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Most treatment for addicts, while helping them cope with their lives, does not heal the underlying causes of their addictive behavior. 

There is a lot of research now available that shows that the cause of addictions is not the substance itself. The classic example is of Vietnam War veterans who were heavy users of heroin. On returning to the US, many of them (over 95%) were able to come off the heroin with no problems and continue to live normal drug-free lives. The videos below give these details and explain how we need to exist in a connected, loving society in order to function as happy, addiction-free human beings.

Addiction Trigger

This however is only one half of the problem. We also now know that a trigger for addictive behavior is subconscious stress. This is not the stress we experience in our lives on a daily basis. It originates from events that have happened to us, often before the age of 6, which we interpreted as stressful and triggered our FightFlight or Freeze (FFF) response.

The FFF is driven from our subconscious (or reptilian brain, the oldest part of our brain responsible for survival). The role of the subconscious is to keep us alive at all costs. It is constantly scanning the environment, checking for signals that tells us if we are in danger. It is estimated that the processing power of the reptilian brain is 40 million times more than that of the conscious brain, or pre-frontal cortex.

'Life-threatening' emotional pain

Where the problem comes in, is when the subconscious interprets any form of pain, including emotional pain, as life-threatening. It will do anything to prevent us from feeling this pain. At some point in an addict’s life, they discover that a substance (or behavior) will stop the pain (obviously only temporarily). The subconscious hooks onto that substance/behavior as a life-line. Remember that PAIN = DEATH to the subconscious. Now it has a way of avoiding ‘death’. And now we can see why threats of losing a job, marriage, children etc. fade into insignificance compared to the alternative – in the reptilian brain, death!

Much of this pain is is the pain of disconnection or lack of bonding - and most of this lies in our childhood. An added complication is that the often unpredicable stress we experienced in childhood has formed a blueprint for our lives. The chaos and tension feels normal. So when we find a behavior like gambling, or the chaos of the drug lifestyle, this feels familiar and 'safe'. Or maybe for an alcoholic, they coped with childhood stress by 'numbing out' - a feeling mimicked by alcohol.

So how do we deal with this?

Most modalities, including psychology and psychiatry, give tools to avoid, repress or ‘cope with’ this. These however are not always effective, as anyone who’s dealt with an addict knows. There is always a sense of ‘white-knuckling’ through life, and always a fear they will return to the substance. Now we can understand why. The pain has not been dealt with. Often, if they are able to, the addict will swap the substance for another, more socially-acceptable one, like sugar or cigarettes. This serves the same function as the original addiction – to repress or numb the pain.

The key to this is to deal with the pain by accessing the deep subconscious memories, and healing these. These heal not only the memories, but the pain associated with them - removing the need for the substance/behavior to block pain. The ReCode process also deals with 2 key aspects for preventing relapse, triggers and subconscious beliefs. Finding and shifting these ensures a far greater level of success in relapse prevention.

However, both sides of the addiction problem MUST however be addressed. The addict has to heal the trauma memories - as well as be placed in a loving and connected environment. Successful recovery cannot be achieved without both.  

Here are some great videos that explain addiction in a different way. If you are dealing with an addict and believe that they are just trying to seek attention, these will hopefully shed more light on their behavior and actions.

The key is getting addicts into a 'rat park' instead of a 'rat cage'; and healing emotional pain in the subconscious.

Addiction and the Rat Park experiments

ReCode Founder, Veronica Haupt, interviewed on UK Health Radio - Addictions

The Root Cause of Addiction