According to a recent study, published in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, around 11% of Canadians have an alcohol or drug problem, and this could be only the tip of an iceberg. Drug abuse has consistently increased in all Western countries since the 1960′s, with increasing reliance upon alcohol and drugs, both legally and illegally obtained as an antidote to stress.
Stress is simply unrelieved anxiety. The word stress is derived from the Latin “stringere” which means to “draw tight”, and it is certainly tension felt within the body as a result of stress that people seek to relieve when resorting to substance abuse. The evidence is now overwhelming that prolonged mental and emotional stress is damaging to the body, resulting in physical changes, detrimental to its proper functioning and internal equilibrium.
Regular substance abuse, whilst providing temporary relief from stress, inevitably ends up exacerbating the very symptoms that the user is trying to alleviate. The response of the user is often to use more.
Substance abuse, dependence and addiction, is said by the medical profession to have unknown causes, which continues to impede progress with effective alcohol and drug rehabilitation. Every addict says that he uses alcohol or drugs to make himself “feel better”, both emotionally and physically. Medical treatments look at the symptoms, and use a chemical basis for relief.
Holistically orientated alcohol and drug rehabilitation centers instead enquire of the addict as to what his emotional issues might be, addressing the person, and not just his symptoms. Symptoms can be feelings of anxiety, depression, or anger. When it is more closely analyzed, anger will turn out to be based upon anxiety or depression, and related feelings of self esteem.
Alcohol and drug addiction are each attempts to achieve a satisfying relationship, in which a substance is used over which the user has complete power and control. Addicts usually have problems with relationship issues such that they feel less anxious or depressed in a relationship where they can remain in control and have their needs met on demand. For some, drug use is a regression to the dependency and comfort of infancy, for others, the rush of the substance in their system may be the only joy they have ever known.
Seeing only the symptoms of emotional pain, expressed as anxiety or its flip side, depression, doctors rush to provide sedatives or anti-depressants. These can cure the symptoms of emotional pain. A person can feel better and so think that they don’t have a problem anymore. If there is an attempt to taper off the medication, all the former symptoms of depression and or anxiety will simply come back again. Psychological and sometimes physical addiction to the medication is the result. While drugs of any sort are remaining in the system, there can be no full recovery.
Holistic methods of alcohol and drug rehabilitation in Canada, not only provide drug free and supported natural detox, but provide the recovering addict with an understanding of his issues. When a person gets to the roots of reasons for anger, and feels the emotions that by his anger he seeks to suppress, then there is a real basis for a cure. People who undertake rehabilitation work who lack the resources, time or experience to help people to deal fully with the emotional issues relating to their addiction are like tour- guides who take you half way up the mountain, and then leave you find your own way home.