Is Pleasure an Addiction?

When I naïvely asked the above question over a very pleasurable lunch with my friends, I got the following not very pleasurable reactions:

“Give me a break-having a few drinks after shopping for a couple hours is an addiction?”

“Are you telling us that having a good time addictive?”

My answer: “Okay, guys, what do you expect me to do, here” -leave, or explain what I was trying to say?”

Their response: “You’re addicted to explanations, anyway, so go ahead and clarify your statement.”

What is pleasure?

Pleasure is “A feeling of happy satisfaction and enjoyment, or an event or activity from which one derives enjoyment.”

Here’s my question for you: What do you really enjoy a lot?

Video games? Gambling? Drinking alcohol? Eating sugary foods? Shopping? Using street drugs? Cheating on your partner? Watching TV endlessly… watching porn or scary movies?

All of the above could become addictions.

Why?

Because they give you pleasure; they stimulate the brain’s pleasure centre.

Any kind of stimulation of the pleasure centre releases massive amounts of dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter and a neurohormone produced in the brain.

Don’t stimulate your brain’s pleasure centre too often-you can wear it out! The intense and repeated release of dopamine will damage the receptors in your brain and cause them to tire of stimulation.

We people like dopamine very much. In the field of science, dopamine is called “the pleasure neurotransmitter.” With adequate amounts of dopamine, we feel good, happy, and satisfied.

And what’s wrong with that? Nothing, really… except that many illegal drugs and the other things people enjoy, such as those mentioned above, also target with the brain’s pleasure receptors, releasing dopamine and contributing to possible addiction.

Individuals who are addicted engage in the process of releasing dopamine even if they know it’s bad for them.

The brain’s pleasure centre can be damaged not only by overuse but by toxins or head trauma, as well. The result is the same.

After a while, an individual will need more stimulation or more extended periods of intense stimulation just to release adequate amounts of dopamine. What follows this overuse is that the brain’s pleasure centre will be less responsive.

Translated, less responsive simply means that the brain will produce less dopamine.

But we do need dopamine-right?

Yes, we do. However, when less dopamine is released, a person may be headed for depression or for an addiction to the original stimulus (e.g., nicotine, drugs, alcohol).

In the beginning, a person turns to “pleasure”; after the brain’s pleasure receptors are overused for a period of time, however, he or she is at risk for addiction.

In light of the information I’ve just shared, is the question, “Is pleasure an addiction” a valid one? The answer is a definite “yes,” since any overuse of pleasure can lead to addiction.

Of course, it’s important to enjoy the things you love-doing so makes for a happy and satisfying life. However, as the saying goes, “All things in moderation.” If you keep this in mind, you’ll steer clear of the path to addiction.

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Kicking Your Addiction – The 5 Golden Rules

Rule # 1- Forget Will Power, Your will is what got you where you are!

Our addictions are such a powerful and relentless force that no one person can conquer it on their own. As soon as we accept this fact, and believe me it is a proven fact, then we have given our selves a realistic chance of finding recovery and overcoming the bondage of self will. If we try to kid ourselves into thinking that we can kick our addiction with our own will power then we will remain sick in our disease and continue to make the same mistakes over and over again, never remaining clean for any substantial amount of time. It is essential to realize that it is “our own will” that led us to our addiction and our own will that kept us suffering. Left up to us we will continually search for different ways to use “successfully”, but this is nothing more than an illusion. This is the voice of our disease speaking to our weakness, telling us we don’t have a problem or we need our drugs just to function or “stay level”. Our disease wants to keep us sick; it is far to powerful for us to try to fight it alone. It takes us from our family’s, our friends, and in many cases it is so powerful it even takes us from our children. Who in their right mind would give up the ones they love so very much over drugs, alcohol or any addiction? The answer is simple: nobody in his or her right mind would. When we are sick in our addictions however, we are far from being in our right mind; in fact our mind is no longer controlled by us, but by our addictions. The drugs are calling all the shots; they rule our day, our thoughts, and our every decision. We are not in control of our lives and we are caught up in an endless circle of sickness and despair. Surrender your will and miracles will begin to happen, I can promise you that first hand.

Rule # 2- You don’t have to do this alone. There are people who want to help you!

Our disease wants us to think we are alone, but we are not alone at all in reality, there are millions of addicts just like us and we need each other to beat this horrible existence. Millions of addicts have found recovery and they live wonderfully happy lives today. Don’t dare believe the old cliché, “once an addict, always an addict”. The lie is dead, and I for one am a living example. My life today is full of blessings and true happiness.

There is so much help available to us from other addicts who have found recovery and new lives for them selves, and they dedicate their lives to helping addicts who still suffer. That’s one of the major ways that we stay clean, by giving to others what was given so freely to us. There are 12 step meetings everywhere you look, all hours of the day, every day of the week. At these meetings you will find others who once felt hopeless, but now are free. There is a loving code of acceptance to all who seek their help and desire freedom from their addiction. People who understand us and love us unconditionally, without judgment. Who better to help an addict than another addict who has been in his shoes and found the beautiful light at the end of the tunnel known as Recovery? No matter how bad you think your problem is or how low your addiction has taken you, there will always be addicts who were worse off then you, felt more hopeless than you, yet found serenity and sobriety just like you are about to.

Rule # 3- We must chase our recovery as strongly as we chased our next high!

When we needed our drugs we did whatever it took to get them. Now it is time to do whatever it takes to free ourselves from the bondage of our addictions. We must take that same intensity and perseverance and turn the tables on our addiction. Just as nothing stood in the way of our pursuit of our next high, nothing can stand in the way of our recovery and ultimate happiness. We need to change everything. We can no longer associate with the same people who were part of our old addicted lives. If we want to be healthy then we must not spend time with those who choose to stay sick. We can no longer visit the places that were part of our old addicted lives. We must leave them behind if we are to move ahead, no exceptions. And finally, we must change the things that we use to do when we were still sick in our addiction. We have no business being in clubs, bars, or any place that triggered our addiction. Everything changes for the better, but we better change everything from our sick addicted days first. Holding on to reservations is a sure recipe for relapse and even more suffering then before. If we want our lives back bad enough then we are going to have to fight for it. That’s what this is all about, fighting for our lives, our freedom, our loved ones, and our happiness. This is one battle that is worth every bit of the fight! It’s time to live, rather than just exist. I fought this battle and I was victorious, you will find the same wonderful results if you’re truly sick and tired of living your life in chains.

Rule # 4- Work The 12 Steps! – The Secret to Staying Clean

It’s a wonderful feeling when we are clean for awhile and we begin to reap the rewards and blessings from our victory over our addiction, but the journey is just beginning and we must take certain steps to keep our new freedom that we have fought so very hard for. We must understand that even though we have given up the drugs we will always be in recovery. Don’t take this as a bad thing because it is actually an opportunity for us to learn how to truly live our lives to the fullest. It is a continuing education that helps us to grow and leads us down a path to serenity and inner peace. The 12 steps are a guide designed by those who came before us and outlined the steps they took to not only find freedom from active addiction but to ensure that we never have to go back to our old lives. Getting clean was one thing, but staying clean is our ultimate goal. We never have to go back to our old lives of self-destruction and despair again. By working these steps, attending 12 step meetings, and helping other addicts who are still suffering, we give ourselves the tools we need to fix any problem in our lives without the use of drugs. This is not an option, for this is the one proven path that will lead us to a lifetime of freedom and an abundance of rewards.

Rule # 5- Always Keep Your Gratitude! A grateful addict will never use!

Always remember where you were, all the horrible places your addiction took you. Remain humble and put your ego aside. Your gratitude will keep you clean! Your ego will send you back to the pit you once dwelled in. Never believe that you have your addiction licked, this is a disastrous invitation for relapse. Always remember what your life was like during your active addiction. Keep it very green no matter how long you have been clean. Never lose sight of your gratitude. By helping others in need we stay clean ourselves. We are reminded of where we once were and we remain grateful for our deliverance from our suffering and hopelessness. A grateful addict will never use! Life is yours for the taking, so take your new life and find your true happiness.

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30 False Beliefs About Addiction

The key to being successful in every aspect of your life is making the right decision. And good decision making depends on reliable beliefs. Getting rid of addiction is impossible, if we have false beliefs about addiction problem, because, the defining a problem is the first step for problem solving. These false beliefs are major obstacle for seeing addiction problem.

  1. I never become addicted to drugs, alcohol, nicotine etc.
  2. My friend gave up his or her addiction in one week; whenever I want I can give up my addiction in one week too.
  3. To give up addictions is easy.
  4. My friend tried all methods, but he could not overcome his problem, therefore, I can not overcome my problem too.
  5. To overcome an addiction is impossible.
  6. Addiction is a brain disease, and there’s nothing I can do about it.
  7. Addiction is a long time disease, that I just can manage it.
  8. The only way to recover from my problem is attending twelve-step addiction recovery groups.
  9. The only way to recover from my problem is attending Non-twelve-step addiction recovery groups.
  10. The best way for getting rid from my problem is to register for a 28 day rehab program.
  11. Relapse means that treatment has failed.
  12. I am powerless over my addiction, because I have a relapse.
  13. I am worthless, because I have an addiction.
  14. Overcoming addiction has to be without discomfort.
  15. Giving up addiction is so hard.
  16. I didn’t have to get addiction.
  17. Stupid and crazy people are most susceptible to becoming addicted to drugs, alcohol, nicotine etc.
  18. People who become addicted have mental issues that lead them to this problem.
  19. It’s too late for me to quit my problem. The damage is done.
  20. Relapse can happen without warning.
  21. Recovery is an event, not a process.
  22. Addiction is treated with cognitive behavior therapy, so it must be a behavioral problem.
  23. Treatment is one size fits all.
  24. There should be one magic solution for this problem.
  25. You can’t treat addicts with medications because medications are drugs.
  26. Since treatment didn’t work before, it’s probably hopeless, and there’s no point trying again.
  27. Once detoxification ends, if the addict does not return to addictive behaviors, changes in the pathways of the brain will return to their original healthy state.
  28. Once recovery ends, if the addict does not return to drugs, brain damage caused by addiction usually remaining for the rest of a person’s life.
  29. Individuals must “hit bottom” in order to recover successfully.
  30. There should be no drug relapses after completing a drug rehabilitation program.
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Spider Solitaire Addiction

Addiction: Merriam-Webster defines it as “Compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance (as heroin, nicotine, or alcohol) characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal; broadly: persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be harmful”.

That’s right. People are addicted to cigarettes, drugs and alcohol. That’s why there are so many ways offered to wean yourself from these additions. People are addicted to other things too such as food (chocolate ranks up high in food addictions), and gambling. There are all these programs available to help people get weaned from these addictions — alcoholics anonymous, overeaters anonymous, gamblers anonymous…

A newer addiction is the addiction to the computer. People can spend hours surfing the web, or playing the latest computer games.

But the biggest addiction seems to be to Spider Solitaire. It’s so readily available. It comes for free with every Window’s installation. It takes just a few minutes to learn. You start with just one suite. Quickly move up to two suites. And then begins the challenge… Four Suites! That’s when the addiction comes. The game allows you to backtrack as many moves as you want — even all the way to the beginning of the game. You can spend hours just retrying the same game but when that game ends, whether win or lose, you’ll quickly press “new game” and start all over.

I have done a little research onto how the game has affected people’s lives. Answers I have received:

  • I stayed up all night playing
  • I didn’t take the dog for his walk (what a mess!)ï’· Supper burned (lucky for the smoke alarm)
  • Forgot to pick up my kids from school
  • Spent a full day at work just playing
  • Missed a full day of work
  • _______________________ Write in your own — no one’s immune.

The Solution

Everybody’s gone through it. There are no simple solutions. No special gum. No patches. No clinics. No support groups (who could pull themselves away from Spider to get to a group meeting). There’s only one solution. Delete the game from your computer. The one at work too. Do a good search to make sure you’ve deleted any instance of it. Then just pick up a new computer addiction (try Facebook). No other computer addiction is as bad as Spider Solitaire.

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How To Kill Your Addiction In 21 Days!

I personally know what it’s like to be addicted to something bad. When you’re addicted to something good, like exercise or eating healthy, then your life is made better. But when that addiction is to something bad, like porn, alcohol, or lying, then your life becomes miserable. Those bad addictions do nothing to improve your life.

However, with any addiction, it is possible to free yourself FOREVER from those things that make your life harder. Someone who is addicted to alcohol cannot live. Their lives evolve around the bottle. Same thing with porn (for both men and women): you’ll plan your day according to your addictions. Same thing with drinking soda: you’ll find yourself going broke because you love that Dr. Pepper more than you should!

Before you kill your addiction, you need to understand the following things:

  • You have a problem, and it doesn’t matter why you have it (so, blaming is no excuse!)
  • Giving into your cravings is YOUR choice — you’re not forced to do it
  • You do have the power to say “Yes” or “No” to your addictions
  • Your probem is only temporary — if you let it

It takes about 21 days for anybody to make or break a habit. In this case, we want to break a habit (or a bad addiction). And I’m sorry to say, but the best way to get rid of a bad habit is to stop cold turkey — temporarily, that is.

For 21 days, you’ll make the choice to simply not give in to your cravings. Whether it’s smoking (cigarettes or weed), sleeping with strangers every night, getting drunk, gambling, eating candy, or anything that’s taking over your life, you need to simply stop it for 21 days.

Now, what about trying to “wean yourself” from your poor habits? Well, let me give you an example that MEN would most likely understand:

Allen is a married man with children. He has a problem with porn. And he likes ALL types of porn: hardcore porn, soft porn, 18+ porn, lesbian porn, you name it. His mouth waters at all of them.

One day, Allen gets sick of always giving into his addictions. It’s ruining his desires for his wife. He can’t stop thinking about looking at women naked! His desires are out of control! So, he figures that he would tone it down. I mean, he can’t just stop cold turkey. That’s impossible!

So, instead of looking at the hardcore stuff on the internet, he decides to look at the store catalogs his wife gets on occasions. He’ll just look at the section with the women in their underwear. No big deal. It’s not porn. Many of these women are probably moms…hot mamas…very hot mamas.

Hmmm, he wonders if these hot mamas have husbands who are aware of what they’re doing. What if their husbands didn’t know.

Hmmm, what if there was a porn site about unfaithful wives…

And before you know it, he’s back on the computer looking up new porn sites for unfaithful wives.

Switching to the “lighter versions” from the hardcore versions won’t work, because you are still feeding your addictions. No, maybe you won’t drink five times a day, but you are still giving into your addictions. Maybe you’re only drinking “diet cokes” instead of the ones with the sugar, but eventually, you’re going to miss the “real stuff” and will revert back to it.

If you are addicted to something, that means you have a weakness for it. The best way to handle any weakness is to get rid of whatever you’re weak in.

So, let’s go back to our friend Allen. He needs to stop porn period. He’s a married man and doesn’t need to lust after other women. So, here is what he’s going to do for 21 days:

  • Stop looking at porn — period. Peeking at something naughty, even if it’s not “porn,” would still feed into his addictions
  • Revert his eyes when he sees other attractive women
  • Keep his eyes on another woman’s eyes if he’s tempted to look at her boobs
  • Don’t watch anything on T.V. that would have women skimping around in tight clothes

And for 21 days, this is what he WILL do:

  • Look at his wife more often when she’s naked
  • Have sex with his wife more often
  • Hold hands with his wife
  • Think naughty things about his wife
  • Slap his wife’s behind or grope her more often
  • Stare at his wife’s goodies more often

The key here is to stop his bad habits COLD while forming a new habit in its place. By doing this, he will:

  • Start lusting after his own wife
  • Have little to no interest in other women
  • Get a closer relationship with his woman
  • Get rid of his addiction
  • Start living life again

Now, I use the example of porn because that’s such a hot topic! But this principle applies for EVERYTHING. The point is to stop everything that you’re doing that drives you to your addictions and start doing the things that will STARVE your addictions. When something starves, it dies. If a woman is addicted to romance novels and it’s keeping her from lusting after her own husband, she needs to starve her addiction and start doing more things to lust after her own man.

If someone is addicted to alcohol, that person needs to starve that addiction and start replacing alcoholic beverages with drinks that does something good for the body — like, I don’t know, WATER!

If someone is addicted to a particular food, then that person needs to starve that addiction and start craving for healthier foods.

It’s about starving your addiction and being aggressive about it. Addictions aren’t weaned out. Addictions are killed off! You don’t want to just take it slowly. You want to hunt it down and kill it!

Listen! If you don’t know anything about weeds, then understand that if you don’t pull them from the roots, they will grow again! As long as the roots of any plant are intact, you will see them again. Those roots are still active, waiting for the perfect season to sprout again overnight! You control weeds by getting them at the roots so they won’t grow there again. You control your addiction by getting it at the roots and killing it.

And you kill your addiction by stopping it cold. But only temporarily.

Now, why am I saying to just stop it for 21 days? Well, even though you need to stop your addictions PERIOD — that thought of “forever” could be overwhelming and you’ll revert back to your old ways. But, if you could stop it for a brief moment, it gives you hope that perhaps you could go back to your addictions again. However, by the time the 21 days are over with, you won’t want to go back to your old ways. And anybody could stop doing anything for a brief moment.

When I tell you to stop for only 21 days, that gives you a goal to work towards and a plan to work with. During those 21 days, you’ll be doing your best to stay clear of your addictions so that by the time the 21 days are done with, you’ll feel so liberated from your addictions that you won’t want to go back. Having a life that is free from addiction is better than a life where you’re shackled down. You don’t want to live life in chains now, do you?

But you might be thinking, “That’s easier said than done, man! You don’t know what I go through!”

Yes, I do! All addictions work the same way: you get a strong craving and you give in to it. Period. And what makes it an addiction is that you ALWAYS give in to these cravings, even to the point where you’re making adjustments to your schedule just to give in to these cravings. But what I am telling you is that if you take the attitude of “it’s easier said than done,” then guess what? You won’t EVER lose your addiction. But if your attitude is that your addiction needs to “Get Gone,” then you WILL conquer your addiction. I don’t care what you’re addicted to, all addictions work the same way. And you could kill those addictions the same way: STARVE IT.

No more nicotine patches? Don’t smoke “lighter cigarettes” or drink less of the “hard stuff.” STARVE your addiction. Attack it! Be aggressive! Act like you’re fighting for your life. Because by simply weaning yourself off, you give temporary relief, but the roots are still there. You pull a weed at the stem without getting the roots, then you just don’t see the weed anymore. But while the roots are still in the ground, it WILL come back — and it might bring some friends along, too!

Go after those addictions with a vengeance! You don’t treat addictions like they are nothing. They are ruining your lives! Be aggressive with your addictions, and you’ll get some aggressive results!

Aiyo A. Jones, M.S.

NCSF-Certified Fitness Trainer

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6 Tips to Consider When Seeking Rehab for Drug Addiction

For most people, drug addiction is a big problem. You feel as if your life is getting out of your control, and you can’t get it back on track. But you can get help to deal with the problem. And with proper treatment, you can recover before long. There are many treatment methods but we suggest that you opt for a drug rehab program. Before you decide on a program, you may want to follow the tips given below.

1. Find a The Right Program

The majority of rehab programs are focused on a certain drug category like sedatives or opioids. For effective treatment, you may want to ensure that you join a customized program.

2. Consider Detoxification Therapy

Based on the drug you are addicted to, you may have withdrawal symptoms as soon as you stop taking the drug. It happens when your body balances out the negative effects of the drug. You may experience these symptoms for a few hours or weeks. Once you show withdrawal symptoms, you may want to opt for detoxification. This process involves reducing the amount of drug you take or substituting it with another safer drug for a while.

3. The Costs of Treatment

Most insurance providers offer a minimum of partial coverage for the rehabilitation treatment. In addition, some employers also offer treatments methods for psychological conditions including drug addictions. So, you may want to find out more about your options so you can cover the cost without spending an arm and a leg.

4. Treatment Options

The majority of drug rehab centers offer a combo of different treatment methods rather than focus on just one type of treatment. They come up with a treatment plan that may best fit your needs. Often, the treatment plan involves two treatments: behavioral therapy and medication therapy.

5. The Treatment Period

According to some people, the treatment won’t take more than a month for complete recovery. However, the treatment may take a long longer before you get fully recovered. According to NIDA, the complete recovery may take up to 90 days. Therefore, the treatment plan should be given some time. You may have to bear patience.

6. The first stage

Lastly, you may want to keep in mind that addiction recovery is a kind of lifelong process. And the first stage of this process is rehabilitation. So, you may not want to expect your addiction to be fully cured at the end of the treatment program.

Instead, you should go to the treatment center with a mindset that the addiction will go away gradually. And during this time, you will be able to find out how you can live a life that is free of addition and much more productive. Once the treatment is completed, you can go back to your normal life with the help of the skills and knowledge you gained during the treatment at the rehab center.

So, if you have been thinking of considering an addiction treatment center for your drug addiction, we suggest that you follow the tips given in this article.

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The Addictive Personality Part Three

Deep down inside people with addictions know that what they are doing is wrong. They know that their behaviors, choices, and actions are hurting them and their loved ones. But the need to feed their addiction supersedes everything else in their life.

To perpetuate their addiction they must deny that the substance, compulsion, or habit has anything to do with what is going wrong around them. That is why they become very defensive when confronted with their behavior. There are a variety of defense mechanisms used by those with active addictions.

Denial

Denial is a defense mechanism in which a person is faced with a fact that is too uncomfortable to accept and rejects it instead, insisting that it is not true. The ability to deny that he or she has such a strong emotional attachment to his or her addiction of choice is largely what enables an addict to continue the addiction despite overwhelming evidence. The more severe the problem, the more denial there usually is.

Repression

Repression is the conscious mechanism those with addictions use to completely tune out the fact that they have a problem. They simply stop acknowledging the addiction to themselves and others.

Minimizing

With minimizing, those with addictions will acknowledge that something is wrong but not want to make a big deal out of it. When confronted by others they rationalize that others are placing too much emphasis on the problem; that it’s not nearly as bad as others are making it out to be.

Toxic Shame

Toxic shame is used by those with addictions to avoid taking responsibility for their problem. They see themselves as flawed and never measuring up; like their whole life has been a mistake. They believe they are victims of their past. Because they feel defective, they seek something that will make them feel better, but it is a hole they can never fill.

Blaming and Shifting Blame

Blaming is similar to toxic shame in that those with addictions avoid taking responsibility for the problem. They may accept some of the responsibility for their problem but believe that others are more to blame for it. They may act like victims, shifting the blame for their addiction onto the situation they are in or the people they are with. They don’t look at how they contribute to the problem. This gives them a sense of entitlement to use their substance since they are not to blame for doing it.

Rationalizing

Rationalization is used to explain away the consequences of their addictive behavior or choices. They rationalize that whatever happened would have happened regardless of their addiction. For example: The factors that led to the car accident would have caused it to happen whether he or she was intoxicated or not.

Deflection

When confronted about their addiction addicts may use deflection to take the focus off of themselves. They do this by bringing up the other person’s shortcomings, similar activities that the person may partake in, or behavior the person may have exhibited in the past. For example, alcoholics might remind people that they have no room to criticize their drinking because they drink too.

Normalizing

Wanting to feel normal, since they feel so shameful for their behavior, they surround themselves with others who abuse the same substance and have the same level of addiction.

Grandiosity

Most people with addictions suffer from low-self-esteem. Aware and shameful that they are messing up their lives, they use “Grandiosity,” the unrealistic inflation of their sense of self, as a defense mechanism to hide their feelings of vulnerability and low of self-worth. They may have low self-esteem yet still believe they are better than other people.

Compartmentalizing

By compartmentalizing their addiction they are able to display the behaviors expected of them for windows of time. This fools them and others into thinking that they have control over their lives.

Controlling

Those with addictions try to control everything and everyone around them, believing it will get them what they want. When others don’t cooperate they become even more controlling. It is delusional; they believe that what they are doing is going to work even though it rarely does.

Undoing

People with addictions will demonstrate destructive behavior and then try to “undo” it by apologizing, offering gifts, or promising that they’ll never do it again. They do this to distract others from the real problem; from the fact that they have an addiction.

If you recognize signs of an addictive personality in yourself there are steps you can take to prevent it from spiraling out of control.

  1. You must admit that there is a problem. Take responsibility for your thoughts and actions. Be honest and objective in your assessment of it. Surround yourself with a good support system.
  2. Learn to face your feelings whether good or bad. Don’t put them on the back burner, stuff them inside, ignore them, or medicate them. Allow yourself to experience whatever emotions come up.
  3. Arm yourself with knowledge; research your problem so you will not have to fear it.
  4. If you can discontinue the addictive behavior without needing medical intervention, begin weaning yourself off of it. Cigarette smoking and overeating both fall into this category. If you are addicted to a substance such as drugs or alcohol, get professional help immediately. You cannot stop these habits without medical supervision.
  5. Join a support group with people who share your particular addiction. It helps to know that you are not the only one dealing with it. If you would like to try attending a twelve-step meeting, find out where and when they meet in your area. There are 12-step support groups for every kind of addiction imaginable. To find one search “List of Twelve Step Programs.”

Be kind to yourself. Replace negative or destructive behaviors with positive ones. Set goals and reward yourself for reaching them. Find healthy ways to be happy whatever they may be. Take a class in a hobby or something that interests you. Surround yourself with positive people; weed toxic people out of your life. Learn how to reduce stress in your life in ways that are beneficial to your overall well-being. Learn how to meditate. Take long relaxing baths. Take a yoga class or learn how to practice it on your own. Take walks. Go to the gym.

If you want to head in the right direction, all you have to do is keep walking forward.

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7 Valuable Tips to Help With Opiate Addiction Withdrawals and Symptoms From Home

Breaking free from a drug addiction can be extremely hard. It can be both scary and intimidating for those wanting to beat their opiate addictions. Heroin addicts can face some of the most excruciating withdrawal symptoms. For some, in-patient rehabilitation isn’t an option or may not be affordable and can cost thousands of dollars to go through. Although rehab clinics are the best way for someone to overcome a drug addiction, an at-home solution is both discrete and from the comfort of you own home.

Although illicit opiate addictions such as heroin addictions and opium addictions are often the stronger of the withdrawal symptoms, even pharmaceutical opiate addictions can be almost as hard to kick.

Below are some tips for those wanting to beat their opiate addiction from home to enjoy a drug-free clean lifestyle.

1. Get a book or program to help you understand your addiction and aid in your ability to fight the withdrawal symptoms. At the bottom of this article is a website that offers such programs designed to help you from the comfort of your own home. In addiction they cost much less than going in to a rehab clinic and can save you a lot of money. Even a hundred dollar program which is guaranteed to work cost much much less than a in-patient clinic. This is highly advised.

2. All too often people rely on their drug addiction to keep them going. This is one of the biggest mistakes one could make. If you are currently using drugs it is important to do the necessary steps to keep yourself healthy. Eating right, taking vitamin supplements, getting lots of sleep, staying hydrated and making healthy decisions are crucial when you decide to quit or if you are in a position where you can’t maintain your drug habit. Don’t push yourself simply because a drug makes you feel that you can. Instead make every effort to keep yourself healthy, you’ll be thankful when the opiate withdrawal symptoms come around.

3. Take it seriously. Don’t plan on your withdrawal symptoms to be easy. Make sure you are fully prepared both mentally, physically and socially to handle such a process. Opiate withdrawal symptoms don’t last very long but you may be in a position where you have to miss work, family occasions and other possible commitments you may have. Again, getting a book or program beforehand is a smart way to play it safe, and you will find such resources at the bottom of this article.

4. Mind over matter. You may get some anxiety when the withdrawal symptoms start to occur. Try to think positive and think of it as your body trying to heal itself and that it is long-overdue. The symptoms won’t last forever and the first two days are always the hardest. Do your best to ignore limiting attitudes and keep in mind that every day, every second, and every minute you are getting better and better and closer to feeling better.

5. Rest as much as you can. Most opiate addicts don’t realize that they don’t get nearly as much sleep because they are not used to feeling bad from a lack of sleep. In other words sleep equals healing. The more you rest and drink plenty of fluids the more your body gets a chance to heal itself thoroughly.

6. Treat yourself as if you have the flu. Whether you are an opium addict, heroin addict, or addicted to methadone, when the withdrawal symptoms hit, it always resembles the flu. So what is the best thing to do? Treat your withdrawal symptoms as the flu. By this I mean, take vitamin supplements, vitamin c, drink plenty of juices, electrolyte sports drinks, lots of water, chicken noodles soups and other “brothy” soups, rest plenty, stay warm, if possible, take a warm bath and soak for a long period of time (this will calm your nerves) and sometimes a little bit of acetaminophen will help the body aches and pains.

7. Create a plan – Having a well-thought out plan will minimize the risk of severely uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms from a severe opiate addiction. For example if you are addicted to opium, the reading about it online or knowing what to expect can prep your mind for the rather uncomfortable experience you are about to encounter.

No matter where you live whether its in Portland Oregon, Los Angeles California, Austin Texas or New York New York, there are countless people going through what you may be going through, and thousands have been able to overcome such addictions. If possible, seek professional advice from a doctor, counselor, friends and family you trust. There are many programs all throughout the world that offer free or inexpensive solutions to drug addiction rehabilitation. Know your options and keep your convictions strong, have a positive attitude and you can succeed at any trial you may be faced with.

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Donuts, Addiction, and The Meaning of Life

I bet you are wondering about the thread here, huh? Quite frankly, now that I have written it, I am feeling a bit stretched to connect the dots in this title, but here I go…

I have a theory about Life: We are all born as donuts. Our purpose in life is to find our donut hole. The space of the donut hole is symbolic of our own personal and unique life purpose…our Calling. When we find this purpose and live it, we feel whole and complete.

However, there are also the deceptive dynamics of addiction that also can fill the donut hole. There are the more obvious addictive behaviors such as alcohol and drugs, but also the more subtle (and often socially encouraged) addictions such as compulsive spending, relationships, work, sex, food and exercise.

At first, these addictive activities do not seem to be addictive at all. In fact, they often seem to be quite fulfilling and enjoyable. However, addiction always grows bigger and bigger, and begins to eat away at the “donut”…your life! If it goes on untreated, then in the end there nothing but a huge donut hole left…total loss and despair.

However, there is hope. The first step is to be aware, and then you can set-up an “anti-addiction self intervention” program. The three steps that are necessary for such a program are to uncover, recover, and discover:

Uncover – Addiction is like mold in that grows and festers in the dark. However, its power is diminished when it is brought into “the light”. Create a powerful support network for yourself that you can check-in with on a regular basis. Ask them to help you stay accountable with any addictive tendencies. Always uncover those dynamic that the addictive force wants to deny and minimize. In other words, commit to “tell on yourself” on a regular basis.

Recover – Reclaim what has been lost or displaced. Define, or re-define, your values, your purpose, your vision, and your goals. Get clear about the boundaries you need to keep away from addictive triggers. Know your addiction early-warning signs and indicators.

Discover – Design and live your life from the present to the future. Create an exciting life plan that stretches you into new, unknown territory. Discover the “Land of Possibility”; those totally new and different people, places, and activities. Create an extensive list of “top-line” indicators; those positive influences that are furthest away from addictive energy.

Okay, there you have it: Donuts, Addiction, and The Meaning of Life. Let me know what you think. In the meantime…

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Understanding Alcoholism And Addictions

Many reasons exist exactly why some people commence drinking alcohol. Lots of these tend to be social, but with just the very first drink, chemical shifts occur within the brain that may result in an eventual addiction. Alcoholism is classified as a disease, and with each extra drink, an individual increases his or her chances of permanently becoming dependent.

If we are intending to illustrate exactly what alcohol addiction is, it is someone who knowingly consumes alcoholic beverages while aware of the negative physical as well as social consequences that it means. Basically it can be described as someone who cannot turn down a drink, so in general we might explain alcoholism as the inclination to compulsively drinking alcohol, while not being able to recognize its adverse reactions.

There exists one more sort of person that although has issues with drinking alcohol, has the ability to suppress the actual characteristics and symptoms. You might classify this kind of conduct as alcohol abuse, which might mean that even though alcohol is consumed in large quantities, the abuser is in some way capable to maintain certain restraint. So just to conclude that an alcohol abuser is not totally depending on alcohol as does an alcoholic.

Alcoholism is a serious disease and backed up through stats created by the National Council of Alcohol addiction, that has estimated that around 18 million Americans misuse alcohol. It is highlighted by statistics proving that more than 100,000 American citizens die of alcohol linked health issues along with further revealing stats that 50% of highway deaths are caused by driving while somebody intoxicated is behind the wheel.

Additionally when taking a look at the truly hardened alcohol consumers, they will normally object to confessing that they’re alcoholics. They are going to continue drinking with a certain caution and will tend to spread out any drinking occasions in different locations during the day. The thing is once they begin that way, it’s so tricky to stay on track with their routine as they will drink more substantial amounts, and possibly at a faster tempo.

Alcoholism or in simple terms, a physical reliance on alcohol can be defined as a health problem that’ll gradually control one’s body. Brain chemical substances such as gamma-aminobutyric acid will suffer an alteration in equilibrium due to an increased alcohol ingestion, nevertheless although this may help keep impulsive tendencies in check, the presence of glutamate is only going to excite the nervous system. Excitable behavior is also provoked by the increased level of dopamine within the brain. The practice involving drinking alcohol has an effect on the levels of these kinds of chemical compounds in the brain which will just cause your body to long for additional alcohol, as had been explained in the beginning of this alcohol addiction facts article.

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