Curiosity and Substance use

“I have no special talent, I am only passionately curious” 

Albert Einstein

What happens when a human being loses their curiosity for life?  From the time we are born, we are curious.  A baby first takes its first steps and tries to, through curiosity. They put anything in their mouth as they are curious about taste. They touch other human faces and make facial expressions when they hear others talk.

To reach one’s potential it is important to be curious about what you are capable of. Without curiosity, potential can simply become dreams, leaving you feeling lost and empty and further than ever from the action required.

Substance Use

Many people say that they got into substance use because of curiosity.  They were told before they tried it about the “high”. The problem with this is that a high is personal and unique to the individual, which is why individuals are often curious to experience it for themselves.  When someone first experiences this high, they are often aiming to feel different to how they normally feel.   However, after a prolonged period of using, this can become the new ‘norm’, and without substances they can feel uncomfortable, unable to relate to others or carry out their daily activities.  Substances were not designed for this, and when a person is unable to function without substances, this indicates that the use is no longer social, but has now become problematic.

Problematic substance use can lead to the person losing their natural curiosity for life, as they have directed all of their curiosity in their substance use. They may then find themselves in a position where it is not possible to reach their potential, as their focus is on surviving in the world of substance use, which takes devotion, planning and most of their time.  It then becomes very difficult to explore your potential, far less to reach your potential.


As stated on previously, recovery is a process, and an integral part of this process is “discovery”.  The key ingredient of discovery is curiosity.  After all, what could ever have been achieved  or discovered if someone didn’t have the curiosity to see or experience something different or new.

In your recovery, perhaps it is now time to arouse your curiosity for your inner self and for the external world.  Drug and alcohol use is not who you are, its what you do, or did. Your potential is so much more than that.

In this time of self-isolation, use the space to self-reflect and be curious again about what you are capable of, consider your external world and what may be available in it that you have not yet discovered.  Take the time to evaluate who you are and what you are interested in.  If you survived the world of substance use, you are more able, more capable and more resourceful than you think you are.

Be like Einstein, be passionately curious.

Christopher Robin


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