Underlining Cause of Drug Addiction

During my nine and a half years as Chaplain of the Hamilton County Jail I saw 1900-2100 individuals booked consistently every month. At least 80 to 85 % of them were addicted to drugs. Many of them would be booked 10-15 times in just six months. What is the underling cause of drug addiction? I believe that arrested development is the major reason for drug addiction!  Arrested Development is a Fixation on Childhood Traumas. Traumas can be:
1.  Rejection throughtout childhood (ie: abusive words, putdowns,      distanced from the child, and even lack of physical touch)

2.  Cluster of 2 of two or three events (ie; death of both parents)

3.  One major event (ie; rape, molestation or physical abuse)
The Seven broad traumas that causes Arrested Development; ( Listed in order of significant.)

Fixation on Childhood Traumas
1.   Rejection (By either or both parent or a primary caretaker)
2.   Incest
3.   Molestation
4.   Emotional abuse
5.   Physical Abuse
6.   Divorce of their parent
7.   Death of a parent or primary caretaker like a grandparent
Mechanics:  In the face of impending stress overload that could result in a mental breakdown, the subconscious mind has the ability to internalize the pain either physical or psychological. When this occurs it affects and even freeze the portion of the personality that has been directed affected by the pain. This action arrests or stuns further growth in this area of the personality. Therefore, I often dealted with a eleven year old boy in the body of a 45 year old man.

Trauma is the seed  of addiction!!!
Tragically, victims of arrested development uses drugs to numb their pain! They can't enjoy today or plan for tomorrow, because they are stuck in the past. Therefore they engage in criminal activities in order to buy drugs so they can numb the pain of the past!  I recall an individual who disclose to me that he had to burglarize five homes every day in order for him to get stolen items that he could sell to support both he and his wife crack cocaine addiction.
A trauma will lead a child to internalize the pain in addition to the shame as a child will feel that they are to blame for the trauma. When this occurs it affects and even freezes the portion of the personality that has been directly affected by the pain and the shame. This action arrests or prevents or freezes further growth in this area of the personality. Therefore, I often dealt with individuals, who were emotional immature and weren't able to function as an adult.

This internal pain becomes so intense that this victim is constantly driven to numb the pain with drugs and alcohol. Their pain caused them to feel a sense of powerlessness to deal with their problems while the shame caused then to feel a sense of worthlessness about their own self-image.

My ultimate challenge was to get the victim to expose the pain and shame through gaining their trust and probing them until the pain and shame is brought to the surface so the victim can clearly see it. Then the victim was in a position to express their pain and shame. Most of the time it was very difficult for them to face it as they would became emotional distraught as they recalled the painful memories of the past....buried so deep!

I often would illustrated it by referring to termites in a house that can’t be seen by the naked eye, who are eating away at the foundation of the house. If the owner doesn’t deal with them then the house will be irretrievably damaged!  Likewise, this person would contine to be damaged by their continuous use of drugs because they refused to deal with their pain and shame.

I challenged them to become proactive about these issues instead of doing nothing. My goal was for them to feel compassion for the child that was damaged! Their inner child didn’t deserve the shame because it was the adult who traumatized the child, who deserved all the shame. A victim is totally innocent!

At this point, I encourage them to write a therapeutic letter in which the victim expresses their feeling about what happened to them as a child. I challenged them to be specific about the details of the abuse and spell it out. That is, verbalize and ventilate their feelings. This letter was for my eyes only and I would discuss the content of the letter with the victim, who was usually sobbing, profusely!  Sometimes, I would require them to re-write the letter if the letter didn’t express any feelings. Their feelings needed to be “thawed out!”

I would illustrate this painful healing process by referring to a person, who has an abscess tooth, but he is afraid to go to the dentist to get it extracted. I remained them that by doing nothing that their jaw would become swollen and get infected. My goal was to get them to believe that the pain would be greater if that person didn’t deal with the abscess. The pain of the extraction would swiftly be gone!  Likewise, I told them that they needed to extract their pain in order to get permanent relief from the trauma of the past!

I then talked to them about trusting the Lord Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and asking Him to forgive them of their own sins. Therefore, we could begin to talk about the power of forgiving others and becoming free from emotional bondage to the perpetrator or offender through forgiveness. If this whole process was successful then I would encourage them to mail the letter to the abuser. If the perpetrator had died then I would encourage the victim to flush the letter down the commode.

On one occasion, the victim wanted me to take the letter to his sister, who worked in a convenient store. His sister took the letter to the cemetery and read the letter in the place where their father was buried. She told that this letter was speaking for both of them!

This inmate, who was highly suicidal for several years reported to me that he felted totally different and he appeared to be emotional healed.  I didn’t see him in the jail for my last four years even though he was a regular in the jail previously for more than six years!

In summary, the victim must become proactive about dealing with their problems and feel compassion for their inner child. The victim must allow the pain to be exposed and expressed their feelings in a letter when they are able to forgive the perpetrator. The victim must experienced forgiveness in order to forgive. Therefore, they become emotional unshackled!  This will be as if they had an exorcism that enabled them to be free from a demon (Perpetator or Offender).
The final step is to learn to have compassion for the perpetator, which is the most difficult step. In my case, I was both emotional and physical abused by my father in addition to him constantly assulting my self-esteem. I learned the history of my father. His brother and two sisters told me that my father was seriously abused by his father. When my father was thirteen years old, his mother died and this was very traumatic to him as she was the one who protected him. During World War II, my father was a prisoner of the Germans for eighteen months.

Therefore, all this information helped me have some level of understanding of all the circumstances that shaped my father's life. I begin to feel compassion for him, which made it possible for me to truely forgive him for what he did to me. This doesn't excuse his abuse, but it allowed me to

process my father's abuse and understand his pain!

I sent him an eighteen page letter in which I told him that I forgive him for all that he did to me. In my letter I spelled out all the details of the abuse, but I told him God had forgiven me for all my sins; therefore, I forgive him. When I mailed that letter out I was a new man: All my anger, rage, and hate dissipated and I found myself controlled by a new emotion called apage love. This agape love is both unconditional and sacrifical and so powerful! Praise God I was emotionally healed and free from my past!





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