This is a question that has been presented to me an uncountable amount of times, in the duration of my professional career. What´s more, it’s the same question I asked myself when, at the beginning of my own journey, I tried to find a definitive solution for that psychological, emotional and physical condition, that I experienced.
From 1993, when at a point of life or death I decided to look for support, I found partial answers that aimed to resolve that question, answers that by consequence of a competitive and reductionist approach, have rarely been complementary or mutually supportive.
Back then, nearly 30 years ago, the way addiction was viewed was based solely on conduct, which is to say that those who consume illegal substances are addicts; so much so, that in some circles alcoholism and addiction were considered different things, something along the lines of ‘the habit creates the monk’.
Nowadays, when we talk of substance or behavior addiction, we can’t limit ourselves only to a medical perspective, which concentrates on the physical aspects; referring to it as an illness, or a psychological view; that observes only the conduct, or a social view point; skewed by myths and prejudice that isolate and condemn the addict, or in many cases, relieves them of responsibility, thus minimizing the problem.
The diagnosis, monitoring and recovery of addictive behaviors or dependencies, require a more current, broad and transdisciplinary outlook, which calls for competent and skilled professionals, to efficiently assist the addict and their family.
From this viewpoint, the ‘Consejería Profesional en Adicciones’ (Addiction Counseling) allows you to articulate an answer and possible solution for special cases; where there could exist a bad relationship with substances and/or behaviors, where you can sense addiction… including methods that are adapted to the individual, their pathology, recognizing the influence of other significant people and their social and cultural context.
So, which are the advances that have been conducted in parallel to, and independently, that can bring us a solution to a problem of this sort? yet again, the answer is ‘many’.
To begin with, knowledge around the human organism has exceeded any hypothesis that may have been stated in the 90s, and which now resembles science fiction. Disciplines such as neurology, endocrinology, immunology and the cognitive processes, have opened up a field of medical interactions, which amongst themselves alone, are already a universe.
On the other hand, the evolution of psychotherapy intervention, using different approaches have had no choice but to mutually acknowledge each other. A psychologist expressed to me, during a conversation about addiction, “If a psychotherapist doesn’t come to the conclusion that their practice has to be a bit eclectic, or that their abilities are limited by their training, it means they have not had enough practice”.
Therapy, that as well as contemplating psychological or emotional aspects, attends to somatic aspects, takes shape and gives answers and solutions with real relevance in the recovery process.
Even traditional medicine and outdated methods, have given valid answers for addiction treatment, as is the case of Ibogaine in heroin addicts, giving new perspectives and a purpose in life, for those who’s condition means that they have lost it all, including their dignity.
Even the study of experiences lived in infancy and understanding the importance of order in family systems, have helped us reach important conclusions.
So, ‘what makes a person addicted?’, is a question that can’t be answered in only one field, however, ‘how can you treat addiction?’, is a question that can be answered, if we are prepared to collaborate and not compete or monopolize, to follow what seem to be the signs, at this present time, to save our lives, humanity and humans.
Oswaldo Velásquez Muñoz
Centro de Actualización para la Naturaleza del Ser Humano.
Avda. Isidor Macabich, 20 bis, 6º 2ª
Tel. 971 527 779 / 686 784 261
Instagram / Facebook: @zentrohumano
Web: www.oswaldovelasquezmunoz.com / www.zentrohumano.com