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  • Writer's pictureMartin Polanco

The Psyche Of Addiction: Uncovering the Real Cause of Substance Abuse and Dependency Issues

Originally posted March 13, 2017

As addiction rates continue to skyrocket around the world, more people are looking for an understanding of addition itself. Is addiction really the substance itself, or is there something deeper within the individual that instigates the addiction in the first place? There is a stigma attached to addiction that carries an extremely negative connotation towards an addict. Addiction, however, can affect anyone. No one is immune from becoming dependent on drugs or alcohol.

There’s a common misconception that addiction happens to “bad people” or those who lack willpower. Nothing could be further from the truth. Most addiction stems from pain. It’s the people who’ve experienced some kind of trauma who most often end up becoming addicted to drugs or alcohol, not people who lack some moral compass. Substance abuse is also common amongst those suffering from depression and other mental health issues. Reaching for drugs or alcohol to lift one’s mood is an easy escape and can, unfortunately, turn into a serious problem.

Childhood Trauma and Addiction

It’s well-known that what a person experiences in childhood has a direct influence on what their life will be like in the future. When a child grows up in a stressful environment, they’re more likely to experience addiction later on in life. Abuse, neglect, and exposure to extremely stressful situations all increase a person’s chances of becoming addicted to drugs or alcohol.

There’s a growing body of research that suggests that what a person experiences in childhood will directly influence their likelihood of becoming an addict later in life. Take the Adverse Childhood Experience (ACEs) study for instance. It included approximately 17,000 people in Kaiser Permanente’s insurance program in California. It found a relationship between severe childhood stress and all types of addiction. The more stressful situations a child experienced, the more their chances of addiction increased.

The study measured physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, losing a parent to divorce or death, living in a house with domestic violence, having an addicted or mentally ill parent, and having a parent who was in jail or prison. The results were astonishing. A child that experienced four or more ACEs was five times more likely to become an alcoholic. A boy with four or more of these stressors was forty-six more times likely to end up an intravenous drug user than a boy who didn’t have any ACEs at all.

This groundbreaking study also showed that the more ACEs a child had, the more their chances of addiction increased. A child who was both sexually abused and lived with an alcoholic parent was more likely to experience addiction than a child who only experienced one of these traumas.

Mental Health Issues and Addiction

It’s not uncommon for people with mental health issues to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol. For people with depression, feelings of overwhelming sadness, fear, insecurity, hopelessness, and isolation can become the norm…and it’s not uncommon to turn to drugs or alcohol to get a sense of solace from these feelings. Self-medicating can become familiar to someone experiencing mental health issues, because for a moment all their troubles seem to disappear.

A few drinks here or a couple hits of heroin there can easily mask the negative emotions someone is feeling. The problem with self-medicating with drugs or alcohol is that when the substance wears off, symptoms of a person’s depression or anxiety are often exasperated. It’s easy to get caught up in cycles of substance abuse when coming down proves to be too much too handle. Taking a little more of a substance makes the depression or anxiety go away, eventually building a tolerance and a habit that is extremely hard to break.

If someone becomes an addict as a result of any mental health issues they might be experiencing, it is important to look at both the addiction as well as the cause of their mental and/or emotional problems as well. Simply trying to treat someone’s addiction without treating the root of the problem might work for a while, but it won’t be long before their issues resurface, which can quickly lead to continued drug or alcohol use.

How Psychedelic Medicine Can Help Treat the Root Cause of Addiction

To end an addiction to drugs or alcohol for good, it’s vital that a person is able to uncover the reasons underlying their current addicted state. And while traditional treatments for addiction do offer the therapy necessary for a person to overcome their addiction, it often just scratches the surface of the deeper issues at hand. Psychedelic treatments for addiction, such as Ibogaine treatment, has shown to be unprecedented when helping addicts work through the issues that have ultimately led to their addiction.

No one takes drugs or starts drinking with the intention of becoming an addict. It is most often the core issues they have at a subconscious level that have led to their current circumstances. While most people don’t realize this to be the case, psychedelic medicine is something that can open the door to a better understanding of what has led to their addiction in the first place.

Ibogaine is one such compound that helps addicts uncover the reasons behind their addiction by showing them past memories and traumas. It is often the case that the traumatic memories a person has buried deep within the psyche are the cause behind their addiction. Ibogaine takes a person on a significant inner journey that opens the doors to their psyche and allows them to see the painful memories they are subconsciously holding onto.

Some claim Ibogaine is akin to years of therapy, however, it is a treatment that lasts only a few days. Ibogaine not only allows a person to uncover these memories and past traumas, but also guides them to work through and release them for good. It also resets the neurological damage that has been done in the brain, which has shown to be excellent for helping a person overcome the physical aspects of addiction that can be extremely difficult to overcome.

In looking for addiction treatments that work, it’s vital that a person better understands the reasons behind their addiction in the first place. Addiction is a complex condition that requires a person to look deep within. And while it’s not always easy to face these painful problems, Ibogaine is something that undoubtedly will work to guide you through your addiction….and help you see the success you’re looking for when you get to the other side.

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