Addiction is seen not only in illegal drug use or alcohol use, but also in pornography use, and abuse of common foods leading to decreased life satisfaction, chronic illness, and premature death. Addiction of any type will hurt our bodies and our spirits. We must train our spirits and our bodies to be subject to law.
Treatment will involve extensive training on the nature of addiction, wherein the following, including some basic possible structures for recovery, will be taught and enforced.
A preliminary course of action is to begin learning more perfectly the principles of the kingdom of heaven by reading the Miracle of Forgiveness book by Spencer W. Kimball; he wrote so unyielding in its principals that even hardened addicts became successful by using it (see Presidents of the Church book by Truman G Madsen). This combined with a study of The Book of Mormon will be key in your progress in all things, especially in obtaining liberty from your addictions.
This guide doesn’t treat the topic of nutrition, but surely the sincere seeker of health will not ignore the essential principles of nutrition found in D&C 89, which reach farther than a simple list of “don’ts”. What we eat, not just the presence of absence of toxic drugs, can have a major effect on our energy, our determination, in short, our power to resist the destroyer.
I built this addiction treatment plan is based on teachings of Mark Butler, BYU professor of Family Life, author of “Spiritual Exodus” dealing with addiction.
10 Basic Concepts of Addiction
5 Signs of Addiction
3 Reasons Why We Abuse Substance
5 Recovery Stages
4 Milestones for Recovery
4 Progressive Stages of Substance Abuse
Transparency Via Therapeutic Essay Writing
Boundaries: The Personal Jihad / Taking Up The Cross
Group Therapy Strategies
Spiritual Exploration & Conquest
3 Stances for Recovery
10 Basic Concepts of Addiction
Addiction is often characterized by an inability to choose when they will use/abuse a certain substance. Unmanageability is pervasive in all aspects and relationships.
- Psychological: the anxiety/obsession associated with not having a substance.
- Physical: bodily pain experienced with the substance is not present.
- Psychological Intoxication:
Psycho activity produced from use of a substance.
- Nature of Addiction:
The turning of the life and relationships of a person over to a use of a substance.
- Substance Addiction
The addict uses a substance to psychologically transport their lives to an alter reality comprised of imagined ideals. May even lead to physical bodily transformation toward their perceived reality. The addict spirals downward into debilitated health and unstable mental state as the substance becomes addictive and pulls them deeper into their fantasy, bringing unforeseen negative consequences.
The addict eliminates the confrontation of relationships and other demands upon them via the use of a substance.
- Maladaptive Management:
The addict uses the substance as their “go to” coping mechanism, until the substance becomes their solution to every problem that arises in their lives.
- Sexual Addiction:
Undue attention to sexuality, combined with unrealistic expectations of their sexual partner, including frequency, intensity, and sex as a maladaptive coping mechanism rather than a tool to bind relationships.
Sexual compulsivity as coping with a seemingly unchangeable reality.
Sexuality in imagined settings better than reality.
Neurochemical soothing experienced after a sexual encounter.
High risk behaviors bring adrenaline and lead us to higher risk taking, until we are trapped in addiction.
- Relationship Context:
Sexuality is inherently a relational aspect of humanity. Even when acted out alone, the person will envision another person involved. Humans need parents longer than other animals, so unattached parents (divorced) jeopardize the wellbeing of the human race.
- Fragmentation v.s. Wholeness:
Sexuality is more than physical interaction. Emotional attachment to partner is a companion to physical attachment.
- Trigger of Sexual Response:
Humans are sexual creatures, and the trick is to channel those natural positive biological functions into a committed relationship. Sexuality is triggered when another human presents their sexual component to another human, and this occurs in varying stages including gestures, dress, etc.
Pornography fragments sexuality into a physical and not emotionally attached experience. It also separates procreation from sexuality. The pornography addict becomes unable to experience normal sexual pleasure, and is left to unhealthy practices to reach a pleasure threshold.
- Externalizing Addiction:
Marriage isn’t necessarily the cause of addiction. Despite best efforts in marriage, addiction can enter your or someone in your family’s’ life.
- Spirituality Support
- You can discern behaviors and needs of addicted family member.
- Lightened burden:
A relationship with God can alleviate your pain and point you toward the pathway to recovery. This is the most surefire path to lasting recovery.
- Relationship Devastation:
Sexual intimacy is the expression of oneness. When sexual activity occurs out of the marriage/unity contract, feelings of betrayal and neglect follow, ensuing in a diminished sense of worth, and a feeling of instability in intimate emotional safety.
-Change of Heart
- Final stages of recovery might occur in the resurrection, but for fullness/enhanced final stages, the change heart need occur before death.
- The gift of Christ varies, some receive full healing now, some later, like Paul who had a thorn in the flesh which he had to live with even after making positive life changes.
- Obtain your PHD: Peace, Hope, Direction
- Will and Work
- Coping, Psychological Dependency
- Chaining Addiction
-Calendar divide days into 4 quadrants. Each quadrant represents 4 hours waking hours of day. Fill each sober box.
- “100 Favorite Lies”
- “10 Reasons Why I’m Hurting My Family”
- “10 Reasons Why I Abuse Substances”
- “10 Reasons Why I’ll Likely Spend My Life in Jail”
- “10 Reasons Why I’ll Likely Die Young”
- “10 People I’ve Hurt”
- Relational Boundaries
- Pre-Post Marriage Physical Closeness Agreements
- Geographical boundaries
- The Joseph Technique: Personal Physical Relocation Tactics (run away)
- Working and non-working behaviors
- It’s not over till the fat lady sings – remain on alert even in ADVANCED RECOVERY
-Rigid all or nothing, black or white thinking
-Morals awakening – beware perfectionism
-High octane hormones
-Dangerous environment -sexually saturated society
-Not capable of adult discipline
-Not capable of adult self-mastery
-Flattens out age 25
(distribution bell curve designed by Mark Butler; seek middle)
(image by Mark Butler)
– Children and teens are not just small adults
-Beware delayed marriage culture, an inherent biological risk for immorality.
-Parent help for adolescent brain:
- Parental scaffolding
- Developmentally appropriate intervention
-Use what you learned as a child about religion to call down help for your situation.
-Chose to leave behind destructive patterns in your life, asking your higher power to support you in making needed changes in your life.
-Resolve to enumerated principles to which you will adhere throughout your life. Decide if you will ascribe to the spiritual tenants of the faith of your family, or a faith of your own finding. Make a commitment to a spiritual and religious lifestyle where you will be inclined to do your best, and where you’ll have a positive support group working toward similar ideals as yourself.
-Commit to refrain from entering locations where people practicing non-working principles will be found. Confess that you are of great worth, and require company who values you for your working principles, and that you can’t be in the company of persons with non-working principles because of your tendency to adopt the behaviors of those who surround you.
-Remind yourself consistently of your view of God, and what God has in store for you as you follow the desires God has for you.
- Pornography cannot be tolerated, in or out of marriage.
- Prophets have warned that pornography ought be treated as a deadly plague, not to be approached. Pornography is a pathway down a slippery slope into addiction because of its offer to supplant a real relationship with an imagined one.
- Pornography not only demeans those involved in its creation, but damages those who view it, bringing them down to the level of animal instead of human. Generally speaking, unlike animals, humans are more complex than sexual/reproductive powers which they possess. Pornography depicts humans as objects, rather than as divine beings with divine potential. Since sexuality is part of our biology, a good and holy part of humanity, it is easy to become obsessed with it, use it more than needful, and to use it in settings which pull a marriage apart rather than bring it closer together. Pornography dissolves the emotional intimacy of sexuality, and suggests that physical compatibility is the only requisite to healthy sexuality and family life. The lack of emotional attachment means that a marriage will end as soon as physical interest ceases to exist. This means the children will be raised in foster or single parent homes due to divorce and neglect. Human children require more nurturing than other animals to reach a stage of survival, so both parents staying together is a key to their thriving. Satan wants us to wind up alone like he is, and pornography is his imitation of an otherwise good thing, which will bring the result of seperate-ness, not at-one-ment-ness. Humans are not invincible, and devious sexual behavior will emotionally damage them. Trust is betrayed when a non-contracted person (extra-marital character) is allowed into the intimate region of physical relationships.
- Persons who have used substance a few times recreationally are not addicted.
- Addiction is a chain from which one cannot escape without devoted attention and divine grace. However, prophets have advised against the use of harmful substances and practices which are of an addictive nature because it’s easy to overestimate how powerful we are, and underestimate how powerful the substance or practice is to our physiology and psychology.
- Addiction is probably not present if you use the substance for occasional recreation or medication. This does not make substance abuse and inappropriate practices tolerable. Seldom can a person understand the tendency they have to progress from bad to worse. The best idea is to stay on the right side of the line. Addiction is called a “baited hook” because it is deceptive in nature. Stress, lack of a sense of belonging, and other undesirable yet realistic feelings can trigger us to use substance in such a way that our bodies become tied to them, and we lose the ability to cope with life’s problems without our substance or negative practice. You’ll know you are addicted when you experience things such as powerlessness (inability to not use the substance for a substantial amount of time), psychological dependency (mental relentless obsession over the substance), physical dependency (cravings for the substance which inhibit you from functioning regularly), and other signs, varying from person to person. If you are involved in substance abuse even on a minor scale, rather than asking how far you can go before becoming addicted, you would be better off analyzing what is missing or wounded in your life, looking at what is causing you to use substances and how can you approach lasting healing in a healthy way.
- Pornography Does Not Lead to Sexual Fulfilment
- One of the key contributors to divorce is lack of sexual satisfaction. Sexual intimacy is a sign of oneness in all aspects of the lives of the two persons involved, so the more united the couple can be, the greater chances their life, including their sexual lives, will improve. When sexuality is viewed as a connection rather than a mere pleasure, it will bring more overall satisfaction.
- Pornography is Satan’s counterfeit for a good thing. Sexuality is a blessing from God which we his children are given. It is calculated to not only bring pleasure, but increased commitment to one’s marriage partner, which can build a family. Pornography offers pleasure, but that is the end of it. Further, the porn addict envisions himself with a physical not virtual partner who values him and he her, and this he will never have living in a virtual world. When the energy put into developing a relationship with a picture is put into developing a relationship with a real human being, that human being can reciprocate feelings, devotion, and connection, which will bring both parties to a level of pleasure and satisfaction, which are simply not available in a virtual world. Pornography is void of emotional intimacy and void of physical intimacy. Pornography isolates, and real intimate connections with another human being bring closeness. Isolation results in sorrow and disappointment, whereas closeness results in joy and pleasure.