Let’s begin in a fashion as simple as the two major causes that drive ex-substance abusers towards picking things up over and over again. While the first reason is definitely a psychological dependence (this one is the tougher nut to deal with), the second one is simply a physical craving for which, the drug residues inside the body stay responsible. These two factors coined a term – The Biochemical Personality, which has been derived from the thought processes drug addiction gives rise to; in the long run, it also makes an addict adopt to a lifestyle that gets them traveling down one labyrinthine hellhole. Together, the situations feed each other and unless both are recognized, addiction cannot be gotten rid of completely.
To see things in brighter lights, we must concentrate on what these residues are and their mode of function. This help to analyze the cycle of addiction, as done by L. Ron Hubbard (American science fiction writer; founder of Scientology; 1911-1986) several decades ago. It’s through him the medical world was enlightened about the biochemical aspect of drug addiction, a breakthrough that initiated the most successful approaches to rehabilitation, as we know it now.
Hubbard noted how drugs, used over a certain span, refuse to leave the body entirely; it’s the traces that reside in the fatty tissues, since most of the drugs are fat-soluble. These residues or drug Metabolites re-enter the system to trigger the cravings and it’s the Biochemical Personality that gives in at this point. Therefore, it’s the metabolites that give rise to the biochemical personality and not the other way round, a concept that needs to be cleared first. Most of us think that everything has fallen into the right place once an addict has stopped substance abusing, but this is where things start. Unless these cravings are dealt with proper measures and the residues are gotten rid of, a de-tox program is of little use. A relapse, thus, becomes imminent. And it may occur after as long as five years!
Or better said, the residues create an underlying, low-intensity stress. The process starts when the residues find way to the liver and the brain centers through the bloodstream, stimulating a flashback, which is as simple as the brain asking for its food. It’s a situation that needs to be dealt carefully by making the brain get used to the lower levels of the metabolites until it comes back to its normal set of activities without the influence of any external factors. Till then, future stays, at best, an inaccessible and impossible phenomenon.