Drug abuse is a disease that affects many people in the world. This includes, Punjab as well the rest of country-region or where ever one lives today. It not only affects the individuals, but also their families, friends, co-workers, and eventually strangers. Its symptoms, effects, and spiritual remedy are discussed here with references from AGGS. Lack of spirituality is the core issue underlying any addiction. Guru Nanak compares the present Dark Age to the intoxication of wine;
SABD GURU ON MIND ALTERING SUBSTANCES\
SABD GURU ON MIND ALTERING SUBSTANCES\
ਕਲਿਕਲਵਾਲੀਮਾਇਆ ਮਦੁ ਮੀਠਾ ਮਨੁ ਮਤਵਾਲਾ ਪੀਵਤੁ ਰਹੈ ॥
Kal Kalvaalee Maya Mud Meetha Man Matwaalaa Peevat Rahai.
The Dark Age of Kali Yuga is the bottle of wine; Maya is the sweet wine, and the intoxicated mind continues to drink it. -----Guru Nanak, Raag Asa, AGGS, Page, 350-7
ਪਾਨ ਸੁਪਾਰੀ ਖਾਤੀਆ ਮੁਖਿ ਬੀੜੀਆ ਲਾਈਆ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਕਦੇ ਨ ਚੇਤਿਓ ਜਮਿ ਪਕੜਿ ਚਲਾਈਆ ॥
Pān supārī kẖāṯīā mukẖ bīṛīā lāīā. Har har kaḏe na cẖeṯio jam pakaṛ cẖalāīā.
Those who eat betel nuts and betel leaf thus applying its color on lips (indicating luxurious and voluptuous way of life), and never contemplate on the Eternal Akal Purkh - the Messenger of Death will march them in bondage.
-----Guru Ramdas, Raag Tilang, AGGS, Page, 726-4
Substance abuse is defined as a pattern of use in which harmful consequences result for the user, yet, they continue to use the substance or to drink alcohol. There are two types of drinkers, the casual or social drinker. He may drink for pleasure and only occasionally. The other type, the compulsive drinker, drinks because of an obsession, despite the adverse effects that drinking has on his life. Lack of spirituality is the core issue underlying any addiction. The major symptoms associated with spiritual bankruptcy are: feeling lost, confused, empty, and out of control. Associated with this cluster of feelings is a state of consciousness, experienced as an unbearable deflation of personal power. The common description of this state of consciousness is “hitting the bottom,” or falling from the top. For Sikhism the ‘top’ is consciousness. Thus the core issue underlying alcoholism is a falling away from God consciousness, a lack of meaningful connectedness with spirituality.A basic problem of addiction is a defiance of God instead of reliance on It. Because of addiction, one strays away from God’s Will. Hence major symptoms of the problem are a lack of faith, hope, trust, and love of God. Guru Amardas compares the user to Manmukh in Raag Gauri;
ਸਚੁ ਸਚਾ ਜਿਨੀ ਨ ਸੇਵਿਆ ਸੇ ਮਨਮੁਖ ਮੂੜ ਬੇਤਾਲੇ॥ ਓਹ ਆਲੁ ਪਤਾਲੁ ਮੁਹਹੁ ਬੋਲਦੇ ਜਿਉ ਪੀਤੈਮਦਿਮਤਵਾਲੇ ॥
Sach Sachaa Jinee Na Sayvi-aa Say Manmukh Moorh Baytaalay, Oh Aal Pataal Muhhu Bolday Ji-o Peetai Mad Matvaalay.
Those who do not serve the Truest of the True, those self-willed are foolish demons. With their mouths, they babble on about this and that, like the drunkard who has drunk wine. -----Guru Amardas, Raag Gauri, AGGS, Page, 311-10 & 11 The symptoms of addiction are changes in emotional state, stability, behavior, and personality. Alcoholics or drug users may become angry and argumentive, or quiet and withdrawn or depressed. They may also feel more anxious, sad, tense, and confused. They then seek relief by drinking more. Because the time and the amount of drinking are uncontrollable, the addict is likely to engage in behaviors as: -
a) Breaking family commitments, both major and minor.
b) Spending more money than planned.
c) Drinking while intoxicated and committing unlawful acts.
d) Making inappropriate remarks to friends, family, and co-workers.
e) Arguing, fighting and other anti-social actions.
The addicted is suffering from a type of spiritual or psychological “disease.” The core symptom associated with this hybrid illness is a chronic state of frustration. A confluence of “negative attitudes” results in a lack of self-discipline. This further depresses the already depressed alcoholic. The user would probably neither do such things, nor approve of them in others, if he were sober.
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