ADDICTION/ ALCOHOLISM & RECOVERY


What is Addiction/ Alcoholism?
Though Addiction & Alcoholism are two different terms, but both refer to the same problem. It is a ‘DISEASE’. It has been recognized as a disease by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Indian Medical Association (IMA) in the year of 1956 and 1960 respectively.
The terms ‘ Addiction’ & ‘ Alcoholism’ have become obsolete. Nowadays both the terms are internationally recognized as ‘ Chemical Dependency’.
The reality is that there are many other ‘ Addictions’ besides ‘Chemical Dependency’. To mention a few ‘Work holism’, ‘ Food Addiction’, ‘ Sex Addiction’, ‘ Gambling Addiction’, ‘ Money Addiction’, ‘ Power Addiction’, ‘Cyber Addiction’, ‘Lifestyle and Behavioural Disorder’, etc.
In a nutshell, Addiction is “ An inclination toward over consumption of any mood altering substance for euphoric high or pleasure”. And the substance varies from person to person.
Any kind of Addiction is a disordered pattern of personality, which is scientifically referred to as Obsessive Compulsive Pattern.
To tell the truth, in case of ‘ chemical dependency’ the chemical appears to be the only problem apparently; but, that is only the tip of the iceberg. The actual problem is more deep rooted- the personality disorder. And in most of the cases, the ‘ personality disorder’ surfaces much before the chemical abuse.
This is why the rehabilitation is required. Chemical abuse can be stopped through many ways for a short period, but the obsessive and compulsive pattern cannot be eradicated from the person by medication only. Till date, medical science could not provide a definite solution for a chemically dependent person which stops his desire to use the chemical substance. Only proper rehabilitation can and will restore a chemically dependent person to sanity i.e., his original personality prior to occurrence of disorder.

WHO IS A CHEMICALLY DEPENDENT PERSON/ ADDICT/ ALCOHOLIC?
If you have gone through our website, by now you already know that all these three different terms refer to the same origin “ The Disease of Addiction”. The term Addict/ Alcoholic has been explained in many ways, amongst which we have noted a few for your convenience:

  • If the use of chemical is causing any continuing disruption in an individual’s personal- social- spiritual- economic life but the individual doesn’t stop using, he is a chemically dependent person. (Source: WHO)
  • A person who goes through a radical personality change under the influence of mood altering chemical is a chemically dependent person. (Concept adopted from Narcotics Anonymous)
  • Addicts’ whole life and thinking have been centered in Drugs in one form or another- the getting and using and finding ways and means to get more. They live to use and use to live. Very simply, they are men or women whose life is controlled by Drugs. (Concept adopted from Narcotics Anonymous)
  • An Alcoholic/ Addict is a person who cannot consistently choose whether he will use or not, and once he does, cannot consistently choose whether he will stop or not. (Source: Rutgers Centre Of Alcohol Studies)

If you are not sure whether a person is chemically dependent or not please check the points noted below:

  • Regular or periodic over consumption of mood altering chemicals.
  • Bio, psycho, socio, economic damage and loss because of over consumption of mood altering chemicals.
  • Because of the damage/ loss, the person wishes to quit/ stop at times.
  • In spite of the damage/ loss and the wish to quit/stop, if a person still continues using mood altering chemicals, he is chemically dependent.

WHAT IS RECOVERY ?
Sir Albert Einstein said “Quitting smoking is so easy, I’ve done it so many times in my life” so quitting i.e. stopping is very easy & simple but getting back is easier and simpler. Target in Recovery is not only to ‘stop’, but to ‘stay stop’ forever.
Addiction is defined as a “Relapse Prone Disease” so the term ‘Recovered’ is not appropriate. The Internationally acclaimed term is ‘In Recovery’. This term does not refer to a static state which a person attains once and that lasts forever, it rather refers to a lifelong continuous process.

  • “Recovery is Living and Enjoying Life without the use of Mood Altering Chemicals”
  • “Recovery is Profound Personality Change”
  • “Recovery is an Inside Job”     
  • (All the aforesaid phrases are adopted from Narcotics Anonymous)

Recovery is a Psycho Spiritual State of being. In order to attain & maintain that state one has to follow a way of life named ‘The 12 Steps’. Recovery cannot be measured by wealth, power, contacts, social recognitions, etc.  There are many celebrities who in spite of being miles ahead in these aspects could not handle their Addiction problem. Some are resting in peace, some have been through mental institutions whereas, the fortunate ones’ are in Recovery with the help of 12 steps. We do not need to quote the names, you probably know a few.
Recovery is:-

  • Abstinence from mood altering chemicals
  • Abstinence from compulsive and impulsive behaviors
  • Improvement on Bio-Psycho-Socio-Emotional aspects of life

Recovery is also defined as “Continued acceptance of Addiction and the continuous monitoring     of the Addictive personality in whatever form it may take” (Quoted from The Book named Addictive Personality Published by Hazelden)
The purpose of a proper rehabilitation is to make one realize ‘why one needs to recover’, ‘how to attain Recovery’, ‘how to maintain Recovery’.

 
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