The first thing that comes to mind about the class of Sept. 10th is the request that there be a creative component to our writing. This always frees me to speak freely and speaks to me of one who honors my uniqueness and personhood. This of course is what I am in school to learn and my interest has been stirred. In this blog it is my intention to share what jumped out at me rather than an overview of the whole class. The first was an answer to the question, “What is an addiction?” tied into where addiction starts and the sad truth about who gets treatment.
Twice in this class the word spiritual was used. Once when asked what an addiction was, one student answered, “A spiritual disease that someone can’t change”. The next was in a very neat picture of the four areas that addiction affects, one being spiritual and the others physical, emotional and mental. Here the attention was centered on the physical where the medical model suggests that addiction happens in the physical and affects all the others. And the sad part is the place of money in treatment focus and who gets help. Since treatment centers get funded because addiction is viewed as a disease and insurance companies are required to pay them, I suspect that they will be supporting the medical model more than the AA spiritual one. We also heard that acceptance into a treatment center is driven by funding from the government, which requires that over 80% of those entering treatment complete the program. I have been disillusioned but not discouraged. I have no doubt that there is a spiritual power within each of us that vitalizes, heals, and supports growth.
A friend of mine on his 50 plus birthday (he didn’t give up his age) said, “Aging is great. We just keep getting smarter. We can’t help it.” That is the spiritual element spontaneously happening in our lives. Still, as dual diagnosis was mentioned in the class I must say that our medical profession has made recovery possible for those who would not have a chance without a prescription. In the end I felt great relief to hear that our professor believed in a holistic model including, spiritual, mental, physical, and emotional healing. We could argue in which order these come in importance, but I prefer to agree with this holistic approach with the client steering what comes first for them.