Why is it that some people can use drugs and stop, and others use once and struggle for the rest of their lives trying to stop and/or denying they have a problem? The difference between “real drug addicts” and those we in the recovery world call “drug users,” is the reason the person is using to begin with. A drug user uses because it is fun and relaxing and they are able - for the most part - to control the amount they use. Sometimes a drug user may encounter a consequence to their use and will then make a decision to stop. As for the real drug addict, they are using to quiet their mind and fill the emptiness within their soul that allows them to feel normal. That emptiness is what the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous calls a spiritual malady. At this point, the drug addict feels as if he has arrived and found the missing key. He will then persistently chase that first high and will never again be able to regain the sense of ease and comfort he once did from his first encounter with his drug of choice. No matter what his experiences, good or bad, may be in his journey through his addiction, the drug addict will maintain an obsession that they will one day be able to figure out how to regain that peaceful encounter they once had. This is what we call the obsession of the mind. Leaving behind all things that mean anything is sometimes a huge consequence these addicted types will elect rather than choosing to get clean.
Those that do have an experience with getting clean often cannot withstand the amount of guilt and shame they endure for the decisions made during their sprees, and will turn right back to using once again. This return to using sets off what is known to be a phenomenon of craving, which is an insatiable desire for more that can never be fulfilled. This is why a program of action is imperative for the real addict. Getting a sponsor and working the steps will allow them to see life with new eyes, filling the emptiness with a higher power instead of drugs. Sounds like a strange exchange - drugs for God - but it has worked for millions, and continues to work for anyone willing to put forth the effort necessary.
A drug user has a choice whether or not they will use drugs again, but the drug addict has at some point lost that power of choice and will use again. Not because they have no will power, not because they don’t love you, but because they have no choice and use drugs as the only solution they know to combat the unbearable feelings within. Recovery offers the drug addict a new solution to every aspect of their life that works. Recovery is possible for anyone that can be honest that the drug solution just does not work.