Many people believe that if they have a problem with one drug, they can simply switch to using a different, safer drug. For example, someone with a heroin addiction may think that, once they are no longer physically dependent on heroin, they can use marijuana with impunity. From the collective experience of many men and women who have successfully recovered from addiction, this has been found to be untrue. Addiction is not substance-specific. We may be physically dependent on one drug, but our addiction is to the feeling provided by intoxication. Our preferences for what we use to achieve the perceived comfort provided by intoxication may vary, but the nature of addiction does not discriminate by substance. As men and women suffering from the disease of addiction, we have what is referred to as a “spiritual malady.” This spiritual malady can be described as a sense of internal unmanageability that we have learned to medicate with drugs and alcohol. If we remove our substance of choice, but do not address these root causes of our addiction, we will simply find another substance to ease our spiritual pain. Because of our disease, however, any other substance has the potential to make our lives just as unmanageable as they were before giving up our drug of choice. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous explains that “our liquor was but a symptom” of our spiritual malady, and “the only relief we have to suggest is entire abstinence.” If we do not embrace complete abstinence from drugs and alcohol, our lives will continue to be unmanageable and we will continue to face consequences, albeit from a different substance than before. It is a very common misconception for a person to think that they can give up one drug and not another, because in their eyes only one was a “problem drug” and the others were not. However, we must be willing to look at the entire spectrum of our disease rather than just our dependence to one substance. We will inevitably find that our sense of wellbeing and quality of life are vastly improved when we embrace complete sobriety.
Addiction does not have to be a life sentence. Recovery is possible. You can change your story and begin building toward a brighter future by seeking help today. Oceanfront Recovery, a treatment facility in beautiful Laguna Beach, is staffed with compassionate and knowledgeable professionals dedicated to providing you all the tools needed to achieve and maintain sobriety. For more information, please call today: (877) 279-1777