Psychiatrist Carl Jung claimed the addiction to alcohol to be “the equivalent, on a low level, of the spiritual thirst of our being for wholeness, expressed in medieval language: the union with God.”
He noted that alcohol in Latin is “spiritus” and said the same word is used for “the highest religious experience as well as the most depraving poison.” “Spiritus Contra Spiritum” was his way of saying ‘fight fire with fire.’
If addiction is finally confirmed to be a chemical imbalance in the brain, shouldn’t treatment include new methods, medications and strategies to slow or end this national epidemic? Other parts of the world are getting 50%+ success rates and most of ours offer 15%. Even AA, in some studies, shows a success rate of 5-10%. The other 90% end up in jails, hospitals and cemeteries. That’s not success.
This disease of addiction has diagnosable symptoms that can be measured and treated. It also comes with a spiritual facet. It breaks the user down on a ‘soul level’ to the point that the person disconnects, or tries to, from the Source. Break that merger and the battle for the soul becomes easy.
Our spiritual first step is to stop bashing addicts unless you’ve walked a mile in their shoes. I am thoroughly convinced that only an addict can understand another addict. It will be a united effort between clean and sober people who have fought and gotten a reprieve from the chemical, emotional and mental hooks of active addiction and the medical community to solve it.
I believe MAT-medically assisted treatment-will be key in releasing heroin and opiod addicts from the unrelenting grip of constant usage. It has worked in other countries, mostly Europe.
One country, Portugal, decriminalized drug use and cut its national addiction rates by half! In addition, related diseases and disorders were drastically reduced. Prison populations lessened and those funds were used to offer nationally funded detox, rehabilitation and job opportunities by subsidizing recovering addicts with 50% of the peoples’ salary for an initial period of time.
America is the strongest and most wonderful country. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. But, we need to lead the world in addiction research and programs that offer hope to both the addict and the people connected.
Knowledge is power but self-knowledge is empowerment. It is time for everyone of faith to step fully into the roles that were set for us long ago. To carry the message, it is critical that we establish a powerful spiritual matrix by sending all of our prayers up continually to save us from ourselves.
Addictions, advancing mental illness and mind-boggling experiences to live through have been the result of the wearing down of the faithful. There are too few of us fully living our faith to carry us all home. We all are needed.