Addiction as an Attachment Disorder
By Matt Markowicz, MSW, MA, CSAC—IOP Program Coordinator at Master Center
Addiction as an Attachment Disorder, by Philip J. Flores, provides an interesting look at what’s really going on with a person who develops an addiction and lends an illuminated candle to one searching for their way out of that darkness. The ideas within Flores’ book predate an excellent TED Talk by Johann Hari, “Everything You Think You Know About Addiction Is Wrong,” but support them, and many other modern thinkers on addiction and recovery. In each of these examples, addiction leaders point out that an attachment can be healthy, from our baby blankets to our role in our jobs, or to the people we love and care about. However, when a person’s attachments to healthy people, places, things, are ruptured (through death, illness, moving, traumatic experiences), many turn to attach themselves to other less-healthy alternatives e.g. cell phones, social media, codependency, alcohol, gambling, hoarding. This initial attempt to find solace, comfort, relief, and release, can become compulsive and if not interrupted can become to be the single most important thing in a person’s conscious mind. At this point one may be said to be addicted, and under this conceptual framework to become “un-addicted” doesn’t end with just stopping the attachment to the “thing.” One must reconnect and re-evaluate what interrupted their healthy attachments and more importantly change what is currently getting in the way of those being rekindled. The fun of recovery is getting back your self-love, loving others deeper than you’ve ever done, and enjoying your time on this planet one rotation at a time. Please, do not do this alone.
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