Self-Esteem and Addiction

Addiction can take on many forms, often involving the consumption of harmful substances such as street drugs, class-A narcotics, and alcohol. For the most part, it is just like disease that eats away at the very core of a person and leaves him/her ruined and incapacitated as an individual. While recovery from addiction is very much possible, it can be very difficult in some cases especially those that involve dependents with very low self-esteem and poor self-image.

Low Self Esteem as a Cause of Addiction

For a lot of people, having low self-esteem can cause problems ranging from insecurities, anti-social behavior, and in worse cases, substance addiction. Many would turn to drugs or alcohol as a way to escape their increasingly problematic personal life instead of dealing with the issues head on. The satisfaction they get from using drugs or drinking alcohol is perceived to be a much better alternative than being with other people and feeling less than a genuine part of the society or group of people.

High Risk of Relapse

Even when addicts get through detox and rehab successfully, they are still at a high risk of relapsing or “falling off the wagon” so they need a much stronger support system in order to keep their addictions at bay. Any number of factors can trigger a relapse such as failed relationships, getting fired from a job, not getting a much needed loan, and many others.

What recovering addicts need is more than just encouraging words from family and friends. They need to find an avenue where they can express themselves and use their skills in a manner that makes them feel good about themselves. Genuine sense of accomplishment is one of the things dependents need among others as it gives them hope and the feeling of being a contributing part of the society.

Learning New Skills and Honing Old Ones

Being able to accomplish something tangible on a daily basis helps a great deal in boosting one’s self esteem which makes recovery from addiction a little bit bearable. Family and friends of recovering addicts/alcoholics should be the one to encourage them to go participate in activities that would enrich their lives.

Joining workshop programs or short courses will definitely help in obtaining new skills which can lead to several other productive opportunities. Not only will this help in keeping their mind away from substance consumption but it will also allow them to have experiences outside the context of addiction recovery

Developing a Better Self Image

There are a number of programs that can help recovering addicts to achieve a better self image. These programs are created using modern psychological techniques that can uncover hidden insecurities and attack them head on while lessening the trauma that comes with it.

Lowering the risk of relapse would require addressing deep seated issues that cause self deprecating tendencies. The idea is to help dependents realize that they just as important and valuable as the next guy and that their lives are just as worth living.

Addiction can take on many forms, often involving the consumption of harmful substances such as street drugs, class-A narcotics, and alcohol. For the most part, it is just like disease that eats away at the very core of a person and leaves him/her ruined and incapacitated as an individual. While recovery from addiction is very much possible, it can be very difficult in some cases especially those that involve dependents wit very low self esteem and poor self image.

Should drugs be decriminalized?

The legalization of drugs has become an interesting debate for many people today whether they are left or right wingers. When the dutch decriminalized marijuana some people were skeptical and that it would instead create a problem that resulted that every body will be lazy and unmotivated. That wasn’t quite true. Data now shows that the the dutch have very similar rates of use between other European nations. Cannabis is technically still illegal, but the courts won’t prosecute small amounts.

Many other European countries such as Norway and Portugal have decriminalized using drugs and instead have implemented a mandate to go to rehab for addiction recovery instead of going to jail. Portugal has legalized all drugs since 2000. Now, their capital Libson, which had 5000 users a day lining up to buy Heroin in abandoned buildings, has been completely transformed due to the new policy of treating drug users as sick people instead of criminals. People are getting the help they need instead of sleeping in abandoned buildings and using dirty needles. There are less people in jail and on the street. The neighborhood has been bulldozed and has completely transformed, in only 10 years!

The United states spends about 1 trillion dollars a year on the “war on drugs” as more people die from drug related violence, and as our privately owned jails get filled up beyond capacity. Therefore, there is something the United States can learn from the Portuguese.

Addiction Recovery Can be a Viscious Cycle

Addiction to drugs is a vicious cycle which can trap the affected person in its unrelenting grip even for years. The process of getting rid of addictions can be a long and difficult one, and in many cases the affected individual may need more than just mental resolve to free oneself from this vicious cycle. Typically termed as ‘recovery’, freedom from addictions can be attained by following a step-by-step method involving abstinence, doing it in moderation, going for a treatment and finally stepping on the road to recovery.

One of the most potent ways of getting rid of an addiction is through practicing abstinence in life. No treatment can be practically more effective than stopping one’s indulgence in drugs either through moderation or by stopping it at once. Though, there are lot of ifs and buts involved with sudden abstinence, it can probably be the best way of leading a drug free life for people who are still moderately addicted to drugs. But for those who are addicted to drugs such as heroin, sudden abstinence can lead to many problems because of the effects of withdrawal experienced afterward. For them, taking the slow path of cutting down on doses in a phased manner will be more effective and useful towards reaching an addiction free stage. In that regard, Suboxone seems to be helping a lot of people from what I’ve seen.

The road to Addiction recovery
The process of a person getting out of an addiction is somehow quite identical to how the person got into the addiction before. The very fact that getting addicted to a habit does not develop overnight, same way goes the recovery process which is also does not happen overnight. After taking the first step of self-controlled abstinence, the process needs to be followed up by proper treatment for countering the withdrawal symptoms, which can be very stressful for the addicted person. The withdrawal symptoms too can vary depending on the level of addictiveness of the person, and the nature of drug that the person had been addicted to.

Addictions involving some drugs may also require detoxifying the body of the remaining traces of the drug from the affected individual. And once the person’s body is completely cleansed of any sign of drugs, the phase of rehab is put into place for stopping the relapse of addiction in the cured person. This process is very critical in carrying the cured person resolutely forward on the road to recovery. It involves developing a strong mental framework in the person’s mind to shun the path of seeking dependence on drugs, and lead a healthy and addiction-free life forever.

In order to comprehend the process of recovery from addictions, one needs to understand the various stages of an addicted person’s mind. Self realization and acceptance is the 1st stage when the addicted individual starts realizing that he or she is addicted to something, and follows it up by accepting it in front of others, one can be sure that the addicted individual is ready to walk the long road to recovery. Seen as an inclination to find out ways of recovery, the 2nd stage is towards enhancing one’s know-how regarding the pros and cons of addictions and what possible implications could it have on the person’s life. Characterized by a strong resole, the 3rd stage could be a fresh resolution to quit addictiveness. And finally what follows is the stage when the recovery process is strengthened even more and new addiction-free life is finally put into motion.

After achieving an addiction-free life, restoration of life’s routine can also take a long time to normalize, though the support of family and friends would always be key in leading a healthy life afterward.

Anonymous Story

Well, I’ll try to keep my story as brief as possible.

I’ve been around alcohol my whole life as alcoholism runs in my fathers side of the family and he drank heavily until the birth of my younger brother then he somehow managed to cut down to only three beers a day. How that is possible I do not know nor will I try to figure out being that is impossible for me. I have heard the stories that as a baby he’d put whiskey on my gums while teething or a “hot totty” was good to put a sick child to sleep quickly. Although I can not remember much of that so cannot attest to the truth of it.

I grew up with everything I needed and some of what I wanted in a very good household with two loving parents who would’ve done anything in the world for me if they could. I was forunate enough to be involved in various music programs and learning to play various instruments since middle school. But, I was definitely always very shy and insecure about myself and never sure why.

Always searching to find where I fit in and with whom I best fit in. I eventually fell into a crowd who seemed very confident and happy (Or so I thought). Was offered my first drink and from the first time I drank, I drank alcoholically. At first and for quite some time I would drink as often as possible feeling great and on top of the world every time I did. I have very few to almost no trouble with the law due to my drinking, but it eventually led to me chasing the first drink I ever had and the feeling of being confident and comfortable in my own skin and could never find it again no matter how much or often I drank. I just kept drinking more and more and feeling worse and worse.

Finally a year ago I had stumbled onto this site, lurking around, reading what others had to say about sobriety and recovery. I read posts from those who had a good time in sobriety and from what I read I wanted what they had. So I joined the site on my first 24 hours without a drink which was 2009FEB05. Posted some, recieved a lot of helpful advice and suggestions. One of which was trying a 12 step program or something face to face that was recovery related and had read many good things about AA. So the following week on 2009FEB10 I had attended my first AA meeting. I was definitely scared at first, shy, wasn’t sure what to expect. But, it turns out to be the best thing that has ever happened to me.

Now with a year in sobriety and recovery I have a great sponsor, wonderful friends to share and make great memories with. And it all has taught me and will continue to teach me 12 principles and many tools I will be able to use and find helpful throughout the rest of my life. Through using these in my life to the best of my ability I have found a peace, serenity and sense of belonging I have always wanted my whole life and wouldn’t trade what I have now for anything in the world. It has been a great experience. And I honestly believe I am a miracle of my Higher Power working in my life to help to stay on a great path of recovery. And it is proof enough to me that I can stay sober if I’m willing to do what is neccessary for me to do to stay sober. It is possible for anyone to enjoy a sober life that is happy, joyous and free.

How Does Heroin Affect the Brain?

Heroin enters the brain, where it is converted to morphine and binds to receptors known as opioid receptors. These receptors are located in many areas of the brain (and in the body), especially those involved in the perception of pain and in reward. Opioid receptors are also located in the brain stem—important for automatic processes critical for life, such as breathing (respiration), blood pressure, and arousal. Heroin overdoses frequently involve a suppression of respiration.

After an intravenous injection of heroin, users report feeling a surge of euphoria (“rush”) accompanied by dry mouth, a warm flushing of the skin, heaviness of the extremities, and clouded mental functioning. Following this initial euphoria, the user goes “on the nod,” an alternately wakeful and drowsy state. Users who do not inject the drug may not experience the initial rush, but other effects are the same.

With regular heroin use, tolerance develops, in which the user’s physiological (and psychological) response to the drug decreases, and more heroin is needed to achieve the same intensity of effect. Heroin users are at high risk for addiction—it is estimated that about 23 percent of individuals who use heroin become dependent on it.

Chronic use of heroin leads to physical dependence, a state in which the body has adapted to the presence of the drug. If a dependent user reduces or stops use of the drug abruptly, he or she may experience severe symptoms of withdrawal. Therefore, recovery from heroin addiction can be very difficult.

Modern Approach to Nicotine Addiction

Tobacco use kills approximately 440,000 Americans each year, with one in every five U.S. deaths the result of smoking. Smoking harms nearly every organ in the body, causes many diseases, and compromises smokers’ health in general. Nicotine, a component of tobacco, is the primary reason that tobacco is addictive, although cigarette smoke contains many other dangerous chemicals, including tar, carbon monoxide, acetaldehyde, nitrosamines, and more.

An improved overall understanding of addiction and of nicotine as an addictive drug has been instrumental in developing medications and behavioral treatments for tobacco addiction. For example, the nicotine patch and gum, now readily available at drugstores and supermarkets nationwide, have proven effective for smoking cessation when combined with behavioral therapy.

Advanced neuroimaging technologies make it possible for researchers to observe changes in brain function that result from smoking tobacco. Researchers are now also identifying genes that predispose people to tobacco addiction and predict their response to smoking cessation treatments. These findings—and many other recent research accomplishments—present unique opportunities to discover, develop, and disseminate new treatments for tobacco addiction, as well as scientifically based prevention programs to help curtail the public health burden that tobacco use represents.

We hope this Research Report will help readers understand the harmful effects of tobacco use and identify best practices for the prevention and treatment of tobacco addiction.

5 tips to Help you Recover From Addiction

Recovery from addiction is a worthy pursuit that will require a lot of effort on your part. You will need to learn how to take advantage of everything that is available to help to recover. Here are some tips to help you get started.

1) Start a Recovery Journal

You can think of recovery from addiction in the same way that you would think of a weight lifting program. Both of these things will require a lot of effort on your part. If you ever take this for granted, you are bound to slip up. However, if you keep a journal your recovery will never be too far from your mind.

2) Connect With Other People Who Are Also In Recovery

There are a lot of ways in which you can connect with other people who are also in recovery from addiction. A great place to start is a twelve step meeting in your area. If you are hesitant to attend a meeting, you can look online for support groups at first. In either case you can find support groups to go to while being able to maintain your confidentiality, in case that is a concern of yours.

3) Find Someone Whom You Can Talk To

Whenever you are undergoing recovery from addiction, it is important to find someone whom you can talk to. This doesn’t have to be someone whom you will feel embarrassed by, it simply needs to be someone who can be there to talk to you while you are undergoing recovery from addiction.

4) Replace Your Addiction With A Talent

As you undergo recovery from addiction you should not spend a lot of time alone. This will only make it more difficult for you. You can start going to the gym, or learning a hobby that you have always wanted to learn. Check online for clubs or groups of people that share a similar interest with you. There are many others things that you can do in order to fill your free time so that you won’t feel as bad as you undergo recovery from addiction so never give up on yourself.

5) Educate Yourself On Recovery Techniques

While educating yourself about techniques to use for recovery from addiction may be last on this list, it is still really important. Remember, you cannot afford to take your recovery from addiction lightly or you will get caught off guard. In order to keep this from happening, you will need to educate yourself about your addiction and always remain teachable. The best way in which to do this is with the help of a twelve step group and/or a professional. More specific techniques will be written about in future articles.

Helping Teenagers in Addiction Recovery

Are you trying to find ways on how to help teenagers in addiction recovery?
If the teenager is your child, then this can be a nightmare. It is very painful to watch a teenager struggle in addiction recovery. Most parents would feel hopeless in helping teenagers because they feel that it is impossible to help with their drug addiction. However, you can follow the tips and guidelines here to help a teenager recover.

No matter how experienced you are in helping a teenager to recover, it is definitely not an easy task to accomplish. You will go through anger and many days of frustration to help them get through their drug addiction. You will need patience to help solve the problem; otherwise the child might go back to drug abuse because of emotional stress and frustration that you have caused.

First, as adults we have a responsibility to direct addiction recovery efforts in the most productive manner possible. That means we will have a hand in making sure the situation is properly resolved. Making a point of finding treatment plans that work on multiple levels is one thing you can do.

Generally, teens that are abusing drugs go through severe social problems and other psychological issues. They are not necessarily hanging out with the wrong crowd. It is important for you to find out the external problems of the teenager. For example, is it school that the child is stressed out about, or is the teenager being bullied by students in school, etc.

Second, we can do something more important than finding the right program and making sure the child becomes involved with it. We can make the most essential contribution of all. The best thing that you can offer teenagers is your love, caring and support as they fight their way through addiction recovery. No matter how you explain it and regardless of why it may be true, anyone who has come out of the war with addiction successfully will tell you that the support and love of friends and family members was the very fuel that helped them to keep moving forward. Never give up on a teenager, or make matters worse by yelling at him or her.

If you ever feel helpless or useless during the recovery process, keep in mind that the fact that you care enough to feel that way is positive proof that you are making a real difference. Your love, your care, and your support for the drug or alcohol addicted teen may be nothing less than indispensable to the child’s success. It might take you several months to years in order to see progress. Do not expect drug recovery to be finished in just days as that will not happen.

It is not an easy task to watch a teenager go through the struggle with addiction recovery, and you’ll always wish you could do more as a loving parent. By finding things you can do to help and by offering your love and support, you can improve the chances for a life-changing transformation and ameliorate some of that sense of helplessness.

Recovery from Addiction: A Brief Summary

There are millions of people around the world who suffer from the unfortunate affects of drug and alcohol addictions every day. Drugs and alcohol can have overwhelmingly tight grips on the human bodies thought processes and over time your body depends on the drug to survive. To the individual, using will seem like a necessity. A day without their drug of choice is a day without reason, without life, and without excitement.

Ultimately, if the user is forced to go without drugs for a day, and sometimes two days, then the body will have terrible withdrawal symptoms. Like previously mentioned, drugs start to affect the body in devastating ways. By taking advantage of your brain, drugs can manipulate your body and cause physical pain when you’re deprived of drugs. Some symptoms of withdrawals include vomiting, headaches, severe body pains and in some cases, death. Drugs are very serious and they progressively damage your body. If you don’t take the dangers into account before using drugs then you could deteriorate your organs and other internal areas to the point that your body is unable to recover. However, assuming that you’re in stable health and able to suffer through the withdrawal period, you can make a clean recovery from addiction.

Recovering from addiction is about changing your lifestyle, changing the crowds you associate with and changing the way you think. You should never let a product overtake your mind. If you control your own brain to rely on nothing other than yourself, no drugs, then you can essentially conquer addiction. Recovery from addiction is not easy. Often times an addict will recover only to be placed right back into society with the very people that encouraged them to try drugs in the first place. These types of friends or family members aren’t going to help you live the lifestyle that you want to accomplish. Quickly disconnecting yourself from their lives is the best way to recover from addiction. By doing this you can relieve the pressures and temptations of doing what they’re doing. After being an addict you have to avoid situations that are going to bring back memories and ultimately bring back temptations. Once you’re an addict you’re always an addict. You can’t just try drugs “one last time” or you will be saying that for the rest of your life. Don’t fall into a cycle of fooling yourself that you’re recovering. Seek help from a certified counselor and/or a 12 step meetings.

The Benefits of 12 Step Programs for Alcohol and Addiction Recovery

I would like to preface this article by saying alcohol is a drug. Therefore, I may use the terms “alcoholism” or “addiction” interchangeably, but in the end the road to recovery is based on the same simple principles. If there is anything that is crucial for an addict seeking recovery, it is 12 step programs. Here is something which will not scare off a person struggling with a drinking habit. In the company of like-minded people who are ready to share their experience strength and hope, addicts participate in such a simple yet effective way to combat addiction: one addict helping another.

12 step programs have a life changing effect on people’s lives. You will see people come to these meetings in the worst of shapes. Often you will see them look broken and weak in spirit when they stagger in for the first time. But the transformation that occurs in the same people after they have attended only a few of these meetings is sometimes nothing short of miraculous. You will see the same people looking far more hopeful and in charge of their lives. Gone will be the feelings of self-pity and uselessness. Instead you will notice the beginning of hope and resolve on their part. Just listening to the stories of former addicts, as well as those on their way out of the addiction is an enormous source of inspiration and motivation to these people. They see their situations and their lives reflected in what the speakers say at these meetings, often mustering up the courage to turn up for a first 12 step meeting. This is the first major step in the right direction.

There are two types of meetings: open and closed. Anyone can attend open meetings, including people in the health sector, family members, or anyone interested in learning more about addiction recovery via 12 step programs. Open meetings are typically beginner meetings that have at least one speaker that tells his or her’s story and how they recovered from their addiction. Closed meetings are reserved for addicts or people with a desire to stop using or drinking. Closed meetings also may have a speaker but have more specific meeting styles such as big book meetings, where there is discussion about a part of the basic text of a particular fellowship, or step meetings, in which a step is discussed every week. This information is based on the knowledge I have about meetings in my area. Meeting styles vary widely in different countries or even different states, but thankfully, the goal is always the same – to assist in one’s addiction recovery.