Today, addictions have become more common than we dare to accept. Many types of addictions have become socially acceptable in these times of moral and spiritual bankruptcy. Good things when used incorrectly can turn into addictions.

What is addiction?

It is the dependency on a particular substance or behavior that is impossible to break without timely intervention. It destroys the person, demoralizes the family and everyone associated with it.

Society has a general tendency to regard different types of substance abuse as addiction, while ignoring certain patterns of behavior that are equally addictive. Food, shopping, gambling, work, or sex can become addictions to behavior and create problems that are as destructive as substance abuse.

• Workaholics would be surprised if they were told that work has become their addiction. They believe that frenzied activity is good for mental health and well-being. People want to gain positions of power and honor through their professional achievements. What starts out as a worthy ambition soon turns into addiction. Without work they feel enervated and depressed.

• Food becomes an emotional pacifier to satisfy longings, loneliness or low self-esteem. People eat when they are stressed. The act of digesting food turns off that part of the brain mechanism that makes you tense. The increase in serotonin when ingested makes them feel good. Those who live alone and are sad or depressed are vulnerable. One woman who was eating all the time said, “I miss my husband and my stomach doesn’t know the difference between hunger and love.” Frenzy eating is an addiction. It is a vicious circle. When a depressed person snacks, their blood sugar rises and they feel good. But insulin spikes in the blood, and after a while, the blood sugar drops. So feel depressed again and reach for a hot chocolate or cookie.

• Gambling: Lotteries, cards, number games, casino games, betting on races or even cricket matches and other sporting events can become addictive. Even losing money does not deter them. They believe that luck is just around the corner. Adrenaline overshadows the guilt of lost money and accumulated debt.

• Shopaholics are compulsive shoppers. Whenever they are angry or frustrated, they find relief by buying an expensive pair of shoes or dress, regardless of the money and time wasted. It makes them get out of their mood.

• Relationships: Some people develop overdependence on a particular person to make them feel complete or fulfilled. This can lead to stalking, threatening, or harming the very person they claim to love.

• Sexual addiction is when the urge to have sex becomes a compulsive obsession, whether it is marital, extramarital, or same-sex. 44% of sex addicts are embarrassed by what they do, but cannot help themselves or seek treatment. Fetishes, pornography, rape, frottage (fingering women), flashing, are some of the ways in which they achieve their orgasm. This addiction is to the neurochemical changes that occur during sexual intercourse. Sex addiction in women is becoming a major problem.

• Mood-altering chemicals like cocaine, heroin, LSD, amphetamines, ketamine, and prescription drugs like cough syrups, sedatives, and tranquilizers are habit-forming. Even caffeine (a cup of coffee contains 150 mg of caffeine) is addictive. Drugs provide a sense of well-being and a false sense of power and control.

• Alcohol is a threat to modern civilization. With free availability, younger age groups are getting addicted to alcohol. Alcoholism is said to reduce a person’s life expectancy by twelve years. It is a depressant that affects the central nervous system immediately. Without a doubt, it temporarily reduces tension and causes relaxation. But in the long run, it destroys a person mentally and physically.

• Smoking is a very difficult habit to break. It has harmful effects on the liver, heart and is implicated in causing cancer.

All addictions, whether behavioral or chemical, are destructive. Gradually they rob one of willpower or self-control. With drugs and alcohol, the body becomes tolerant of small amounts. So larger amounts are needed. Mixing drugs increases potency, but also increases dangers. Health deteriorates. There is loss of control and inability to manage one’s own affairs. Even routine jobs are difficult to perform. The behavior becomes erratic.

Causes of addiction:

1. Friends or family members can present the young adolescent with a glass of beer or a cigarette. This may be the beginning of a love for these substances. Recently, a case of a five-year-old boy who drank brandy was reported. His parents started giving him brandy every day to protect him from asthma attacks.

2. Keep the wrong company. Peer pressure can be very persuasive.

3. Disorganized home environment where parents are poor role models. There is no love, warmth, or appreciation for a sensitive child. Parents may fight frequently or there may be domestic violence.

4. Poor and unsafe neighborhoods where drunkenness, violence and abusive behavior is a way of life.

5. Lack of direction with no moral standards to live by. Young people can easily be influenced the wrong way.

6. Glorification of alcohol, drugs and vices through movies, television, advertising.

7. Easy availability of alcohol and drugs.

How to break the bondage of addiction:

• First by admitting that one has a problem with substances or behavior; that life is completely out of control; that there is loss of dignity.

• Seeking help from trained psychiatrists or counselors. They will help get to the root of the problem: injustice? Fear? Futility? Go to? Life is not a bed of roses.

Everyone has problems, but you have to learn to deal with them without the help of substances. It is important to be aware of your own vulnerabilities.

• The approach to substance and alcohol abuse is multidisciplinary. You need to be admitted to a facility that deals exclusively with these issues. Medical measures will include detoxification and treatment of withdrawal symptoms.

Psychological management will be carried out through:

1. Individual counseling, through which you are psychologically conditioned to stay away from drugs or alcohol. Each member of your family must also cooperate in treating the addict, through love, understanding, and compassion.

2. Group therapy will help the addict to realize that they are not alone and that there are others in a similar situation. Here there is mutual understanding, acceptance, sharing of individual problems and sympathy.

3. Sociotherapy involves teaching the addict effective methods of adaptation to normal life. It should not be left in a high risk environment. Community reinforcements such as recreation clubs, Alcoholics Anonymous, and job availability will be helpful.

Rehab can be a long and tough battle depending on whether the addiction is to a substance or behavior. It depends on the addict’s desire and determination to heal and the support they receive from their loved ones. Relapses can occur. But there must be the will to start over. Sometimes it can be a lifelong struggle, especially with drug addicts and alcoholics. Therefore, it is important to find support groups.

Along with therapy, dependence on God is essential. A daily walk with God will strengthen the person enough to overcome the injustices of life and dispel the fears that lurk.

The seeds of addiction are within all human beings. We need to regularly examine ourselves and see if there are things that we have a hard time letting go that have the potential to become addictions.

By admin

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