Craving for alcohol [is] the equivalent on a low level of the spiritual thirst of our being for wholeness, expressed in medieval language: the union with God....Alcohol in Latin is “spiritus,” and you use the same word for the highest religious experience as well as for the most depraving poison. The helpful formula therefore is “spiritus contra spiritum.” -Jung as cited in Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, 1984, p. 20.
Current State of Alcohol and Drug Treatment According to the 2005 National Household Survey on drug abuse, on any given day 100 million Americans consume illegal drugs (Office of Applied Statistics, 2005). Some scholars and researchers have expressed the opinion that substance abuse is the greatest problem in the United States (DiClemente, 2003). Califano (2007) offered the following statistics:
- 16 to 20 million are addicted to alcohol or abuse it regularly.
- More than 15 million abuse opioids and depressants.
- 1.4 million are dependent on legal prescription pain medication. This is a 33% increase in the past decade (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2010).
- 2.4 million use cocaine and over 600,000 use crack.
- More than 500,000 are methamphetamine addicts.
- One million regularly use Ecstasy and hallucinogens.