It is a common misconception that drugs and alcohol are the only offending substances to cause addictions. Many of us battle something during our lifetime that can become an unhealthy preoccupation, whether it be with drugs, money, pornography, food, gambling, dangerous risk taking, tobacco, alcohol, sex, work, or exercise to name a few. Why are humans prone to self medicate with destructive habits? The reasons are multiple and complex, but I believe that at our core we have a deep yearning for “more” in life. A pleasure that initially gave us a “break” from the ordinary gradually becomes an escape that eventually controls our lives. Do you think you have an addictive habit? Take a Screening Test for Alcohol Abuse and Drug Dependency, also known as the CAGE questionnaire, to determine if any habit, including those not related to alcohol or drugs, has become life-controlling and potentially destructive.
The only cure for an all-consuming addiction, in my opinion, is a spiritual one. In my almost 30 years as a physician, the real success stories I that have seen come from the 12-step program, where one admits he has a serious problem and asks God for deliverance, believing only He can deliver. Certainly medication, counseling and peer support are also necessary, but until one honestly reaches beyond himself to Someone greater for deliverance, he usually is doomed to failure.
If you are a member of North Idaho Direct Primary Care and would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Samuel or our counselor on staff to discuss a personal addiction, please contact our office to schedule an appointment. If you are not a member of our practice and would like to learn more, you can read about our Direct Primary Care program here.