Substance addiction, whether to drugs, alcohol, smoking,
or food, is a form of escape. The addictive cycle provides psychic energy
that is used to maintain suppression as well as to provide energy to simply
function. This condition is reached because of the habitual behavior of
escaping. The constant turning away from ourselves builds the blocks that
cut us off from our natural, inner energy resources, resulting in extreme
self-rejection and dependence on the substance.
In all substance abuse, we gain access to energy within.
What we tap into, however, is a form of reserve energy. We use up our reserves,
and the eventual end is complete psychic and physical exhaustion. Addiction
to alcohol as well as to illegal and prescription drugs is rampant in our
culture, although many people think they are not addicted because their
level of consumption is no more than normal. They see themselves as “social”
drinkers or drug users. In other forms of addiction, we tap into energy
outside of ourselves. This happens in power or sexual addictions, for example,
when others are involved.
All addictions have the same deceptive quality. We
think we are benefiting from the addiction because we feel more relaxed
or function better when we are on the peak. We forget that the valleys between
the peaks are also created by the addictive cycle.