholism. Note that alcohol has the capacity to provide a semi-mystical experience. It pulls down your carefully constructed boundaries of rationality and facts. It plays with you and strips raw your emotions and feelings. Your essence – that’s your spiritual side.
Can you say being drunk is like a skewed religious experience? Skewed because it’s chemically induced rather than brought about naturally through your psyche’s own means. This means in my view that it has the potential to be very damaging.
With western society removed from the spiritual in their migration to science we lost many of our anchors. Community, cultural history and the countryside faded and we were forced instead to bow to the demands of science and profit The urban poor turned to drink and street and domestic crime quickly followed. You might think that was then and that the world has changed. Not true, alcoholism, recreational and other drug use is prolific – so in fact the problem persists today. It could even be worse.
Transcendence Or Drug Abuse?
My view is that alcoholics and drug addicts most often do not know what they are really craving is spirituality. Psychoactive drugs in particular have long been a source of fascination for those seeking a spiritual experience, but lacking the tools to gain this insight naturally. Other users take drugs for the transcendence they experience while ‘high’. They don’t see or suspect that the experience they crave is an extreme version of the experience that can be achieved simply by allowing your spiritual side expression. There is undoubtedly a connection between addiction and the spiritual. Research has shown that if you engage with your spiritual side it provides powerful protection against addiction. Why? That’s easy, when your spiritual side is fulfilled you have removed the need to seek fulfilment through other means.
In the 70’s, a psychologist called Bruce Alexander conducted an experiment with rats he noticed that rats in isolation became addicts when offered a choice between clean water and water drugged with heroin or cocaine. They chose the drugged water. He built a “rat park” full of other rats and any amenity a rat could want. He found the rats good lives didn’t like the drugged water. They didn’t become addicted. He drew conclusions by also looking at the Vietnam war. It was reported that using heroin was “as common as chewing gum” among U.S. soldiers. 20 percent of U.S. soldiers had become addicted to heroin there and people were worried that a large number number of addicts were about to head home when the war ended. What was found was that 95 percent of the addicted soldiers simply stopped. Like the rats in the experiment when they shifted back to a pleasant cage from their horrible cage in Vietnam , they didn’t want the drug anymore. So another way of looking at this is that it’s not the addicts fault, society on the whole has created the cage.
Spiritual Solutions To Drug Abuse
Treatment programs for alcoholics and drug addicts that incorporate a ‘spiritual’ dimension have a much higher success rate than those which do not, for the reasons outlined above. It’s unfortunate that our modern world is full of deadlines, profit, distractions and cold analysis. It’s too easy to neglect or dismiss your spiritual side. BUT your spiritual side will not neglect or dismiss you. Repressing it will make it pop up in other less healthy ways. That could be stress, anxiety or anger – it can also be an inclination towards drugs and alcohol.
It’s simple to express your spiritual side because like every other human being you have an inner world. Getting to know this inner world and viewing the world around you, the bigger scheme of things through this spiritual lens will remove your isolation and heal your pain. If you are interested in knowing how to discover your spirituality and master your inner world – check out my three steps in the “Speed2Enlightenment” Method.
Author: Drug Abuse = Spiritual Crisis By Aymen Fares