The malaise of addictions

addictionWatched Udta Punjab and must say, it has made me understand the issue of addiction, making me deeply concerned about this malaise. The performances and direction were great but that is not the point of this post as this not a movie review. Personally, I feel it is a must watch for teenagers , neo-adults and a good watch for all of us to know how damaging addiction can be.

The fact is addictions are so deep rooted that they cannot be healed superficially or by any amount of logical thinking. It has to be healed only layer by layer by going to a different level of consciousness. This is why even Alcoholics Anonymous, right from is foundation in 1939 espouses faith and asks the members to first admit that they are powerless over alcohol and need help from a “higher power”.  All of them realise they are not alone and everyone is encouraged to work on themselves and seek guidance and strength through prayer and meditating on any Higher Power of their own understanding to get the inner strength for overcoming the malaise they have been afflicted with.

As all addicts know and psychologists endorse, addiction cannot be combatted at the level of the conscious mind. Innumerable times, the addict will vow to turn over a new leaf, and innumerable times he will fail. The addiction has seeped deep into his subconscious and the conscious mind has no power over it. The individual is not in control over his addiction. he is enslaved to it. As the chilling credo goes, “Man takes drink, drink takes drink, drink takes man”. Drink here could be replaced with opium, heroin, manja or any other thing, the point is the product takes control of our lives, making people do things they could not have even have dreamt of earlier, hating themselves and the world around them.

Whether it is alcohol or drugs, the malaise is the same. Similarly, whether it is Punjab or anywhere in India or the world, the solution is also the same.

“God, give us the serenity to accept what cannot be changed, The courage to change what can be changed, and the wisdom to know the difference”, says the serenity prayer of Reinhold Niebuhr. This is the prayer adopted by the Alcoholics Anonymous. This prayer is extremely relevant in cases like addiction but is applicable to all of us too when we grapple with issues over which we have no control.


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