Thursday, September 4, 2014

Understanding Addictions

Addictions eventually catch up with you and change your life in such a way that you will have to face the fact that you need help.  Recovering from addictions usually happens once you have hit the bottom and finally realize that you need help from outside sources so that you can lead a life that is addiction free.  There are many types of addictions that will have a devastating affect on your life.
Addictions, and recovery from them, require that you actively seek help from a source other than yourself.  You may want to start by consulting with your family doctor or with an addictions counselor.  This is a good place to start since it will be important to access both your emotional and your physical behavior as they are related to your addictions and your substance abuse.  You and your doctor will need to decide what is going to work best for you in order that you stop using your drug of choice.  It won’t matter what your type of addiction is since all addictions require the same amount of professional help and support.
There are several different types of addictions that you may or may not already be aware of.  Addictions include:

          alcohol abuse
          food addictions
          marijuana abuse
          relationship addictions
          sex addictions
          gambling addictions

People become addicted to many types of substances.  Many people become addicted to medications and other substances.  There are some substances that are more addictive than others.  For instance, drugs like heroin are so addictive and it can take it only one or two uses before a person is addicted. 
A person who is addicted to cocaine has grown so used to the drug that they feel they can’t live without it. Addiction can be physical, psychological, or both. 

Physical addiction is when a person has become physically dependent on a substance.   

Over time a person will build up a tolerance to that substance, so that they need a larger dose so that they get the same effects.  When an addict who is physically addicted to a substance stops using they may experience withdrawal symptoms.  Withdrawal can be much like having the flu and include symptoms such as the shakes, diarrhea, and weakness.

Believe that Recovery is Possible!

Freedom from addictions is often referred to as “recovery.” There are many temporary solutions for freedom from addictions but there are really only two ways to permanently overcome addictions.
One of the most common methods of overcoming addictions is to be firm with the practice of abstinence.  This means that you completely stop using your drug of choice so that you have no way to continue to feed addictions.  This means that the alcoholic can never have another drink and that the gambling addict can never again go to a casino or other place where any type of gambling action takes place.  

This method of abstinence, however, won’t work with food addictions since you cannot stop eating. Wanting to give up your addictions is one thing, but to actually to follow through with abstinence is usually very difficult for an addict.  Many addicts think that they can continue with their addictions but to only use their drug of choice in a moderate manner.  For most people with addictions this is only a dream and wishful thinking.  Full recovery from addictions for most addicts will mean a lifetime of abstinence from their drug of choice.

For those addicts with addictions that can be controlled by limiting the drug of choice in a moderate manner, there is the realistic goal those addictions can be overcome permanently.  These types of addictions include food addictions, shopping addictions, and sexual addictions.  The addict will need to decide how much moderation they need to exercise before their addictions take over with addictive behavior once again.  This is the path of recovery from addictions.

Treating Nicotine Addiction with Patches

For smokers, quitting smoking is one of the hardest thing to do. It is a compulsive addiction that may have an impact on on one's social behavior. The substance that makes cigarettes addictive is called nicotine. Nicotine, the active component of cigarettes is a stimulant drug that is distributed in the body through the blood stream. This substance may stimulate the brain and provides a rush of adrenaline, a hormone that acts as neurotransmitter. A rush of adrenaline may provide a shot of energy and give sensations of being "high."

When the nicotine levels of regular smokers falter, they usually experience withdrawal symptoms that may  include restlessness, irritability, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and craving for another smoke. These smokers need to smoke regularly in order to feel normal, a condition that may lead to addiction and quitting smoking becomes more difficult. The amount of nicotine that enters a user's bloodstream depends on many factors. Tobacco products play a key role in this development which involves the amount of cigarettes the user consumes. The addictive qualities of nicotine is one of the reasons why quitting smoking is very difficult for many individuals.

Individuals who have a hard time cutting the habit may use products that are designed to relieve nicotine addiction. The use of nicotine patches have become a popular method for individuals who are having a hard time quitting smoking. This patch is a self-adhesive, over-the-counter medication which is attached to skin and works by releasing adequate amounts of nicotine to the skin. It is often applied on the upper arm and shoulder but can applied to any part of the body between the waist and neck. These patches are replaced every 24 hours and should not be put in the same place more than once in a span of two weeks to minimize skin irritation.

However, like other forms of medication, nicotine patches may bring side-effects while under medication. This patch may cause itching and irritation to the area where it is applied. Other side effects may include dizziness, high blood pressure, itching and burning sensation at the applied area, nausea, and redness of skin. Individuals who decide to use this product should be aware of any side effects that may take place. This patch may cause heart ailments for individuals with certain medical conditions. Health professionals should be consulted before using this patch to explain side effects and reactions that may develop.

In general, the use of nicotine patches have become a very popular nicotine replacement product for many individuals who want to quit smoking. It is a safe alternative to smoking and is scientifically proven to decrease smoker's dependency on nicotine. Nicotine patches cannot do all the work, the best and effective way to quit smoking involves determination, discipline, and commitment to stop the habit permanently. Using nicotine patches can help smokers cut the habit by making them more comfortable with a life without cigarettes.

The Symptoms Of Addiction

Addictions are most commonly associated with drug and alcohol addiction. The truth is millions of people suffer from all kinds of addictions.  Common addictions are to alcohol, controlled substances and prescription medicines. Additions you might not think are addictions are related to compulsive behaviors like gambling, shopping, food, the internet.

An addiction of any type is readily recognized by the fact that “it is not a matter of choice.” Individuals who are addicts do not have the ability to “decide” to stop abusing, for example, alcohol or a certain drug, or even the behaviors of gambling or shopping. Addictions affect the user, their family and friends.

What is an addiction? How does an addiction begin? When does the pattern of behavior become an addiction? Some individuals may be able to use a substance or engage in a behavior periodically over a period of years without becoming “addicted.” Other individuals are not capable of stopping and do become addicted.

Are addictions only in certain social, educational or ethnic groups? Absolutely not! There is no such thing as a typical addict.

The causes of addiction have been studied for several years. Addiction is caused by the emotion the substance or behavior brings about in the user. The body and mind become dependent on that feeling and seeks to maintain it.

There are addiction risk factors that make some people more likely than others to become addicts. Studies show that sometimes addictions can be hereditary. The child of an alcoholic may not grow up to be an alcoholic; however, they may become addicted to gambling or some other type of compulsive behavior as an adult.

Besides hereditary, individuals who grow up in families with abuse, neglect and who are impoverished are more likely to become addicts.

For most addicts, it can be extremely difficult to recognize that what they have associated as simply a habit is actually an addiction. While every individual is different there are some symptoms that are prevalent among most addicts and addictions:

Symptom # 1

Unable to meet responsibilities at home, school or office.

Symptom # 2

Continues to use substances or engage in behavior even when it is dangerous.

Symptom # 3

The need increases to engage in behavior or use more of a substance to achieve the same effect or feeling.

Symptom # 4

Has tried but failed to stop using the substance or end the behavior.

Symptom # 5

Continues to engage in the behavior or use the substances even when they are aware of the dangers.

Answering yes to three or more of the above symptoms during a 12 month period may show that you or a loved one has an addiction. The first step to treating an addiction is recognizing that it exists.

There is no cure for an addiction. Treatment and counseling can help an addict to learn how to control their behavior, withstand impulses and recognize the presence of a problem, but an addict is never cured. Treating an addiction can take years and requires ongoing support from friends, families and support groups.

A 12 step program can be particularly beneficial in treating an addiction. One of the most well known 12 step programs is AA, also known as Alcoholics Anonymous. There are similar programs for all types of addictions.

Living with an addiction requires a daily commitment and there is always the possibility of relapsing. An addict that has been "clean" for even 20 years can succumb to temptation just as they did decades before.

There are several treatment programs and centers that can help with the numerous types of addictions that are prevalent today. Many of them are anonymous. Support groups are also available to help family and friends who experience the effects of an addiction in a loved one.

The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to medically diagnose, treat or cure any disease. Always consult a health care practitioner before beginning any health care program.

The Root Cause and Permanent Solution for an Alcohol or Drug Addiction

The alcohol and drug problem in this country is huge and most of the standard addiction recovery and treatment programs aren’t working. Consider the following

CRIME: 25% of all prison inmates are there for drug related crimes. 16.4% are in prison for committing crimes to get money for drugs. 47% of crimes were committed while a person was on drugs or alcohol.

SEX: A lot of the sex outside of marriage wouldn’t happen if it weren’t for alcohol or drugs being used to try to drown out guilt and fear (which are nature’s feedback to try to stop us from doing something against its perfect order). And nature does other harsh things to try to stop sex outside of marriage. USA Today reported that shockingly, 1/2 of everyone under 25 years old in the United States has had an STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease). The U.S. Dept. of Health reports that there are 1.1 million current cases of AIDS/HIV in the United States. (So obviously, it needs to be recognized that nature is hostile towards sex outside of a monogamous, heterosexual marriage, which is the only sexual setting that nature doesn’t try to stop via harsh consequences). 80 percent of unmarried teen mothers end up on welfare, costing this country $7 billion annually. And a University of Georgia study reports that of those individuals who experienced unwanted sexual intercourse in the last year, 92.1% had been under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

ACCIDENTS: Alcohol is involved in 50% of all driving fatalities. In the United States, every 30 minutes someone is killed in an alcohol  or alcoholism related traffic accident. That amounted to 17,488 people last year alone.

MENTAL ILLNESS: Fifty percent of the mentally ill population has a substance abuse problem. In fact, 22 million Americans suffer from substance dependence or abuse due to drugs, alcohol or both, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

EMOTIONAL HEALTH: The general emotional health of the public is very poor, as is evidenced by the high divorce rate and a teen suicide rate that is higher than the other 26 industrialized nations combined. Other indicators of the general state of the heart of America come from its entertainment industries: the shocking and harsh experiences in the movies, the rampant dysfunction on television, and the high percent of bad feelings (and the big void of good feelings) that come out of the music industry.
Now that’s the bad news. The good news is that there is a solution to all of this. That solution starts with understanding what the basic problem is. The basic problem behind alcoholism and drug abuse is that people aren’t finding happiness and fulfillment naturally. So then they attempt to achieve happiness and fulfillment (or escape their unhappiness and emptiness) by using alcohol or drugs. But those bandaids usually end up leading to a lot more unhappiness, health problems, financial problems, relationship breakups, legal problems, etc.  A lot of hidden damage is done while in a stolen euphoria. But obviously those risks aren’t enough to outweigh the problems in a person’s emotional state or the lacking in their life that cause them to overlook the risks and dangers of alcohol and drug use.

So then, WHY are people so unhappy or unfulfilled that they would make that choice? The answer is simple: they are not operating in harmony with the natural design of their being. It starts with the fact that if a person has his or her natural drives unsatisfied for more than a normal period of time while searching for satisfaction, over time the frustration and lack of hope from this can cause them to become more dulled and depressed and even sleepy and prone to drugs to try to make his or her self feel good and not feel bad.

But, the good news is that the continual unnaturalness that led to this bad state can be reversed. And the processes that will awaken them, enliven them and make them even feel good and excited about their life. The reason is that they are given hope that there is a real solution for their problems and then they actually get satisfaction by carrying out that solution.

Teaching a person how to be happy naturally and in harmony with the real design, meaning and purpose of their life is the key to how they get the strength, joy and deep fulfillment that is necessary for them to have no inclination for alcohol or drugs. But, that’s easier said than done, and can only happen within THE natural design of how we were made to be. That means first knowing what that design is. That can be a difficult thing to do in this world because there is a great amount of debate and disagreement as to what that design really is. But √ęthe world’ in general, obviously has it wrong if there exists such a huge drug and alcohol problem and poor social statistics.

Having been in the top echelons of the music business as a former member of Sly & The Family Stone and The Elvin Bishop Group, I know alcohol and drug abuse well. But after experimenting with 22 approaches to lifestyle and personal growth, I became free from alcohol and drugs 24 years ago (after 18 years of use). I finally realized that fighting nature is not a battle that anyone can win and be happy. Therefore why even try?

Understanding and flowing with the natural order is how to make inner, outer and social life work at their best.  But like I said, that is a task that is easier said than done, given that the mainstream culture in general is not in harmony with the natural order and is tolerant of a lot of dysfunction. Therefore, if a person wants to be free from a weakness for alcohol or drugs, they will have to go through a re-orientation of how the mind, heart and body are designed to function, and they will have to know how to have the strength and vision to transform into that design. My self-help Addiction Free Forever program shows how to do all of those things.

The Great Gambling Addiction

Won at a slot machine after spending some dollars. You think the machine is lucky for you and you buy some more tokens for gambling. You experience hard luck and you don’t win. Probably thinking of buying some more tokens, then some more, and at the end you lose even your winnings. Next day some more, then more and more, and this just seems an endless pattern.

Now you are addicted. Yes that’s right! The term addiction was previously used for the addiction to chemical substances like alcohol, nicotine or drugs. With new research on how our brain functions there’s been findings that state that many substances can be addictive even though they are not chemical in nature. One such addiction is the gambling addiction. It seems that addiction is resultant from the pleasure derived from abusing a substance but addiction can begin because of depression or some kind of emotional problem. The reasons are many and they are different and unique for every addict.

Gambling Addiction or pathological gambling is often referred to as a hidden illness. As there are no physical symptoms visible the American Psychological Association refers to gambling addiction as a mental health disorder as there is no impulse control over it. There are two types gambling addictions, one is action gambling and other is escape gambling. Action gambling is when a gambler is addicted to his thrills of taking risks. Action gamblers most of the time are busy playing with others to prove themselves a winner. Escape gambling is due to imbalance of a persons mind or when he is emotionally hurt. Such gamblers prefer playing alone. They are most of the time at the slot machine or playing black jack. They don’t like others playing with them or they don’t want anyone around them. Its found that the teens are more than three times likely to be victims of a gambling problem as compared to adults. So it is necessary to make them aware about the dangers of a gambling problem at an early age itself.

There are phases of gambling addiction. At first comes the winning phase were gamblers often win a big amount or win a few times. This in turn prompts them to win more as they begin taking great pride in their winning ability. As a consequence, they may choose to increase the bet amount. Then comes the losing phase, when gamblers begin to lose all their money.

Don't take anymore gambles in life. Get the help that you need today. Why not have a shot at a tried and test approach? Hypnotherapy might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of getting your gambling under control, however it is more than likely your best bet. You can even get Hypnosis downloads these days so you can get the results that you deserve in the comfort of your own home and at your own pace. Do something different today - get the results you need and deserve.