Narconon Arrowhead Releases New Booklet on Guilt and Addiction

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The newly released The Life Cycle and Mechanics of Addiction authored by Gary W. Smith, Executive Director of Narconon Arrowhead, details guilt as the third barrier to successful recovery which the addict faces.

The addict feels guilty because he has committed dishonest deeds against the people he cares about.

The Life Cycle and Mechanics of Addiction sheds new light on addiction and the addict, and explains why guilt is an integral part of the life cycle of addiction. The author points out that an individual who becomes addicted to alcohol or drugs doesn’t “just decide one day” to start using drugs until he or she destroys their family, their relationships and their life in general.

Smith, who has decades of professional experience in the chemical dependency and drug rehabilitation field, details earlier in the booklet that addiction itself “starts with a problem.” Furthermore, that alcohol or drugs are chosen by the person as, “a solution to relieve the discomfort” he or she is experiencing as a result of being unable to solve the problem.

Mental and physical complications follow this decision, and add-up to a serious overall decline in the person’s quality of life as a result.

Guilt and Addiction: How it Happens

The author of The Life Cycle and Mechanics of Addiction points out that to be successful, a drug rehabilitation program must help the addict face his or her transgressions—the violations of rules, agreements or laws; and enable the addict to clean-up the wreckage of his or her current life resulting from the addiction and dishonesty.

Smith further details that prior to addiction, “most addicts are basically good people with a sense of right and wrong”; and having no intention or desire to hurt other people. But as the cycle of addiction progresses, the drug cravings along with the other mechanics of addiction begin to crumble the individual’s self-control. The person then gets into situations where they are saying and doing things which they know down deep are not true—or right.

These dishonest and/or damaging things are done in an effort to cover-up and continue their drug use. And if the pattern of drug or alcohol abuse continues, the addict eventually becomes trapped in the vicious cycle of using drugs; hiding the fact of drug use; lying about it; and even stealing to support further drug use.

The memories of each misdeed committed will include all the circumstances surrounding it at the moment the deed was done. The memory will include who was involved, when it was, where it occurred, and what the result of the dishonest deed was.

Because the addict knows these misdeeds are wrong, and because the basic person himself or herself (not the addicted personality) is good, he or she will feel bad—or guilty—after committing the dishonest act.

As the addiction continues, more and more transgressions are committed by the addict. As a result, more and more things and people related to the transgressions become triggers reminding the addict of their dishonest acts.

Just seeing a person or an object can be enough to trigger the guilt, sometimes with no words needing to be said.

As the transgressions committed by the addict increase, he or she will further withdraw from family and friends; eventually pulling away and secluding himself; even becoming antagonistic towards those he or she loves.

The fundamental remains that the basic personality of the addict is good. The reason he or she will end-up withdrawing from those people they love is due to the fact the addict knows they are doing the wrong things. This action of withdrawing from those places and people the addict has harmed is their attempt to restrain themselves from committing further transgressions toward the people and places the addict cares about.

The Third Barrier to Successful Recovery: Guilt

The author notes that numerous forms of substance abuse counseling strive “to create positive moral change” in the addict. He cites Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and the Twelve Step program as popular approaches.

Smith details that this recovery approach can work dependent on the addict still retaining the social skills necessary to communicate and interact in a group setting. He also notes that the person must have high enough levels of responsibility and confront to admit wrongdoing—and to make-up the damage which has been done. The author points out that if addiction persists long enough, the addict “will lose even these basics social skills”.

The author closes with a section entitled Turning the Corner to Recovery, sharing the vital information that when conventional approaches to addiction treatment and recovery are not working with the drug-addicted individual, “there are effective alternatives to pursue” before giving-up.

The Life Cycle and Mechanics of Addiction is a must read for any person seeking to understand addiction and how to help someone struggling with a substance abuse problem.

For more information on The Life Cycle and Mechanics of Addiction, please contact Narconon Arrowhead at 1-800-468-6933. To download the booklet click here.

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Derry Hallmark
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