Alcoholics have an allergy to alcohol and once taken into the body it causes a certain chemical reaction that they have no control over. Because of this chemical reaction to alcohol in the body, they cannot consume even a small amount of alcohol without causing a craving for more alcohol.
After consuming just one drink of alcohol, this chemical reaction takes place and the alcoholic will not be able to stop drinking until this craving to drink subsides or they are unconsciousness, jailed, or dead. We who have this disease have no ability to stop once we start to drink. We have no more control over controlling the amount we drink than we have control over our heart beating or having to breathe air and there is no medical cure. This disease also seems to affect drug addicts in the same basic way.
Not only do we suffer from the disease of the body but a spiritual disease also. We suffer from worry, fear, depression, boredom, anger, hopelessness, and feelings of uselessness. The spiritual side of this disease exists usually long before the use of alcohol or drugs and is in fact, why many begin using. Alcoholics and or drug addicts experience remorse, self-condemnation, and live in emotional turmoil because of their choices in life. Feelings of uselessness, fear, and depression will haunt them and they turn to their drug of choice, whether it is alcohol, barbiturates', cocaine, speed, or all these to relieve these feelings. However, this only worsens the problem sending them in a vicious circle of using to feel better.
Addicts are a very selfish lot whose lives center on their addiction. Their spirituality centers on their drug or alcohol use and this creates the obsession that they need to use drugs and or alcohol to feel normal.
Therefore, what we have here is a disease of the spirit, mind, and body.
The effect of alcohol or drugs is the reason any of us start to use. Some people are able to stop after consuming only a small amount and then there are those who do not like the effect of alcohol or drugs whatsoever. Some people like the effect and consume a great deal but can stop when they really want to. Then there are the one's that have an allergy to alcohol and drugs. They cannot stop once they start. They love the effect and will drink and or use drugs until they pass out; go to jail, or death occurs. Many end up institutionalized after a time if never treated.
Addicts will spend many years trying to live a normal life while drinking and or drugging. Addicts are obsessed with the idea that they can enjoy getting high, control the amount they use, and manage their actions in a reasonable fashion. However, without fail they use much more than intended, get in fights, go to jail, hurt themselves or another seriously, misses work and is fired, or all the above. Ask yourself and be honest,
"Can you consume small limited amounts of alcohol and or drugs and enjoy?" The fact for an alcoholic or drug addict is that if you are controlling it, you are not enjoying it.
Most alcoholics are in denial of their physical and mental state of being. They cannot or will not be honest with themselves and make many excuses not to get help. They say that they enjoy drinking; it helps them relax, they do not have a problem, or that they can stop on their own when ready. The actual reality is that they cannot stop on their own when ready, they are facing a miserable existence until death, and they have a serious eternal life-threatening problem.
Addicts are usually very egotistic and have a hard time admitting that they have a problem. Some will deny it all the way to the grave. Many have the idea that alcoholics are homeless and are the rabble of society. To some extent, this may be true, but most are not. We see homeless people living in cardboard boxes and under bridges and stereo types portrayed on TV and movies and come to the conclusion that we are not addicts. We are not like those people living in cardboard boxes or under bridges, I am different, we say. Substance abuse is not a disease of the poor or down and out. It is a disease of the rich, middle class, and poor. Whether you are a doctor, CEO of a large company, or a blue-collar worker, it does not discriminate. Although, many will end up destitute, in jail, institutionalized, or dead if they do not receive treatment. There are countless stories of people losing vast sums of money and property because of their addiction.
Those with this condition need to realize that a mental or physic change is necessary to overcome this disease. Our mental attitude and subconscious thinking needs a readjustment. Usually only a crucial spiritual experience sufficient to bring about this mental change will be successful. On in other words a realization that we have to change our way of living. That our way of thinking is flawed and needs changing if we are to have a chance at living life in a harmonious and happy way.
Some people have profound and sudden life altering spiritual experiences and some spiritual experiences are the educational kind such as realizing that you need to stop drinking before death befalls you, you go to jail, are institutionalized, or that your selfish way of living is harming others and you wish to no longer cause harm. However, a spiritual experience is not always necessary in the beginning. You may simply want to stop the pain although; living life without mental and physical pain can be a spiritual experience in itself.
People seek treatment for all sorts of reasons and many do not have spiritual experiences or spiritual awakening until they work this program for a while. Probation and parole officers send many to treatment that are very early in their addiction and many of these people think they have no problem. However, after working a program such as this one for a while, some come to realize that they do have a problem, need help, and cannot fix themselves. To tear away from the grasp of this hideous disease we need to understand that we will need to let some other Power control and direct our lives. Unfortunately, most people who have risen above this disease had to suffer much before coming to this realization. Although, we do not need to suffer so needlessly to have this realization, those that have this disease and realize at an early stage of their addiction that they cannot cure themselves and need the guidance of a Power greater than themselves, are truly wise and blessed.
Many people do not want to give into the fact that they will have to live their lives on a spiritual plane or they are doomed to a life of misery, jail, institutions, death, and eternal suffering. They cannot accept that their way of thinking is not working and never will. We need to crush the idea that we can drink and or drug and control our lives. However, many will not bend to this realization. Pride, selfishness, and fear rule their lives.
Alcoholism is a progressive disease; it gets worse with time, even if you are sober for a period of five, ten, twenty, thirty, or forty years, when you start to drink again it will be as if you were drinking all along. You will rapidly deteriorate to a state as if you had been drinking continuously.
It only gets worse, never better. Alcoholics will eventually deteriorate mentally and physically until severe tremors and hallucinations take hold and then finally death. Drug addicts do not fair any better.
A real alcoholic or drug addict has no hope without the power of God. There is no medical cure. He or she is hopeless. They have no defense. Only by the grace of God do you have any hope. "May you have it your heart to change and to develop a loving relationship with God?