Raghav had a high life, literally- a lovely family, a good business and supportive friends. But very soon the jitters started. Trouble in the family, ups and down in business, bad health of his parents. Stress and peer pressure made him first start with social drinking. A bottle of whisky with friends won’t hurt! But very soon the social drinking turned into an active habit. Every evening he needed the bottle. Sometimes the reason was to forget his troubles, ease the stress or because he had company. Today he is addicted to alcohol. His problems weren’t big, but they compounded and complicated because of his mental absence and dependence on alcohol.
The first phase is denial:
This is the aspect that is most important for all the addicts. They don’t realise when their occasional social habit turns into an addiction. Alcohol, drugs, nicotine become a routine for them. Their habit becomes integrated with their personality. One considers having drinks, drugs, smoke any other form, an experience called – ‘Having Fun’. Peer pressure also makes us feel that we are doing the right thing and this is essential to fit in.
However one needs to be clear what is good, bad and enough. We need to learn to challenge our cognitive blockages and fears. This phase is difficult as our head is clouded. But we should not loose control.
Overcome your guilt:
Guilt is one of the worst emotions to drain our energy. Don’t place yourself as a bad person with zero moral values. You need to reassure yourself that excess use of drugs and alcohol is abuse, and you may have an addiction. your back for this internal wake-up call and take charge of your life.
Make powerful choices: Don’t justify your reasons for substance use:
There could be thousand reasons for feeling low, bad childhood, sexual abuse, bullied experience, unfair circumstances, separated and angry parents, bad performance in academics or sports, bad relationship, break ups, no job, chronic illness, death of loved ones. But all these aren’t enough for self destruction. There is no reason valid enough for the same.
Do self-assessment online
There are several tools available online where you can assess yourself. Be honest in filling correct information asked online. Remember you are doing this assessment because you are sensible and a responsible individual. Also remember that your actions will decide your future – success in career and relationships.
Irrespective the output of assessment, pay attention to the need of the hour, take preventive steps
Action plan for quitting
If you have tried to quit, but could not get success, does not mean you cannot restart the process of quitting.
Don’t be shy to take professional help
Even after assessment, doubts, confusion and fears may persist. Take professional help from a counsellor, psychiatrist or general practitioner.
Sometimes some other mental disorders may also exist with drug addiction. It is very important to seek professional help to assess and early intervention.
Actively participate in self-help groups /NGOs
There are many NGOs and self-help support groups contributing dedicatedly for drug addiction. Join such community organization and take support from them. Experiences and success stories of others motivates us to take charge and give a sense of not being alone in this situation. Listening to them allow us to see our life with a different and positive perspective.
If there is no such organization in your area and you have an opportunity to be founder for one to help and support others.
What I can expect from my family:
Family and friend support is one of the most important therapies. Ask for help whenever you feel. Educate them with articles and blogs and be objective in demanding help. It’s very important for others to understand, how miserable one can feel when they are not able to quit. It’s beyond moral values and strong will power.
Many people do not understand why or how other people become addicted to drugs. It is often mistakenly assumed that drug abusers lack moral principles or willpower and that they could stop using drugs simply by choosing to change their behavior. In reality, drug addiction is a complex disease, and quitting takes more than good intentions or a strong will. In fact, because drugs change the brain in ways that foster compulsive drug abuse, quitting is difficult, even for those who are ready to do so. Through scientific advances, we know more about how drugs work in the brain than ever, and we also know that drug addiction can be successfully treated to help people stop abusing drugs and lead productive lives.