Just because you’re not drinking doesn’t mean that you’re sober.

For several years now I have been doing a psycho-educational dialogue with the families and significant others of addicts. It’s always gone over quite well and, when you have 150 people in a room and they suddenly discover that they are not alone in their experience, it goes a long way toward consciousness raising, the development of compassion, and the quelling of resentment.

Addiction is complicated. It is one of the most pervasive and least understood of maladies. It’s not that we don’t understand addiction per se, but our understanding is controversial. Is it biological? Is it inherited? Is it a disease process? Is it psychological, or psycho-social, or cultural? Is it a character logical disorder or just pervasive poor judgment?

Michael.J FormicaMichael J. Formica is a board certified counselor, integral life coach, teacher and self-development expert who writes and lectures extensively on spirituality, psychology and related disciplines. He attended Columbia University’s Teachers College, among others, and, in addition to three advanced degrees in psychology, has been awarded degrees in both theology and philosophy. Michael has had training in the Theraveda and Mahayana Buddhist traditions, and is an Initiate in the Shankya Yoga lineage of H.H. Sri Swami Rama and the Himalayan Masters.

Editor: Jafar Ali

Here is video of Dr. Sadaqat on drug addiction in Pakistan
Dr. Sadaqat Ali talks about drug addiction in Pakistan

Well, the answer is yes and no. Talk to ten different people and you’ll get ten different perspectives. There are, however, some constants.

Although this model applies to all addictions — whether it is drinking, drugging, sex, gambling, pornography, love, shopping, etc. – I am going to stick with the language of alcoholism, as it is somewhat universal.


It’s also important to remember that the behavior attached to an addictive process (drinking, drugging, etc.) is a symptom, and that, speaking psychosocially, addiction itself is a breakdown in impulse control and has something of an obsessive-compulsive dynamic (see Addiction: A Zen Perspective).

From the standpoint of psychosocial generalization, addicts lie, cheat and steal. They are deceptive, sneaky, secretive and a bit paranoid. No matter whom they are, or who they present themselves to be, they have only a single motivation – securing their next fix. Harsh? – yes, cynical? – yes — but, by and large, fairly accurate.