Addiction is not a disease but a control mechanism
“Every addiction arises from an unconscious refusal to face and move through your own pain. Every addiction starts with pain and ends with pain. Whatever the substance you are addicted to – alcohol, food, legal or illegal drugs, or a person – you are using something or someone to cover your pain.”
Suffering is an attachment to the sensation of pain, which leaves no other choice than escaping to the extent that the existence becomes intolerable. Substance abuse is a mechanism to avoid confronting pain and is called addiction.
Each substance produces a different relationship according to the consumer, substance and context.
The relationship established with psychoactive substances varies from one cultural group to another and from person to person. It is quite absurd to think that all of humanity relates in the same way to these substances and even more incoherent to put the barbiturates, cocaine, alcohol, heroin, methamphetamines and marijuana in the same bag. The relationship each person establishes with these “drugs” varies greatly depending on the context, biochemistry of the substance, culture and personal dynamics. Clearly, the first thing that absorbs the individual in the “addiction”, before developing brain neuro adaptations to these substances, is the cultural construction. The culture constructed by fear, prohibition, and ignorance; self-destruct mechanisms, “struggle”, “demons”, “possession”, “transgression”, “death”, going to the thanatos of the person who is suffering, favoring the drive of the substance.
Different anchoring mechanisms to addiction may exist, as well as immense variants of forms of suffering that the consumer needs to sleep or escape from. Ignorance and fear installed by culture can also have different effects on each individual. Each one is a universe, which is more evident if we go into altered states of consciousness.
Physical dependence of substances occurs as a result of neural adaptations in brain circuits that control functions, such as heart rate or blood pressure. Alcohol, nicotine, barbiturates and opiates (heroin), produce physical dependence. While other high addictive potential drugs like cocaine or amphetamines produce psychological dependency. Marijuana has not addictive potential, but produces a psychological dependency when it’s abused.
The context favors a poor relationship with the substances, creating fear, guilt and ignorance in the prohibition. The lack of adequate information on the sacred traditional use of master plants that alter consciousness, gives place to the recreational use and constant abuse in handling and consumption. The plants are disrespected and altered as in the case of the coca and others are demonized into madness such as marijuana.
A deeply addicted society finds a kind of scapegoat in substances that have always been with humanity and with the so called addicts, which break the established consensus by consuming “drugs” and are margined to maintain the status quo.
What is the fundamental reason for the almost medieval fear caused by drugs? Could it be that the so called addiction debates the proper use of psychoactive substances with sacred origin? What is behind the fear of different states of consciousness?
Addiction is a source of power
The “addiction” as a chronic condition inherent to certain beings, victims of “demons” contained in substances has become one of the largest business and source of power of our era. The war against drugs “invests” resources of the states in weapons, control systems, prisons and police forces. Drug trafficking and the gun industry maintains a correlation of violence that makes them survive through prohibition. The concept that the substances should be controlled within a police order, gives the result that the substance is available in a distribution and manufacturing favoring criminal drug action. There is no possibility of a legal system based on public health and the concern of the health of the consumers after being labeled as “criminal offenders” and “vicious”.
Governments solve part of their economy on drug money laundering in an act that nobody pretends to see. Pharmaceutical companies create drugs as Peregoric or the same Heroin, and now get huge profits in opioids replacement drugs. The rehabilitation centers and programs whose vision is to create dependent “forced clubs” with programs such as the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics, created to live with the “chronic dependency”, becomes the main engines of the addiction cycle.
Institutions working with the “addiction” see the “addict” as a chronically ill individual needed of “sponsors” or whose life story will always require the guide of gurus, pastors, priests, therapists and other power holders. The system structure of the prohibition of certain substances and the concept of addiction as a chronic disease promotes addictive mechanisms, creating more ignorance and barbarism around a social symptom related clearly to suffering.
The cure for addiction
Paradoxically, the cure for addiction is been found precisely in master plants such as Iboga and Ayahuasca; entheogens that promote the individual to reconnect with its true nature. The shamanic use of these plants understands the universe as energy, whose vision of God and sexuality is far from the cultural order that the West has imposed into the world. These plants give a “reset” of the mind, leading to the understanding of suffering and ego mechanisms that imprison the individual in crisis. However, the power strata classify these plants as illegal drugs and seek by all means to keep the current system based on ignorance and fear. Through the conscious use of master plants in sacred contexts, we have a great opportunity to emerge from our paradigms connected to suffering and see it as an opportunity for understanding. Master plants allow us to connect with the universe, with the intelligence of the cosmos and help us to seek healing of our body, mind and soul.
Psychedelics are illegal not because a loving government is concerned you may jump out of a third story window. Psychedelics are illegal because they dissolve opinion structures and culturally laid down models of behavior and information processing. They open you up to the possibility that everything you know is wrong. – Terence McKenna