According to Gabor Maté, who is a renowned expert on addiction, the underlying issue for those with substance use issues is some sort of pain they are trying to mask or cope with.
I often hear from clients with substance use issues that they aren’t like most addicts because they aren’t using it for fun or to party, and this shows a fundamental misunderstanding that is pervasive in our culture.
Addicts and users and alcoholics started misusing drugs and alcohol for a reason. They may have been introduced to it by friends or at a party, but what they discover during their use is that it meets a need – perhaps it helps them connect, perhaps it dulls the pain, perhaps it keeps the voices in their head at bay, or it gives a false sense of happiness.
Because the pain is so big, or they have not learned other ways to cope, the substance becomes their go to answer. So, if we do not address why they have pain, hurt, or attachment trauma, then we are only doing a partial job of helping them.
So this is your reminder that it is not all about character flaws and issues with self-will, but it is most definitely about what happened to you.