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Addiction  Addiction is the continued behavior or use of a mood altering substance despite adverse dependency consequences or neurological impairment leading to such behaviors.

Addiction is a neurological, progressive, compulsive, chronic, habitual behavior that limits freedom of human desire; it is a state of obsession or preoccupation that enslaves a person’s will and desire to grave consequences in long term.

Addiction is a powerful, cunning and baffling physical and mental disease that cannot be cured but can be STOPPED.

Addictions include alcohol abuse, drug abuse, self-medication, gambling and dependency on pornography, sex, internet, exercise or work.

People with an addiction do not have control over what they are doing, taking or using thus unable to control the aspects of addiction without help.

Addiction leads to feelings of guilt, shame, hopelessness, despair, failure, rejection, anxiety and/or humiliation.

Addiction requires long term management

WE are ALL addicts to feelings, objects, occasions and actions

Classification of psychoactive drugs

  1. UPPERS: Stimulants e.g. cocaine, caffeine which produce an intense rush and ecstatic feelings.
  2. DOWNERS: Depressants e.g. heroin, alcohol which depress circulatory, respiratory and muscular systems to control pain.
  3. ALL ROUNDERS e.g. marijuana which can cause stimulation but mostly alter sensory input and can cause illusions, delusions, and hallucinations.

Why addictive substances are apparent

  1. A basic need of human beings to cope with their environment and existence;
  2. Natural vulnerability of brain chemistry to proactive drugs;
  3. Government and business involvement in selling and taxing drugs
  4. Technological advances in refining and synthesizing drugs;
  5. Development of more efficient and faster methods of putting drugs into the body

Coping with Addiction – Spirituality

Spirituality IS A THIRST for the connection with ourselves, others, the world and a power beyond us.  A loss of this creates being cut off from the world, lost in loneliness and despair creeps in.

A spiritual experience is NOT a monopoly of a single religious grouping.  It is universal for all humans; atheists, agnostics, humanists, monotheists, polytheists, rich, poor, rural, urban, civilized, uncivilized …

}  Addiction peels off the layers of human connections like community, friends, hobbies, peers, family and finally the SELF.

}  IN RECOVERY layers are stitched back again. This is a painful job and needs spiritual energy and stitching that takes away pride, grief, shame, guilt, anger and resentment.

}  Own will power is not possible, there is need to surrender to higher powers. Refer (12 steps of alcoholic anonymous)

}  Types of spiritual experience vary greatly but include mysticism, religious conversion, altered states of consciousness, trance and spiritual practices.

Spirituality mends again, human relations.

Coping with Addiction – Family Support System

When an individual is battling with addiction, the whole family is affected, specifically emotionally and mentally.  All need to be part of the healing process.

The support family members provide each other to reduce stress shortens the time in therapy.

There needs to be a forum for communication, especially for the expression of anger and the resolution of conflict.

Family members should recognize individual differences, needs, sensitivities and the right to privacy.

Establishment of the rights and responsibilities of each family member is vital.

Four major goals

  1. Acceptance by all family members that addiction is not a sign of moral weakness.
  2. Establish and maintain a drug free family system
  3. Develop a system for family communication and interaction
  4. Process a family’s readjustment after cessation of drug or alcohol abuse.

A human individual and his/her surrounding environment are regarded as inseparably intertwined; one has no meaning when treated independently of the other.

A fully functioning family

  • Display of love and acceptance.
  • Communicativeness.
  • Cohesiveness.
  • Communication of values and standards.
  • Ability to cope effectively with problems.
  • Ability to cope effectively with problems.

13 PRINCIPLES AND GOALS OF TREATMENT (drug and substance addictions)

  • No single treatment  is for all
  • Treatment needs to be readily available
  • Treatment  must attend to client’s multiple needs
  • Modifications to meet changing needs of the client is a necessity
  • Adequate period is crucial in treatment
  • Counseling  is a critical component in treatment
  • Medications are important
  • Monitoring of drug use is needed
  • Integrated treatment is needed for coexisting mental disorders
  • Detoxification is a first stage of treatment
  • Treatment does not need to be voluntary to be effective
  • Infectious diseases need to be assessed now and then
  • Recovery is a long term process


1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.


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