addictive behavior

New Paradigm for Understanding and Treating Addiction

We need a new paradigm for understanding and treating drug and alcohol addiction.  I believe that a new paradigm must value human consciousness and not negate it.  You are more than a mechanistic, physical machine.  There is a powerful ghost inside your machine.  The new paradigm will be built on three ideas or concepts that honor the existence of your ghost.  The three beliefs that will form the foundation of the new paradigm shift will be responsibility, choice and power.

Responsibility:  I believe that you are responsible for all of your experiences.  You are responsible for everything that you think, say, feel and do.  What you give out in life will eventually come back to you.  You need to stop blaming and complaining.  No one is to blame for your condition in life.  You are not a victim.  You never have been nor will you ever be a victim.  You are completely responsible for your addiction.

Choice:  I believe that life is about choice, that you are always choosing and creating your experiences. You chose your thoughts, what you think and believe to be true and as a result you chose what you experience.  You are not your thoughts or thinking, you created or choose your thoughts and then created your experience as a result of your choices.  You choose your addiction and the using of drugs and alcohol.      

Power:  I believe that you are very powerful.  I do not believe that you are not powerless.  I believe that you have the power to create and determine your experiences and life.  You always have had this power.  You never stop having this power even when you use drugs or alcohol.  You are never powerless.  You have the power to change your thinking and as a result transform your life and end your use of drugs and alcohol.    

If you are to find a true and lasting resolution to your drug and alcohol addiction you have to come to believe that you are completely responsible for your addiction, that you choose it and that you and you alone have the power to transform your life and end your addiction forever.  Currently you want to believe that you are not responsible and that you did not choose your addiction, that your addiction is the result of something happening to you and that you are powerless.  However, your beliefs are only thoughts and thoughts can be changed, if you are open minded and willing to learn.

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