The Resonance Factor
In a world that readily embraces ideas such as substance use being a disease, an addiction, an illness, sickness or a dependency, it is surprising that there seems to be little thought in having an open and honest conversation in regard to the above.
Within saying this, it is also an unspoken taboo that the discovery of substances is a colossal discovery. An individual has discovered that they have the power to change the way they view the world in an instant, and it is maybe one of the greatest discoveries they have ever come across.
Substances by there nature are designed to be pleasurable. This is acknowledged in the arena of New Psychoactive Drugs. We all know that they are designed to mimic the “high” of original illicit drugs and surely that is about the “high” that the illicit drugs provide. Although the high is not always predictable, it must never be forgotten that an aspect of this buzz is the anticipation or expectation that the individual places on the experience that they are about to undertake.
Have we as lay people, professionals, policy makers and strategists become tunnel visioned in the current language and beliefs regarding addiction, and in doing so have missed ample opportunities to discuss the elephant in the room. In this case the individuals relationship they have with the “high”
A “high” does not necessarily mean when someone consumes a drug and they see stars. It means that when they consume the substance, and it starts working on them, it will uniquely alter the way they think, feel and behave. It is important to note that this is also relevant in all forms of pleasure.
The Resonance Factor then states : that instead of addiction, they form a relationship with this high, and then exhibit behaviour that maintains this relationship. Human beings form relationships constantly, whether that relationship is formed with something animate or inanimate. Some of them may be healthy, but it is not unusual to form an attachment with something that is unhealthy. If an individual explores this relationship, they can get the insight to make healthy changes from an informed place. This is not an easy process – as separation, divorce and loss come with their emotional difficulties. It is important to note that there are 2 forms of relationships that can be formed. A casual relationship ( Social User ) and a serious intense relationship ( Problematic User )
If a client is using every day, and comes to a service and says: “I hate using drugs”, does it make sense to focus on that statement i.e. that they hate drugs! and ignore the fact that they are using everyday! Within the relationship they are clearly getting some reward from their use of the substance, and to focus solely on the negative would be obstructive to the service user seeing the whole picture.