Archive for Addiction

Help with Addiction

Addiction is like the tail wagging the dog, or person, with the tail being a habit that dominates the person’s whole life. Addiction therapy concentrates on the tail – cutting it off in abstinence therapy, making it smaller in behavioral treatment. But the real task is for the person to build a life – body and soul – that can’t be wagged by even a very powerful tail.
Here are the five elements to effective addiction treatment and successful recovery:

1. Tapping values. Traditional treatment involves cajoling, convincing, or coercing people to quit the addiction – often by dictating to them what their values should be. Successful treatment – like motivational therapy – instead encourages people to discover personal values that will anchor them against the pull of the addiction. Sometimes these countervailing values are quite evident in people. Sometimes deep exploration is required to find and resurface them. When addicts in Moments of Clarity see their true selves in visions or in coffee cups, it simply means they’ve made contact with their own value structures. Reconnecting to their core values makes it much more likely that people will maintain their recovery.

2. Savoring rewards. To get through the immediate recovery period the person has to appreciate the benefits sobriety brings – better health, more productivity, gratitude of family and friends. People must refocus to see the deep background to their lives rather than the immediate stimulus of the addiction. Successful treatment and recovery involve learning how to focus on these rewards and to savor them.

3. Enhancing resources. People already have resources in their lives – families, skills, experiences – like the ones James Frey relied on to create a new identity as a writer after his treatment. Some people have more resources than others for this task – good educations or job skills, strong families, rich experiences in dealing with the world – resources they often seem bent on ignoring or even destroying. Others need to develop essential skills – through further education, skills training (e.g. communication skills), family therapy, etc. – to add to the solid life foundation they will need.

4. Finding meaning. People need to be motivated to proceed with their lives. This requires something more than just getting to the end of each day. It means uncovering deeper purposes in life – spiritual or altruistic or artistic or professional or family goals. Investing life with greater meaning allows people to shrug off the momentary discomforts or challenges that otherwise could drive them back to addiction.

5. Touching base. People need to recall the rewards from – and their motivations for – achieving sobriety. Research finds that it is often not the kind of therapy that matters as much as continuing contact with the client. Thus, successful treatment touches base regularly with graduates – even if only briefly and at intervals – to rekindle the spirit, the methods, and the goals of recovery.

These five key elements in successful therapy and recovery all contribute to a fulfilling, self-sustaining life. Indeed, recovery isn’t about successful therapy, or kicking a habit, or belonging to a support group. It’s about getting a life.

Causes: People may initially use alcohol, cigarettes or drugs (both illegal and prescription drugs) to help them cope with emotional problems. People with low self-esteem or anxiety disorders often use drugs or alcohol to feel more confident. Peer-pressure, boredom, escapism and relaxation are other reasons why you may become dependent. Using a substance regularly can cause a change in brain chemistry, so withdrawal symptoms -as well as a compulsive need for the substance- may occur when you try to stop. You might feel as though you cannot cope, go to work, meet friends or even get through the day without the substance.Â

Effects: As well as the physical side-effects of addiction, abuse of drugs and alcohol can cause many emotional disorders and mental health problems.

Addiction to alcohol increases your risk of epilepsy, certain cancers, pancreatitis and cirrhosis of the liver.

Nicotine raises blood pressure, increases the risk of heart disease, strokes and certain cancers and causes respiratory disease. Â

Solutions: Tackle the underlying problems that made you turn to drugs and alcohol in the first place.

Regain power; remind yourself that you are in control.

Involve your family in the recovery process and use their support.

Withdrawal from alcohol and opioids may need rehabilitation in a detoxification unit.

Write down the reasons why you want to give up.

Take up new habits like sport, reading or music.

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Help with Alcoholism

Possible Alcoholism Causes

People may use alcohol as a way of relaxing, coping with trauma, or numbing painful feelings. If this becomes a habit you might become addicted to alcohol and feel unable to cope with life when sober.

Effects of Alcoholism

You will feel a strong urge to drink. If your body becomes dependent on alcohol you will experience withdrawal symptoms when you try to stop, like sweating, nausea, agitation and shaking. Stopping suddenly can be fatal. Alcoholism may also cause hepatitis and cirrhosis of the liver, certain cancers, inflammation of the stomach and pancreas, high blood pressure, brain damage, heart failure, accidents due to being drunk, financial problems, loss of employment and relationship break-ups.

Try these Solutions to Alcoholism

  • Do not stop drinking suddenly. Talk to your doctor about starting a detox program
  • Think about why you started drinking heavily and address problems in your life
  • Group therapy
  • Psychotherapy
  • Medications such as Antabuse, which change the way your body reacts to alcohol and may help you give up

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Help with Debt and Overspending

People who overspend regularly are often trying to fill an emotional void. They get a buzz from shopping and feel a compulsive urge to keep spending money that they cannot afford.

You may feel guilty, anxious and depressed when you ring up large debts, and worry about how you will manage to pay them off. People who are in debt often continue to spend money as a form of escapism.

  • Do not stay in denial about your spending.
  • Keep a budget book and write down everything that you spend.
  • Contact a Debt Management Centre for advice on paying back your debts.
  • Do not buy things on impulse. Always think about purchases and take time to decide whether you really need it.
  • Avoid shopping centres and temptation.
  • Set strict limits on what you will spend each week and stick to them.