Chapter: 1 Addiction

Addiction

Addiction is the continuous use of a mood altering substance or behaviour despite of adverse consequences. Or neurological impairment due to which such behaviour occurs even though one try to avoid it. Either you believe it or not there are various types of addiction and some of them are:

1. Drug abuse.
2. Smoking and alcoholism.
3. Gambling.
4. Sexual addiction and pornography addiction.
5. Internet addiction, social networking addiction and television addiction.

Everything which is done too much so, that it starts to effect normal life can be regarded as addiction. There are even addictions of work, exercise and to buy things (shopping).

All addiction carries various disadvantages and can affect our normal life, career, relationships, mental and physical aspects. But all addiction doesn’t carry same level or degree of effects. Some are more harmful and some are less. One real fact is that addiction is always harmful and it affects your life somehow.

Technically, in addiction habits and patterns which are associated with it are typically characterized by immediate gratification (short-term reward), leading to long lasting effects (long-term costs)
In addiction physiological dependence occurs when the body has to adjust to the substance by incorporating the substance into its normal functioning. This state creates the conditions of tolerance and withdrawal. Before moving forward to other chapters it will better to understand these two terms related to addiction:

1. Tolerance

                     Tolerance is the process by which the body adapts to the substance and requires increasingly larger amounts to achieve the original effects.

2. Withdrawal

                   Withdrawal refers to physical and psychological symptoms experienced when reducing or discontinuing a substance that the body has become dependent on. Symptoms of withdrawal generally includes but are not limited to anxiety, irritability, intense cravings for the substances, nausea, hallucinations, headaches, cold, sweats, and tremors.

photo credit: MattysFlicks via photopin cc

Advertisements

Chapter: 2 Understanding Addiction

Understanding Addiction

In this chapter I’ll try to make you understand about addiction, so keep on reading. Some part of our brain releases a chemical called dopamine due to certain behaviour and that chemical gives pleasure or satisfaction. These feelings of satisfaction become a desire and the person wants to repeat the same behaviour that causes release of dopamine.

For example, food and sex releases dopamine, that’s why people want to eat food (especially sweet food because it releases more dopamine) even they are full and wants to have sex even they don’t need a child or even when it isn’t a right time.

Similarly, pleasure or satisfaction gained by release of dopamine causes impacts on brain and helps users to learn quickly to do those behaviour which releases dopamine. That’s why even a small child learns to suck mother’s milk easily. And that’s why it is not very hard to learn to watch TV because various scenes of TV also help to release dopamine.

All the activity which releases dopamine can make you addict. But some substances like drug, cigarette, alcohol and behaviour like gambling can make you addict easily and can cause a lots of damage. These kinds of substances directly stimulate the part of our brain which releases dopamine. Thus it causes to release two-ten times more amount of dopamine than our brain releases normally, giving the user sense of rush or high (extreme pleasure). And if an activity or use of substance releases more amount of dopamine then we will learn more quickly to do that activity or use that substance. That’s why due to release of more dopamine user learns to use the substances like drugs, alcohol and cigarettes more quickly. And slowly, slowly due to continuous use, it becomes a habit to use that substance and to get that much pleasure.

Overtime due to prolong use of such substances brain stops to release as much dopamine as it previously used to release when using such substances. This increases the level tolerance leading to physical dependency. That’s why person needs to involve in more intense use of such substances just to feel normal or to get that kind of pleasure experienced in initial use of such substances. This works like vicious circle which will be difficult to break.

Thus, due to quicker process of learning, increasing in level of tolerance and formation of habit to use such substance, user becomes a addict. As a result, the user loses control over the act of taking addicted substance or engaging in addicted activity. So he/she tries to engage in such activity or use such substance as much as he cans even forgetting all kind of responsibility.

In this way, addiction happens.

photo credit: Neil. Moralee via photopin cc

 

Chapter: 3 Signs And Symptoms Of Addiction

Signs and Symptoms of Addiction

Some symptoms which can be experienced by addicted person himself/herself are:

i. Tolerance increases that’s why needs to engage in addictive substance becomes more and more to get desired effect.
ii. Withdrawal happens when the person doesn’t take the addicted substance or engage in addicted behaviour (like gambling). Thus, experience unpleasant symptoms.
iii. It becomes difficult in cutting down or controlling the addicted behaviour or substance.
iv. Social, occupational and recreational activities gets hampered.
v. Addicted person spends most of his/her time in thinking and planning about getting addicted substances (like drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, etc). He/she spends all his/her money to buy such substances even by lying, thieving, selling his/her own properties or being criminal.

Some common signs which can be observed in addicted person by other people are:

i. Extreme changes in mood occur in short time. Like being sometime really happy, sometime really sad, sometime anxious, sometime exited and so on. But these types of mood change are also common in non-addicted teenagers. As teenage is the period of stress.
ii. Sleeping more or less than usual or sleeping at different times of day or night.
iii. Unexpectedly changes in energy. So addicted person sometimes feels extremely tired or sometimes feels extremely energetic.
iv. Unexpected weight loss or weight gain.
v. Secretiveness and lying behaviour are seen.
vi. Stealing behaviour can also be seen.
vii. Addicted person sometimes holds a large amounts of money and sometimes don’t bear any money.
viii. Changes in social groups and new or unusual friends can be observed.
ix. Repeatedly going outside without explaining, often with a sense of urgency.
x. Drugs or other addictive substance being stashed can be seen with addicted person.
xi. Problems at school, frequently missing school, sudden disinterest in study or sudden drop in grade.

Above given are just signs and symptoms of addictions. Sometimes some of above mentioned signs can also be seen in non-addicted person due to various reasons. So, don’t jump into conclusion and blame someone of addiction but keep a little distance with such person. Before blaming other be sure and have strong evidence and don’t forget to take the opinion of the person about this matter if you think he/she is addict.

photo credit: davemmett via photopin cc

 

Chapter: 4 Gambling

Casino

Gambling is the wagering of money or something of material value (stakes) on an event with an uncertain outcome with the primary intent of winning additional money and/or material goods. Generally gambling includes playing cards or anything which is mostly based on lucks (like khokhode, kauda, poker, etc).

Gambling is the common practice in our society even culturally and is the means to spend leisure time. Gambling looks simple and you may think that there is nothing wrong in gambling. This is because you see elders gambling, movie-star gambling in movie, friends gambling, etc. And when we see something too much we become unable to see its total impact and start to think it as a normal. Let me give you a example, if you see a small plant daily then you will not notice its growth. But if you see it after a long interval of time then you will notice its growth more easily. That’s why you are unable to see total impacts of gambling.

Gambling also releases dopamine. Excitement and happiness caused by winning helps to release dopamine. And relief from stress or pressure, felt after not losing also helps to release in dopamine.

Studies shows only 4% of participants who gamble have high chance of being addict gambler. It’s a good news, isn’t it? But, who knows your name can also be in that 4%.

Let’s see what happens if you become an addict gambler. At that point, most part of your brain will be occupied by gambling. You will get disinterested to other activity and even forget to sleep and eat when you gamble. You even become exited and encouraged by just chance of winning. So, you just gamble and gamble even after continuously loosing, with a hope to win and get back all your money you lost while gambling. And even after winning money, you want to play more. Again, at last you will lose all the money.

At some point you realize that what you are doing is not good thing, you think about your family and career. Then you will try to get rid of gambling. But also you will be unable to get rid of it. To be free from all your tension and problem you again indulge in gambling. Again at some point you realize about your problem and try to get rid of gambling habit but you will again fail. This cycle of realizing and again gambling continuously repeats. You will feel hopeless; you start to think that you need money to rebuild the life and career. And you will regard gambling as an only solution and way to get money. You even sell your property, steal and lie to other to manage money for gambling.

Now imagine if you were a real addict gambler, how your life would will have been. Just, think about pain and misery you and people around you have to face. Think how problem will squeeze not only you but also your whole family.

If you become a addict gambler, you will only indulge in gambling and lose all your hope to get rid of it. And this kind of addiction won’t stop easily unless you get proper help or determine to control it like a real man. But no one can guarantee if you can be free from it or not. And even if you become free, it is not possible to return to your previous state. At that time you will have lost your lot of money, time, and your career and you may even lost your only source of love and support in this world i.e. your family and friends.

There are many effect of gambling but can you give me only one good reason to gamble? Can you? Instead of gambling you can choose various good methods to get satisfied, happy and spend your leisure time.

So, don’t waste your valuable time and life in something worthless and harmful activity like gambling. There are thousands of good ways to enjoy and feel good.

Remember, good things always bring good rewards whereas bad things always bring bad rewards.

photo credit: conorwithonen via photopin cc

Chapter: 5 Alcoholism

Drunk old man

Alcoholism is a broad term for problems related with alcohol and is generally used to mean compulsive and uncontrolled use of alcoholic beverages up to that level in which drunkard’s health, personal relationships, and social life get affected.

Progression in behaviour of alcoholic can be separated into four different stages, which are:

i. First stage

When a person is introduced to alcohol he/she enjoys the happy feeling it produces.

ii. Second stage

Person starts to think that consumption of alcohol has no effect because in the initial stage he/she only experiences pleasure and do not generally experiences negative symptoms. So, drunkard wills again drinks to feel the intense pleasure experienced in the first stage.

iii. Third stage

Due to prolong consumption of alcohol physical changes occurs and tolerance level increases but it won’t be noticeable to drunkard or others. Due to increase in tolerance, person needs to increase the volume of alcohol consumption to experience original pleasure. At this same stage physical and social consequences starts to appear i.e. hangovers, family problems, work problems etc. But also drunkard continues to drink excessively ignoring the problems and consequences.

iv. Fourth stage

At this stage a drunkard becomes physically dependent on alcohol and many such addict drunkards will keep on drinking alcohol to avoid withdrawal sickness, just to feel normal and to forget about tensions and problems for a while. At last, due to long term drinking of alcohol various organs gets damaged and even causes premature death.
These are the four stages which shows how alcoholic person progress.

Consuming alcohol causes severe types of physical, psychological, mental, social and economic problems. It can cause cancer of various digestive organs, affects liver, causes heart problems etc. It also causes depression, anxiety, hallucination, sleeping disorder, irritability, etc. Alcoholism destroys family life, causes unnecessary quarrels, economic problems and also causes economic losses. Sometimes too much consumption of alcohol in a same day can also cause instant death of the person.

But it is also true that alcohol (especially of high quality) is beneficial if taken in moderate amount. But once you start to drink alcohol regularly, it becomes a habit and leads to addiction, with the passage of time. Over time tolerance increases, then you have to drink more alcohol willingly or unwillingly, to get desired effect. So, best thing you can do is avoid drinking alcohol even for one time.

Let’s look at the some wrong belief that people holds about addiction:

i. Many people use alcohol as a way to reduce stress and to get feeling of relaxation for a while. But the real problem won’t be solved by drinking alcohol nor will it provide long term satisfaction. So, instead of using alcohol to reduce stress, you can find out the root cause of stress and solve it once and for all.

ii. People also think that they need to consume alcohol to increase and intensify their social circle. Because in movie they see alcoholic people partying and enjoying, even in real life we can also see people having high reputation and high economy drinking alcohol with their group and many more. Always remember that, you don’t have to drink alcohol to be accepted to your loved one or your peer. So, if your friends ask or force you to drink alcohol in order to get entry in their groups then leave such friends and try to be away from them. A good friend always respects your opinion and helps you to be better not to be worse.

iii. When we ask some people then they say that, they needs to drink alcohol in order to get sleep at night and they also says that, they feels restless while sleeping if they don’t drink alcohol. But real truth is that, although alcohol helps to get sleep easily but such sleep will be of low quality. Even they sleep for 8 hours they feel like they haven’t slept fully. Because alcohol disturbs the quality of their sleep. Best method which you can use to fall in sleep is do simple meditation by just lying in bed and focus on your breathing. Don’t try to have pills as far as possible, for getting sleep because pills can also disturbs your health condition over a long time and even can make you addict to it.

iv. Clinically it is proven that alcohol helps to solve some health issues if taken in moderate amount. But with the passage of time, drinking of alcohol becomes a habit and can even make you addict. At that point you have to face large amount of health issues. You may have seen and realized how family life, career and social status of alcoholic are destroyed. So, it is not wise to drink alcohol in order to improve health condition.

In market there are many healthy juices and healthy food are available to feed you. So, why to choose alcohol for drinking? There is no reason to drink alcohol. You won’t die nor will your career and social life get destroyed by not drinking alcohol. So, avoid alcohol and enjoy your life.

photo credit: Roberto Trm via photopin cc

 

Chapter: 6 Smoking

Smoking Girl

At present many younger youth especially teenager are getting involved in smoking day by day. So there is chance you may also smoke in future or you may have already smoked. In this chapter I am going to make you aware about smoking. I don’t know, what you think about cigarette but it is a fact that cigarette is a poison which will lead you to the path of death when you use it.

Most of the people start smoking in their teenage year. It is due to various reasons which I am going to describe later in another chapter. Only very-very few people start smoking in their adult age. But you may see many adult smoking cigarettes. This might confuse you but truth is most of those adult had started smoking in their teenage year. As we know smoking is a one type of addictive behavior which is hard to leave.

Let’s see how smoking can make you addict, cigarette has many harmful chemicals, one of them is nicotine. When the smokes of cigarette enter your body, nicotine also enters and mixes in the bloodstream. Due to the influence of nicotine, brain releases more amount of dopamine. This increases your desire to repeat the smoking behaviour more and more and this can make you addict. So, adult who smokes generally starts smoking cigarette in their teenage year and becomes unable to get rid of smoking due to its addiction and to prevent withdrawal sickness.

Do you know that (about more than 50%) most of the adult smokers regret about why they started smoking in their teenage year. Even though they try to leave smoking habit, they fail to do so.

You should understand that smoking won’t make you look cool, talent, adult, powerful nor respectful person. But it is true that it will destroy your life and happiness. Smoking works like a slow poison which not only shortens your life but also gives you various problems as a gift.

Some of the major fact and consequences of smoking are:

1. On average if you smoke for one minute then it will reduce your life span by one minute. To smoke a cigarette, it takes 3-5 or more minutes and if you become chain smoker you may smoke about 40 cigarettes in a day. Now, you can imagine about the amount of time and money you will lose by smoking.
2. Smoking can discolour your nails, fingers and teeth. It can make your mouth, moustaches and cloth to stink. But you will be unable to notice this type of bad things and bad odour. Thus it will repel other people from you.
3. You start to appear old by your look as wrinkles and rough skins appears prematurely
4. Your teeth, eyes, gums, and lips get affected and can get infection.
5. If you smoke then you will bear 10-22 times more risk of cancer than non smoker.
6. Do you know four out of five causes of oral cancer and esophageal cancer is smoking?
7. Smoking increases the risk of kidney cancer, bladder cancer, pancreatic cancer, stomach cancer, cervical cancer and leukemia.
8. A 2007 report states that about 4.9 million people in the world dies every year due to smoking.

These are just some consequences of smoking. There are many other consequences which are not mentioned here.

At last remember that once you start smoking it will be very hard to leave and it makes you an addict person. So it is better to prevent than to regret for whole life. So don’t smoke even for first time.

photo credit: *Zephyrance – don’t wake me up. via photopin cc

Chapter: 7 Drug Addiction

Drug Addict

This is a last type of addiction (but not least), mentioned in this book. Because on the basis of consequences it can be regarded as the most dangerous type of addiction. It not only destroys your life, relationships but also destroys your property and can even make you criminal by more chance than other addiction.

Some names of illegal drugs with their nick name are:
• Heroin (“H”, “Smack”)
• Cocaine (“Coke”, “Crack”)
• Methamphetamine
• Crack Cocaine
• LSD: Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (“trips”, “acid”, “microdots”)
• Ectasy (“E”, “XTC”, “eccy”)
• Opium
• Marijuana (“G”)
• Psilocybin Mushroom
• PCP: Phenocyelidine (“angel dust”)
These are just some name of the illegal drugs.

But nowadays use of legal drugs and medicinal drugs is also increasing. Many drug addicts and general people believe that legal and medicinal drugs are not harmful. But it is wrong belief.

Do you know that many drugs which are termed as illegal at present were used in past as prescription medicine. But people in past, used such drugs in wrong way and started to get addict. That’s why they were made illegal. So, prescription drugs (medicine) are also harmful if used in wrong way or used without prescription. Prescription drugs also holds equal risk of making you addict as illegal drugs and can also harm you. To make you easier to find whether your friends are using prescriptive drugs or not, some street names and nicknames of prescriptive drugs are:- Pilz, Xanax :(Z-bar, Brick, Benzos), Valium:(Blues), Sedatives and Tranquilizers:(Chill Pills, French Fries, Tranqs), Ritalin(Rid, Vitamin R, Jif, R-ball, Rittys, Rits), Aderall:(Beans, Black Beauties, Christmas Trees, Double Trouble), Vicodin, Oxycontin, Cotton, Percocet, Painkillers, Vike, Watson-387, Percs, Morph, Kicker, Tuss, Big Boys, Cotton OC etc. Nowadays glue-sniffing, a kind of addictive substance which can harm you, is also being used.

There are various causes of drug addiction. But in this article I am going to describe about how you can become a drug addict. Let’s see it: Whenever you take a drug for the first time you will probably feel the affect very strongly because you have very low tolerance. Due to intense satisfaction you want to try it again and again and become addict to drug. Overtime due to its continuous use your tolerance level increases. Due to this you won’t feel desired satisfaction by the same amount of dose you used at initial stage. So you should need to use higher dose or stronger types of drugs to get desired and original satisfaction. After sometime, again your tolerance level will increases. So you should again use higher dose or stronger drugs to get desired pleasure. This type of cycle continues unless you get proper help.

At that time most part of your brain will be occupied by drugs. You only think about drugs and way to get money to buy drugs. You will be unable to decide what is wrong and what is right. You only realize that you need drug and must have it anyway. You will sell everything around you, you will murder, lie, smuggle, get involve in crime and do whatever you can do to just manage money to buy drugs.

You will forget about your family, relationship, friendship and responsibility. Drug addiction will destroy your career, health and social status. You will bear high risk of various kinds of communicable diseases and STDs like HIV-AIDS, Hepatitis etc.

Some of the problems, which can be brought by drug addiction are:
i. Family and relationship problems.
ii. Problems at work and school.
iii. Accidents.
iv. Legal problems.
v. Financial problems.
vi. Health problems.
vii. Sexual problems ( can make a addict sterile and can reduces his/her interest in sex)

Above mentioned facts are just a smaller one but if it happens in real life then it will be much more painful, miserable and heart-breaking. I think now you may have been clear about how drug addiction can make you criminal from a normal person and how miserably it can kill you prematurely.

Another wrong belief which people hold about drug addiction is that they regard drug addiction as a personal problem but in fact it is a social problem. If you and your family lives in a place where drug addiction prevails then you and your family members are at high risk of being drug addict. Indirectly, you and your family members can also be victim of problems and crimes resulted by drug addiction.

So, instead of regarding drug addiction as other’s problem we should try to solve it as our own problem.

Always remember that, in life many kinds of scars can be healed with the passage of time but scars resulted by drug addiction will not easily heal. Even if you get recovered from drug addiction it will be very hard to forget the pain and misery of past which will lead you to depression and regret for rest of the life.

So, think 100 times, even 1000 times about your career, life and family (who have a great hope in you) before taking drugs. And don’t do drugs.

photo credit: saultakesphotos via photopin cc