Addicts and Alcoholics are responsible for their addiction.

When will we stop blaming people, places and things for the current drug and alcohol problems that we are having in this country? All of the blaming that we have done so far has not fixed the problem because blaming can not fix it. Blaming only stops us from focusing on the real cause of the problem. Blaming actually supports more of what we say we do not want to have happen, that is, drug and alcohol addiction.

The cause of drug and alcohol addiction is not the drugs, the alcohol, the deal dealers, the physicians, the pharmaceutical companies, our genetics, the past or any other reason we can invent for the drug and alcohol problem we are currently experiencing in this country. The cause of drug and alcohol addiction is to be found in only one place, within the thinking, thought process and pattern of the addict or alcoholic.

How many more people have to die before we understand that a shift in our thinking about drug and alcohol addiction has to happen? If we do not put the responsibility for the drug and alcohol epidemic where it needs to be put, with the thinking and belief system of the addict and alcohol, it is certain that the current epidemic will not only continue but steadily increase or get worse as it has been doing the past few years.

Dr. Harry Henshaw

Poor Self Esteem is the Real Cause of Drug Addiction

A negative self image and the poor self-esteem that it causes is the primary cause of drug and alcohol addiction. The problem is not the drugs or alcohol, it never has been. For way too long we have believed that the cause of drug and alcohol addiction is either the drugs and alcohol themselves or something physical, that is, our brain.

The real cause of drug and alcohol addiction will not be found in any other person, place or thing but only inside the individual, within his thinking. When a person consciously decides to focus on transforming his self image, on how he thinks about his value and worth as a human being, then and only then will he start to find an authentic solution to his drug and alcohol addiction problem.

Until the individual learns to heal the relationship with the man or woman in the mirror things will continue to be the same and will continue to use drugs and alcohol to numb himself of the negative thoughts that haunt his mind. Individuals who authentically come to respect, accept and love themselves will not use drugs and alcohol.

The real solution to drug and alcohol addiction is to help an individual learn how to respect, accept and love themselves as they are now, to let go of their belief that they are not good enough and as a result of this work they will come to stop using drugs and alcohol forever. Drug and alcohol addiction is not a physical disorder so much as it is primarily a thought disorder. a thought disorder that constantly tells them that they are not good enough.

The real addiction is not to drugs and alcohol but to a way of thinking, a way of thinking that tells you that you are not good enough, that you are inferior, that you do not matter. Transformation and recovery is about learning that you are good enough, that you are perfect, whole and complete and that you do matter!

Dr. Harry Henshaw

The Man or Woman in the Mirror is the real problem!

The benchmark for your recovery from drugs and alcohol is not whether you are clean and sober. The true indicator of your recovery program from drugs and alcohol has to do with your relationship with the man or woman in the mirror.

The problem with your relationship with the man or woman in the mirror and your recovery is that you think you are not good enough and there is a lack of self love and self esteem. Your only problem is that you do not authentically love yourself. The problem is not the drugs or alcohol.

The true solution to your recovery and to having an authentic relationship with the man or woman in the mirror is that you have to learn how to respect, accept and love yourself just are you are in the present. The trajectory of your life will change when you learn to love yourself.

Once your learn how to truly respect, accept and love yourself you will only do things that will honor your existence and health but will immediately stop trying to self execute yourself with drugs and alcohol. Learning to love yourself is the real solution to drug and alcohol addiction.

Dr. Harry Henshaw

We are in the midst of the worst drug epidemic in the history of this country.

We are in the midst of the worst drug epidemic in the history of this country. Everyday more and more addicts and alcoholics are dying of drug overdoes. It appears that nothing that is being done to help has had any positive effect on stopping or even reducing the devastation that is now taking place. I believe that we need a new paradigm from which to both better understand drug and alcohol addiction and as a result from which to provide effective, efficient treatment. The intention of this post is to start that needed and overdue conversation.

Based on my research and clinical experience, I believe that the fundamental cause of drug and alcohol addiction is ideational in nature. The primary cause of substance abuse is to be found in the addict or alcoholic’s thinking or thought process. The addict and alcoholic have a core belief that they are not good enough, a belief that defines their self-image and negatively impacts every area of their life. This negative self-image produces negative feelings and poor self-esteem resulting in a lack of self-love.

This core belief, what I refer to as the self-limiting belief, has been in existence for years, getting its birth between the ages of three and six. The self-limiting belief tells us that we are not good enough and is created by us from the reactions of the adults around us early in life. We are the authors of this limiting belief. The self-limiting beliefs was not imposed on us or caused by others. The self-limiting belief is solely of our creation, created from our interactions with others. This beliefs sets limits on what we can experience and even creates the possibility of our demise.

While we do our best to change this core belief that we are not good enough it continues to exist inside us like a deadly virus. We try our best to eradicate this belief, sometimes consciously but mostly unconsciously, by doing and having things to be good enough in the eyes of others. While we may get some temporary relief from doing and having, at night when we are alone we continue to feel the existence of this self limiting belief, we continue to think and feel that we are not good enough regardless of what we have accomplished or accumulated in our life.

Living in our society we eventually discover the existence of drugs and alcohol. When we first experience drugs and alcohol we tend to feel good as a result of using them. While we are not necessarily conscious of the fact, the using of drugs and alcohol also gives us relief from the emotional experience and impact of a negative self-image. It is at this point that we begin to form an addiction to drugs and alcohol. Simply stated, addiction is the repetitious use of drugs and alcohol to help us to feel good and give us relief from the emotional impact and even pain created by our self-limiting belief.

As stated above, we created our self-limiting belief from our perceptions of other people’s actions and behavior towards us. Having created the self-limiting belief we are also completely responsible for its existence and everything that it eventually sources into our life. The self-limiting belief is like a magnet, a magnet that attracts experiences that must be a match to the self-limiting belief. As we created and are responsible for our self-limiting belief you could also state that we choose it. Creating and choosing thoughts are synonymous in this respect.

Drugs and alcohol are sourced into our lives to serve us. Initially we bring them into our lives to help us feel better and to reduce our cognitive and emotional pain produced by our thinking and thought process. While the self-limiting belief determines the context from which we make our decisions and choose our experiences, we are responsible for the existence of and our relationship with drugs and alcohol, for the bringing of them into our life. While a dependency on them may get created, our addictive relationship to drugs and alcohol only exists because of the existence of our self-limiting belief.

Now there are implications for treatment. If the cause of drug and alcohol addiction is in our thought process and specifically with our self image, what we think of our value and worth as a human being, then the individual addict or alcohol needs to transform their primary beliefs about themselves if they are to stop using drugs and alcohol. To be in recovery the addict or alcoholic has to reinvent themselves, from one that believes that he is not good enough to an individual that believes that he is perfect, whole and complete. While this sounds simple, it is not easy for the addict and alcoholic to do.

Dr. Harry Henshaw

Creating Positive Self-Esteem is the Missing Link in Recovery

The missing link in the recovery process is learning to accept, respect and love yourself. The way that a person comes to authentically love himself is by changing his thinking, by changing his thought process.

Most individuals are not aware of the importance and power of their thinking. What is important is for us to fully understand that our point of power for changing our life is always in the present moment, in the Now. What we think in the present is important, it does matter.

Every thought we think is creating our present reality and our future experiences. Most people suffer from self-hatred and guilt. The fundamental thought that affects if not determines all of our thoughts and thinking patterns is that "I am not good enough."

When we think that we are not good enough we source or attract negative experiences into our lives, including the use of drugs and alcohol. As we are always choosing our thoughts and are totally responsible for them, we can change what we think and as a result what we experience and the trajectory of our life.

This process is what our Intensive Outpatient Counseling Program is all about, that is, helping you to change your thinking so that you can end your addiction to drugs and alcohol forever and learn to authentically respect, accept and love yourself as you are in the present, in the Now.

Dr. Harry Henshaw

"Addictive behavior is another way of saying, "I'm not good enough."

"Addictive behavior is another way of saying, "I'm not good enough." When we are caught in this type of behavior, we are trying to run away from ourselves. We cannot be in touch with our feelings. Something that we are believing, saying, or doing is too painful for us to look at, so we overeat, drink, act out compulsive sexual behavior, take pills, spend money that we don't have, and create abusive love relationships."
(page 81, You Can Heal Your Life Workbook by Louise Hay)

A negative self image and the poor self-esteem that is caused by our perception of our value and worth as a human being is the primary cause of drug and alcohol addiction. The cause of addiction is not the drugs or alcohol.

When we decide to focus on helping addicts and alcoholics to transform their self image, then and only then will we start to find authentic solutions to the drug and alcohol problems that we are experiencing today.

Individuals who authentically learn how to love themselves will not use drugs and alcohol. The solution to drug and alcohol addiction is to help addicts and alcoholic learn to respect, accept and love themselves as they are now.

Drug and alcohol addiction is not a physical disorder so much as it is a thought disorder. Addiction is a way of thinking, a way of thinking that tells you that you are not good enough. The only true solution to drug and alcohol addiction is to be found in a transformation of thought.

Dr. Harry Henshaw

How many more have to die?

How many more have to die before we acknowledge that our treatment industry and society in general do not understand drug and alcohol addiction nor how to effectively treat it?

Our current "paradigm" is to deny the influence and power of human consciousness, of our thinking and thought process, and make the cause of drug and alcohol addiction to be something other than our mind.

The general consensus is that the cause of addiction is something physical in nature, that drug and alcohol addiction has little if anything to do with the thinking and thought process of the addict or alcoholic, but has everything to do with the functioning of the brain.

The implication of such a "paradigm" is that when the physical problem or component is discovered and then able to be fixed that there will be a solution or cure to drug and alcohol addiction. How is this type of strategy working out today?

Dr. Harry Henhsaw

We are responsible for everything that we think and do.

We are responsible for everything that we think, say, feel and do. Being responsible we create and choose our thoughts, what we say, how we feel and what we do, our behavior. We are responsible for and choose our life.

We are not victims in life but rather the creator of our life. When we come to fully accept this truth about who and how we are, then and only then will we begin to consciously create the life that we say we want.

We are responsible and choose our life, including our addiction to drugs and alcohol. Once we surrender to this reality and truth we will be able to consciously choose to either stay the same or transform our life in recovery.

Dr. Harry Henshaw

Our thoughts and beliefs create our experiences and life.

Our life is created initially from our thoughts and beliefs. It is our thoughts and beliefs that determine our behavior and what we do in life. What we think about we tend to bring about. What we experience is our choice.

If I believe that I am not good enough I will bring or source into my life people, places and things that will match my negative self image and the poor self esteem that I have created. The negative life that I attract will be what I think I deserve.

With guidance and work I can change my thinking about myself and learn to transform my life. With guidance and work I can learn to love myself and as a result create a joyous life. It is my choice what I experience.

Dr. Harry Henshaw

Being positive is about loving ourselves and being connected to our Higher Power!

When we are truly positive in our life, when we think and say positive things about ourselves and others, when we are sincerely grateful for what we have in our life, when we authentically acknowledge ourselves, we are in the process of loving ourselves and also, of connecting to our Source, to Spirit, our Higher Power, to God. Connecting to our Source, to Spirit, to our Higher Power, to God is about changing and transforming the trajectory of our life from fear to one of love.

When we are connected to our Source, to Spirit, to our Higher Power, to God, we are connected to our Power within us in the Now and our life becomes about creating infinite possibilities! When we get connected to our Higher Power we not only beginning to experience authentic self love but are creating the possibility of ending our drug and alcohol addiction forever. Authentically loving yourself and being connected to your Higher Power are synonymous and create the foundation for recovery from drug and alcohol addiction.

Dr. Harry Henshaw