What do you believe is the cause of your addiction?

One of the most important questions that you can ask and answer is, what do you truly consider to be the real cause of your drug and alcohol use and addiction? Your answer to this question is so very important. How you answer this question will determine what you do in your attempt to change or transform your life and will also influence the outcome of your efforts.

If your answer to this question is that the cause of your condition is something outside of yourself the end result of your inquiry and efforts to change will be much different than if you believe that the real cause is internal, inside you. When I make the distinction between internal and external, I am referring to external as something other than that which has to do with human consciousness, with our thinking and thoughts.

The external cause could be the human brain which is the leading contender for many. Other external causes are drugs, drug dealers, pharmaceutical companies, physicians, parents, parenting practices, trauma, environmental conditions, etc. The internal causes have to do with your thinking, your thoughts and beliefs. More specifically, some believe that it is your believed thoughts about your value and worth as a human being that is the real culprit of addiction.

It appears that the current trend in attempting to understand and as a result treat addictive use disorders is to believe that the true cause is something external to the individual addict and alcoholic. As we know only too well, the effectiveness of this type of strategy is that it is not. More and more are dying daily due to drug overdoes and the relapse rate attributed to the current drug treatment industry is less than impressive.

It is my belief that the true cause of substance abuse and addiction is internal. I believe that it is our thinking, our thoughts and beliefs about our worth and value as a human being, that is determining how we treat and act towards ourselves. The level of respect and love that we show towards ourselves through our behavior is only a direct reflection of whether we think we matter or not.

The choice as to what you believe is yours, always has been and always will be. You have the power to choose what you believe to be the cause of your substance use and addiction. You can believe that it is something external or internal as I have outlined in this post. As we know, your choice will have consequences as do all of our choices. With your choice will come the responsibility for your experiences and life.

Dr. Harry Henshaw