HUNGER FOR WHOLENESS: Instead of Judgement, We Can Find a Reason for CompassionApr 05, 2015
The verdict is still out on what causes addictions and substance abuse, and how we can best provide support and treatments that offer true healing. We can suspect our genes to have some impact on our future. However, the environment is also responsible for providing conditions beyond any human beings ability to cope. I argue the point that addiction originates from some kind of trauma. I build my case referring to five studies and two books on the subject, as well as my own experience.
Also, to argue the importance of this issue, I share thoughts about how we as a society are participating in the vicious cycles of abuse by not offering sufficient support to those who are victimized. After years of studies on trauma, addiction, and abuse, I would dare to claim that addictions, of many different kinds, are complex family issues that need to be exposed. They run rampant in our society, often impossible to discover until years later, too late for many. The fear and desperation in the eyes of an addict were initiated decades ago, often in a helpless child, traumatized by its environment.
Therefore, to prevent generations to follow a similar path, we have to offer healing for the addicts and their children, not just treatment…healing back to wholeness. We have to create a safe place for our children to grow up; and to be successful we have to start by healing the parents. In doing so, it is imperative that trauma is included as a cause for addiction. I often refer to Peter Levine and Gabor Mate’ who are both trauma specialists, to argue my point that treatment programs must offer a holistic approach. Without offering specific healing from trauma, a large portion of the addicts’ conditions are ignored and a path back to wholeness is out of reach.
For that reason, I use research to show the convincing evidence that, especially for women, trauma is most commonly originated in abuse, and more than likely the main causes for addiction.
Also, for women with a history of abuse, more often than not the abuser was a man. With that in mind, it becomes pretty clear that the treatment programs need to be gender specific. I show an example of such a program, and argue for a long-term support system with a structure similar to treatment programs for chronically ill; a place where families get involved as part of the recovery. Because, I would dare to state that trauma, especially childhood trauma, is a family issue.
In other words, we are all in this together. One way or another, you will come in contact with a person, maybe even family member, who is suffering from some type of trauma, or addiction. Either directly or indirectly this will affect your life. Knowing about trauma and how to lend a hand to people who are imprisoned by their addictions is as useful as knowing about First Aid. You can help a person in additional ways. With the right encouragement, the suffering addicts can find their way back to wholeness, and support the next generation to do the same. The addicts, instead of being considered a burden on society, they can find opportunities to develop a healthy sense of self, and be participants in the solution for our communities.
So, while the experts still argue, I will present my evidence to show a strong connection between trauma and addiction, and with the experts help, expose a pattern that can no longer be ignored. I argue that trauma can finally be recognized as the prominent cause for addictions and substance abuse.
Granted that some scientists still do not want to commit their studies as being evidence for addiction, the studies can still be used as strong probable causes. And if we consider that studies have shown that traumatic events have the likelihood to be a strong suspect in the potential development of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), we need to realize that PTSD has been connected with addiction and alcoholism. Stay tuned…..
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