Addiction can be an extremely complex issue, with various contributing factors such as environment, heritability, and/or roles within their family. What about intelligence? There have been studies highlighting the connection between addiction and intelligence, which have produced some surprising results stating: high intelligence has been more commonly linked to addiction than low intelligence.
Addicts and Alcoholics are some of the most resilient people on earth. They possess the ability to overcome adversity time-and-time again. While in active addiction they possess the ability to think their way out of situations, and discover solutions to problems. However, most individuals suffering from addiction fail to realize their potential while in early recovery. Addicts and alcoholics can, and have, become Doctors, Lawyers, businessmen or business women. The popular saying within the rooms of 12-step programs “You can be anything you want to be,” actually does come to fruition.
Some of the most creative people in history suffered from an addiction or dependence to one substance or another. It is believed that drinking led to Ernest Hemingway’s depression and exacerbated his mental state. Edgar Allen Poe resorted to alcohol to cope with stress from financial worries; Robert Downey Jr, Howard Hughes, Janis Joplin, the list goes on…
I’ve heard in the past “the world would be better off without drug addicts.” If this were the case, then some of the most creative and influential people in history would have never made an impact on our lives. Recognizing what they have to offer is an area those suffering from addiction fall short; and this may contribute towards relapse, a prolonged addiction, or even death. There is no bigger critic of the addict or alcoholic than the addict or alcoholic themselves. So, how do we get an individual suffering from addiction to realize their potential? How can a person in recovery discover their purpose? How do we, as family, friend, and society shift from the stigma associated with addiction, and begin to provide support which fosters the intelligence and creativity of those suffering addiction?
Michael Schaub, Primary Counselor
Victory Bay Recovery Center