Holidays Intensify Guilt of Addiction

Guilt is a major component in the life cycle of addiction. Most addicts are basically good people before they become addicts and have some sense of right and wrong with no intention of hurting others. As they become dependent on the chemical, they begin experiencing situations where they are doing and saying things they know deep down aren't right. They begin to lose their ability to control themselves. They become trapped in a vicious circle of using drugs, lying about it, stealing to support more drug use and at each turn the addict is accumulating memories of each these negative incidents.
The addict commits a negative action and he records a memory of that moment, which includes whomever he was involved with at the time. The addict knows these negative actions are wrong and so feels bad about them after the fact. These memories of guilt can then get triggered in the present or future when he sees the people and places that were involved when the transgressions were committed in and feels bad about it.
In time these transgressions are committed more and more often and the people in the addict's life where these transgressions have occurred become "triggers" of the dishonest act or deed. The people, family members, loved ones and friend's appearance to the addict triggers the guilt. Family or friends don't necessarily have to say a word to the addict; just the sight of them can trigger the guilt. To avoid these unpleasant guilt feelings, the addict will use more drugs to insulate himself from the guilt. Addicts will also begin to withdraw more and more from friends and family as the transgressions committed increase in number. They will eventually pull away from the family, seclude themselves and/or become antagonistic towards those they love.
This is a scene that is far too often played out during the holiday season, which is when families usually reunite. The display of negative emotions and the guilt from the past transgressions typically drives addicts to use drugs heavily directly after time spent with family, attempting to chase away the guilt.
According to Luke Catton, President of Narconon Arrowhead, "We see a substantial increase in number of people reaching for help during the immediate weeks after the Holidays." Narconon Arrowhead is one of the nation's largest and most successful residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers and uses the drug-free social education methodology developed by American author and humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard, achieving a success rate many times higher than the national average.

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