Addiction – I’m An Addict

I’m an addict. I can’t sweep it under the carpet any longer. It sorta crept-up on me. I thought addiction was only about booze and drugs. How wrong I was.

I’ll let you into what I’ve found, though. It turns out that I’m not Robinson Crusoe. I’ve found that humans are addictive by nature. Apparently, according to some of the experts in the field (Richard Rohr’s Breathing Under Water is well worth a read), the word ‘addiction’ is a modern name for what the biblical tradition called ‘sin’ and what was referred to in medieval times as ‘passion’ or ‘attachments’. My search for answers has resulted in finding that addiction is one of the biggest challenges facing all areas of society.

So, what’s my addiction?

Back when I thought I was bulletproof, I used to think that addictions came in 2 types-positive and negative. (I think I even read a book called Positive Addiction.) I now know that I was half-right. As it turns out, there are 2 types of addiction-behavioural and substance. And they’re similar in two main ways. They’re engaged in because they provide good feeling and they help in coping with the world-everyday life and all of it’s hassles, challenges, issues, etc.

Behavioural addictions are of the non-chemical type, and usually includes a compulsion to repeatedly engage in an action until it causes serious negative consequences to the person’s physical, mental, social and financial well-being. Gambling, sex, food, viewing of pornography, using computers, playing video games, work, exercise, mobile and smartphone usage, cutting, are just a few examples that fit this type. I suppose you can include, here the ‘soft’ addictions such as mood swings and moodiness, avoidance, unreliability, and associated behaviours that we’d like to write-off as ‘bad habits’.

Shopping addiction (omniomania) is an often-sited example of behavioural addiction. Dating back to the early 19th Century, it is generally thought that shopping addiction occurs when shopping becomes the person’s main way of coping with stress, to the point where he/she continues to shop excessively (more than an occasional splurge) even when it is clearly having a negative effect on other areas of life. Pretty soon, finances and relationships are damaged, yet the shopping addict feels unable to stop or even control spending.

Substance addiction comes in 2 types-legal and illegal. The main legal ones are familiar ones of caffeine (coffee, tea, sports drinks), nicotine (cigars, cigarettes, nicotine patches), alcohol (wine, beer, liquor), and inhalants (paint thinners, hair spray, gases). Some legal substances are available by prescription only-amphetamines (stimulants), sedatives/depressants (Valium), opioids (heroin, morphine, codeine). Familiar, illegal substances include cannabis (marijuana, grass, pot), cocaine (coke, crack), hallucinogens (LSD, ecstasy) and phencyclidine (angel dust).

When stacked-up against these, my addiction seems pretty soft. I’m not a shopaholic. Alcohol and drugs are not my scene. My addiction is to my habitual ways of doing things, my own patterned way of thinking, and the way I tend to process things. In the past, I probably attributed my addiction to my upbringing-parents, teachers, and other people I used to associate with. But what gets in the way of dealing with my addiction, however, is that it always seems to be ‘hidden’ and disguised as something else. Damn it!

It’s only now that I realise that the challenge for me is to change the way I operate. I’ve found that contemplative practices such as meditation and prayer helps to break down this unhelpful either-or-thinking, dualist thinking but these practices seem to deal with what seems like being the tip of the iceberg.

I’m working at overcoming my addiction in 3 ways.

  1. I’m hoping that a crisis in my thoughts and actions will provide the jolt or feeling of discomfort necessary to change my ways, hopefully for the better.
  2. I’m focussing on having a purpose that will ensure I continue to have something to look forward to.
  3. I’m trying to desensitize myself to the stimuli that the addiction provides.

The secret’s out… My addiction is not causing hardening of the arteries (Arteriosclerosis), a common condition associated with ageing, but Psychosclerosis (hardening of the attitude) that, if left unchecked, could lead to paradigm paralysis. Wish me luck!

Drug and Alcohol Detox and Addiction Counseling

Narcotic drugs and alcohol are very physically addictive substances accounting for the rise in drug and alcohol addiction rates yearly. Once the body is dependent on the substance for normality, the absence of the substance will cause great pain and discomfort to be inflicted on the individual, known as withdrawal.

Addiction

Drug and alcohol addiction counselling and detox are highly controversial topics and met with many mixed beliefs and schools of thought, especially when physical and non-physical drug addiction is concerned. Unlike previously when addiction was considered a moral failing, professionals have now been opting towards a more successful approach of addiction treatment. Many experts and professionals have come to view addiction as a disease which is progressive and fatal if not treated. The disease can however be arrested through ceasing all addictive behaviour accompanied by counselling and a daily programme of recovery.

Physical addiction and the need for detox

Opiates such as heroin and codeine, benzodiazepines such as Valium and Rohypnol, some amphetamines such as methamphetamines (eg Tik) and ethyl-alcohol (the type of alcohol found in regular alcoholic drinks such as whisky and beer), are substances which the human body becomes dependent on when exposed to their effects over a certain period of time. Quaaludes, anabolic steroids, beta blockers, caffeine and nicotine also cause dependence.

Physical dependency can only be overcome through the addicted individual abstaining from use of the addictive substances. This will cause the body to go into a state of withdrawal, as it is dependent on the substance for functioning.

Treatment centres, rehabilitation centres and hospitals usually offer detoxification programmes for drug and alcohol addiction. Detoxification can be extremely harmful, even fatal. The process is nick-named “detox” and is carefully monitored by professionals.

In many instances, the patient is given medication to ease their discomfort during the detox. This discomfort usually results in the use of drugs to rid themselves of the symptoms. It has been found that regulated and decreasing doses of a pharmaceutical replacement with similar actions as an addictive drug is useful in allowing addicts to be “weaned off” the substance without unbearable discomfort.

Detox

When an addict or alcoholic is willing to enter a treatment programme to treat their addiction, many rehab centres require that patients are “clean” of all drugs and substances. The patient will need generally to pass a drug or alcohol test indicating that their systems are free of substances. If a client enters a treatment programme whilst still under the influence of a narcotic or alcohol, it may affect the safety of the other clients and the individual themselves.

The process of a drug and alcohol detox differs for each treatment centre offering the service. Some rehabs do not offer detoxes and require the client to attend a detox in a hospital or separate clinic as the rehab may not have the correct facilities to offer detoxification. The process is an extremely difficult ordeal for the addict to experience and must be handled with a great deal of professionalism. Alcoholic detoxes can cause delirium tremors, inducing hallucinations and violent behaviour. Only qualified, experienced and able professionals should administer a detox to a withdrawing addict or alcoholic.

Counselling

A detox programme can take a week or more to complete, although secondary withdrawals will follow after this; they are less severe than initial withdrawals, not requiring medication or facilitation. Once a detox has been completed, the client is advised to enter an addiction treatment programme at a rehab.

Drug and alcohol addiction counselling is an effective method of treating any form of addiction, helping the client to become a normal and functioning member of society. Group therapy and individual therapy is widely considered the most effective method of drug and alcohol addiction treatment, coupled with a healthy lifestyle and the adoption of a Twelve Step Programme as a way of maintaining abstinence and sobriety.

Counselling and a Twelve Step Programme help to enable the patient to cope with behaviours, past grievances, emotions and dynamics in their lives and to piece together a practical and realistic approach to life. Whilst the patient needs to stop using drugs and alcohol, counselling will help improve their lives much further. Abstinence plus change is the main aim of a recovering addict.

The life of a drug addict and alcoholic needn’t be bad or hindered. Addicts have the potential to be very successful and productive people if they are able to stop their drug and alcohol use. Whilst this may require a detox, if followed with proper counselling and therapy plus the endorsement of a healthy lifestyle and application to a Twelve Step Programme, the person suffering from drug or alcohol addiction can arrest their disease and live a normal life again.

Codeine – What It Is, What It Does, And How To Escape It

Codeine is a fairly common drug that is generally used in the medical field to treat pain and is a cough suppressant as well. It is a narcotic analgesic that is available by prescription only, although some people manage to get a hold of it without a prescription. As a medical drug, this substance is controlled, due to the ability to be addictive. It is used recreationally as well and can be extremely addictive.

About Codeine

Codeine comes in a variety of preparation, including pills and liquid form. Many users use it because it gives a feeling of euphoria. Although this drug requires a prescription in the United States, in Mexico and other countries it is easily acquired without a prescription. Many people use codeine with alcohol, and whether it is abused with alcohol or used alone, it can cause a variety of bad effects upon the body.

Effects of Codeine Abuse

While codeine abuse can give a feeling of euphoria and happiness when it is used, it has many negative effects as well. Some of the effects that occur with codeine abuse include confusion, lack of motor skills, dizziness, and restlessness. In extreme cases and when people overdose on this drug, it can depress the respiratory system, cause kidney damage, and it may even result in death as well.

Getting Help with Codeine Addiction

Unfortunately, many people find themselves addicted to Codeine. Not only is addiction to Codeine a physical problem, but it is a psychological one as well, and if you are addicted you will need professional help to overcome this addiction. It is important that you understand that your addiction is truly a problem, and then you need to make the choice to get help. You can find a variety of different drug rehab programs that are available to you for free, where professionals can help you overcome your addiction to Codeine.