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leeches leech mehdi leech therapistDifferent Types of Addiction by mehdi jaffari

Different Types of Addiction

In our fast paced society where constant demand is around us, some people are driven to the edge. People can start depending on other means to forget their problems rather than facing them – and they get addicted as a result. People also have more choices now. With the advancement of technology people have more things to obsess about. This can also alter their behaviour and later lead them to addiction.

Addicts become physically dependent on a substance or psychologically dependent on an activity. Addiction can be described as an obsession and compulsion for something. It can range from mild to severe; people start needing a regular dose of a specific substance or activity to function normally. There are also varied types of addiction, and some may not even be identified yet.

Addiction is no longer just drug addiction. Nowadays there are more things that people can get addicted to, not just because they have problems but also due to constant exposure to a barrage of advertisements about products that promise instant gratification. People can be addicted to a lot of things apart from alcohol and substance abuse. People can also get addicted to engage in specific activities even if they actually pose a risk to their mental health or their social lives and often prove to be destructive. This type of addiction may not be evident at first, but as physical and psychological dependency emerges it will soon turn into an addiction. Addiction can therefore refer to a lot of types: addiction to prescription drugs, addiction to shopping, addiction to food, etc.

Well-Known Types of Addiction

Drug Addiction

Most of us are well aware of what this is. Traditionally, it referred to addiction to illegal drugs like cocaine. These illegal drugs are obviously not sold in pharmacies; typically they are smuggled in or manufactured in an obscure factory and sold in the streets – thus the term street drugs. Now, however, drug addiction can just as easily be applied to addiction to prescribed medication. Some therapeutic drugs like Vicodin are highly addictive. These drugs are legal and therefore dispensed in pharmacies, but they are meant for controlled use and they require prescription.

A person is considered to be physically dependent on a drug if he develops withdrawal symptoms upon stopping use.

Use usually starts with simple experimentation. With constant use, however, drug addiction (manifested by reliance and dependence on the substance) ensues. Why would anyone start using or experimenting on something that is well known to be addictive? Several reasons come to mind.

It may be simple peer pressure. This is especially true in the case of addiction to illegal drugs. Someone does not want to be thought cowardly or labeled as a wet blanket by his friends so he tries drugs to prove that he’s none of the above. Naturally, he’ll have to do this again and again while he’s with his friends or he will lose his friends’ regard. Sooner or later, he will be using drugs not because he wants to please his friends but because he is already addicted to the substance.

It may also be a legitimate medical condition. This is especially applicable in the case of addiction to prescription drugs. Someone who has been given Vicodin for pain relief may feel that his dosage is insufficient and start taking more than the prescribed number of pills. Dependence sets in and the patient will soon be inventing more pain symptoms to get more of the same medication.

There is a wide array of drugs that a person can be addicted to apart from illegal drugs. There are also prescription and over-the-counter drugs. These include stimulants, sedatives, pain relief medication, hypnotics, and opiate analgesics. Particularly addictive are drugs that promote feelings of well being and euphoria.

Withdrawal symptoms can also vary from one person to another. The most common are anxiety, depression and craving. These withdrawal symptoms make stopping drug use almost physically impossible for some people.

Alcohol Addiction

Most adults drink alcohol. It is always present at parties and social gatherings. Wine is perfect for cocktails, during dinner and after dinner. Beer is perfect for weekend ballgames and card games. Unfortunately, frequent use can lead to dependence on alcohol; genetics can also make someone more vulnerable to alcoholism.

Alcoholics can drink unbelievable amounts of alcohol without any noticeable impact; they usually end a binge when they pass out. They cannot resist its lure even if drinking will cause health problems (e.g. cirrhosis of the liver) and risk to life and limb (e.g. driving under the influence is a major cause of vehicular accidents). Drinking becomes a compulsion – either they drink or they suffer withdrawal symptoms.

There are many alcohol withdrawal symptoms. They vary according to the severity of alcoholism. They depend on how long the person has been addicted to alcohol, on the degree of alcohol intake and on the person’s age. Mild symptoms include anxiety and sleep disturbances. In severe cases the individual may experience hallucinations, delirium and convulsions which can be life threatening.

Other Types of Addiction

Nicotine Addiction

Smoking is one the leading vices today. Individuals are not addicted to the habit of smoking but to nicotine which tobacco cigarettes and cigars contain. Smoking causes various health problems and puts smokers at risk for an even greater variety of medical problems.

Caffeine Addiction

Most of us at work cannot live without coffee. Coffee shops at every corner and coffee vending machines at every office building have made drinking coffee a very convenient habit. In result, some people become addicted to caffeine. They feel down and lethargic and they cannot function without it.

Apart from coffee there are also different caffeine products such as chocolate, cola and energy drinks. These products induce effects similar to psychoactive drugs such as alcohol and cocaine.

Caffeine addiction levels can differ depending on intake. Some are content with a couple of cups of coffee but others cannot survive without cans of energy drink or liters of cola.

Internet Addiction

Internet addiction is especially evident among young people. It is also accompanied by Online Compulsive Disorder or, in slang term, Screen Sucking. Symptoms include setting aside important work for trivial things such as chatting, surfing the web, watching internet videos, responding to unimportant emails, and checking membership profiles at various social networking sites. This addiction can make one vulnerable to cyber crimes and can lead to other forms of addiction such as addiction to online gambling or online gaming.

PC, Video and Arcade Game Addiction

Games online and offline are visually engaging and entertaining; they can also be very addictive. Just like internet addicts, game addicts spend all their waking hours in front of a video monitor to hunt goblins or shoot terrorists. They lead very dysfunctional lives.

Shopping Addiction

Some women refer to this as retail therapy. Buying items that you need is essential but splurging on things that you don’t really need – and won’t even use – is a different story. Shopping addicts usually clear out all of their old things – even things which have just been bought recently – to make way for the new things they will be buying. It is not possession or ownership that those addicted to shopping enjoy – it is the act of shopping itself. Effects usually include a lot of clutter and a lot of debt.

Sex Addiction

People who have sexual compulsion are fixated on the sexual act. They cannot think about anything else and they are always focused on where and how they can get it next. Their obsession with sex reaches a point where they are no longer productive at work. They cannot stop their compulsive behavior even at the risk of contracting STD and losing their family, work and standing in the community.

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leeches leech mehdi leech therapist Life After Addiction by mehdi jaffari

Life After Addiction

Let’s say that, after months, maybe even years, of trying to fight off addiction, you finally find yourself successful. Finally, you can leave the rehabilitation center with your head held high. Finally, you can have that whiff of freedom that you’ve always dreamed of during those long arduous months of drying out and struggling with withdrawal symptoms. Finally, you find yourself at the other side of the gate, no longer a spectator, but a full participant in the growth and development of the world that you’ve long been denied. You take the first step out and towards your new life – and stop. What’s next?

Many people, after successfully completing their rehabilitation program, find themselves at a loss as to what they will do when they’re finally allowed to rejoin the ranks of society. The profound differences between the real world and the controlled confines of the rehabilitation centre can cause a newly-rehabilitated person to freeze up; the myriad of emotions assaulting him is too overwhelming. There’s something about the complete freedom that excites them, dizzies them and scares them. Suddenly, doubt creeps in and festers in the deepest crevices of the mind, insistent, persistent, indomitable… “What if I muck up my life like I did last time?”, “What if society doesn’t accept me?”, “What if I’m not yet ready?”, “What if… what if… what if?” And then, when they find themselves rendered immobile by the crippling uncertainty, they find themselves trapped in that downward spiral once again.

Life after rehab is daunting, but it is manageable. Those who have successfully regained their place in society are living testament to that. Life after rehab can be incredibly difficult, it can even be torturous… but impossible is the one thing it’s not.

Your Chances of Regaining Your Life Increase With Rehab

Addiction can completely ruin a person’s life. Unfortunately, when a person gets addicted to something, he actually needs that substance or that activity in order to function. Without it, he will go through the painful process of withdrawal. When confronted by others about his addictive behaviour, however, he denies it. He refuses to accept the fact that he is, indeed, dependent. His denial persists even if evidence to the contrary is impossible to refute. So he lashes out at the people who cared enough about him to ask. He refuses all treatment, falls further into depravity. After all, he tells himself, he’s not addicted, right? But in his deepest heart, he knows that this is not the case. He knows that he is indeed addicted.

The first step is acceptance. The road to recovery starts when you admit that you are, indeed, addicted. The first thing that you need to do once you’ve accepted your state is to go to a doctor. He can help you get over your addiction, give you drugs to stave off the withdrawal symptoms, connect you to an institution where you can ‘recover’ – a place where you can heal.

Do not be afraid of rehabilitation centres. They’re not prisons; they’re not designed to make you suffer. Rehabilitation is hard, of course, especially during those first few months when you are still learning how to live without your addiction. Withdrawal will be difficult, but there will be people who will help you get through those dark days.

Remember, life after addiction begins with rehabilitation.

Believe in Yourself – if others can do it, you can too

Once you’ve finished rehabilitation or while you’re on it, for that matter, always believe in yourself. You’re not alone. Others have walked this path before, and they have succeeded. Now, they’re living happy lives, better than the ones they used to have. They grew, and you can too. All you need to do is to get through the hard part.

Never fill your head with negative thoughts. Never tell yourself that ‘you can’t do it’. Always be optimistic about your recovery. If others can do it, then so can you

Keep Your Goals in Mind

If you’re having a particularly hard time during rehab, remind yourself why you’re there in the first place. Remind yourself about your goals and your reasons for getting admitted. Are you doing it for your family? Are you doing it for yourself? Whatever your reason is, always keep it in your mind and remind yourself often of it.

Stay in Contact With Your Loved Ones – they will be your pillars when you regain your freedom

Never lose contact with your loved ones as they will be your pillars when you get out of rehab. Keep in touch, send them letters, call them through the phone, and ask them to visit you. Seeing them and realizing how much they care for you will strengthen your resolve and help you get through the tough times. They will be there for you once you leave the institution, they will help you pick up the pieces.

Join a Support Group

Many people have struggled with addiction and many are still struggling. Those who want to change join a support group. Support groups will help you stay clear of your old vices. You can draw strength from the other members of the group and you can find comfort in those who are going through the same thing that you are.

An example of a support group would be ‘Alcoholics Anonymous’. Contact social services and they will connect you with the appropriate support group.

Learn to Say ‘No’

That day when you will meet someone from your ‘former life’ is inevitable. You have changed, but your former associates did not. They will come and try to undo all the good your therapists, your rehab and your own efforts have accomplished.

You will probably be tempted to try it. You may even be tempted to justify such a decision. After all, you’re cured, right? So what harm would a taste once in a while do?

You know the answer to that and no amount of self-deception will make this knowledge go away. Do not be lured by past temptations. It will be very hard to say no that first time, but if you manage to do that, you will find it a bit easier to do the next time, and the next – until you can say no without feeling tempted at all

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leeches leech mehdi leech therapist Overcoming Addiction: Positive vs. Negative Motivation and Treatments by mehdi jaffari

Overcoming Addiction: Positive vs. Negative Motivation and Treatments

Addiction is one of the most common problems that we face in the society today. It has also developed more variety from the time of recognition and is no longer exclusively used in reference to alcoholism and addiction to illegal drugs like cocaine, opium and methamphetamines.

For instance, drug addiction has broadened somewhat to include addiction to prescription drugs, also otherwise known as legal drugs. Through the years, it has been seen that the use of certain prescribed drugs – especially pain relief medicines and personality disorder medications – can bring about more than just pain relief or better moods; they can also lead to drug addiction.

Addiction can now refer to a lot of things. As long as one’s obsession with something reaches a point where nothing else matters but the next time or the next fix, this can be called – at least in a very loose sense – addiction. Thus, you will now hear and read people talking about shopping addiction, sex addiction, internet addiction, gambling addiction, etc. Nevertheless, the two most established types of addiction are still drug addiction and alcohol addiction, and it is to them that we turn for methods of treating addiction in general.

There are different methods used in treating addiction. However the underlying common principle is positive and negative reinforcement. Positive reinforcement involves positive motivation and a reward system. The reward is the recognition and approval of your peers and family; individuals are therefore motivated to change for the better. Negative reinforcement on the other hand involves the recognition of negative emotional state; this is used to arrest impulsive behaviour. It is the complete cessation of the substance that the individual is addicted to and focuses on emotional regulation rather than behaviour change.

Treatments for Drug Addiction

There are different treatments for drug addiction. They are mostly commonly treated in rehabilitation centres. These rehabilitation centres have their own programs for treating drug addiction. The treatment in each rehabilitation center also varies depending on the individual’s needs. Individuals can also choose from different kinds of programs.

Apart from rehabilitation centres, there are also hospital-based rehabilitation programs. Individuals receive treatment in a general hospital. These are ideal for addicts who have also developed psychiatric problems. In this case, the institution’s focus is on eliminating medical problems and providing detoxification.

Long-term treatment programs are for those who have completed thirty to forty days of treatment but still have drug seeking behaviour. They are also ideal for those who experience relapses after staying at a rehabilitation centre.

Outpatient treatment programs are for employed individuals who have support systems (such as family and friends) and can refrain from using drugs for 72 hours. Patients have their own home and attend the program during weekends. Day treatment program is another option. Individuals meet during the day, five days a week, four hours every day. Therapeutic communities provide treatment using the mental health approach. They focus on behaviour change.

Although there are different programs for the treatment of drug addiction, they all have something in common. First, drug detoxification is utilised. It is done to relieve withdrawal symptoms and help the individual adjust to a life without drugs. Individuals are tested to find out which substances are in their system.

After that medications are used to stabilize the patients while they are in a drug-free environment. People close to the addict are encouraged to visit during this stage. After this, the patient is enrolled in a drug rehabilitation program for full recovery.

Drug rehabilitation programs vary. There are different approaches and models for treatment. What these treatments have in common, though, is the goal for behaviour change to cure psychological dependency. They utilize either positive or negative reinforcement.

Positive motivation and reinforcement is most commonly used in treatment programs. This is done through counselling. Group therapy sessions are usually utilised in rehabilitation centres to motivate addicts through positive reinforcement.

Client-centered therapy focuses on three things: positive regard, empathy and genuineness. Doctors establish a therapeutic relationship with their patients to resolve issues. Twelve-step programs are used to motivate addicts to stop their substance abuse. Individuals are taught to admit their addiction, recognise a higher power that can give them strength, examine their past mistakes, make amends for these mistakes, learn a new life without drugs, and help others who also have the same problem. This program is most commonly used by self-help organisations and fellowships.

Although positive reinforcement is more widely used, negative reinforcement is also utilized. Negative reinforcement focuses on emotional regulation and mindfulness. This is simply the complete cessation of the drugs they are addicted to. Individuals are encouraged to identify their negative emotional state and to prevent compulsive responses.

Treatment for Alcoholism

The treatment for alcohol addiction is quite similar to drug addiction. They also have rehabilitation centres for alcoholics to treat their addiction. There are also self-help organizations and fellowships.

Treatment also begins with detoxification. Medications such as benzodiazepines are used to relieve withdrawal symptoms. After that the individual enrolls in an alcohol rehabilitation program. Individuals will live in an alcohol treatment facility to recover.

Apart from detoxification, these programs also offer education, counselling, individual, group, and family therapy. Comprehensive programs include art and recreation therapy. The twelve-step program is also utilised. Individuals learn to admit their alcoholism, learn coping skills without alcohol, resolve their past mistakes, live a healthier life, and help other people with the same problem. If the individual suffers from psychiatric disorder due to addiction, a dual diagnosis treatment will be used.

Positive reinforcement is done through counselling and therapy session whether by themselves, their peers or their family. Negative reinforcement can also be used depending on the program.

Positive Motivation versus Negative Motivation

Positive and negative reinforcement both play a role in substance abuse treatments. Positive motivation is commonly used, but ongoing studies have also discovered the role of negative reinforcement.

The correct treatment method is one that is tailored to the needs of the patient. Thus, there is no one true method for eliminating and treating addiction. Both positive and negative reinforcement approaches may be used, but their net effect will depend on the individual.

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leeches leech mehdi leech therapist The Contribution of Brain Chemicals to Addiction by mehdi jaffari

The Contribution of Brain Chemicals to Addiction

Addiction is a common problem nowadays. Even though we are well aware of its adverse effects, a lot of people still get addicted. How come?

Addiction can be caused by a combination of factors. Environmental and social factors are some of the few things that contribute to addiction incidence. In this world we live in, the factors that can cause addiction are more varied than ever.

The modern world has a lot of conveniences, but it also has a lot of things we probably would be better off without. For instance, we could do with a little less of those ads that give the impression that smoking cigarettes is cool and drinking beer is fun. We could also probably do with a little less of those shows on rich kids always shooting up and taking all sorts of drugs – all the while looking so happy about it.

Admittedly, banning these ads and shows will not lead to the complete elimination of addiction. However, it would at least make such addictive substances less appealing, especially to adolescents who may try experimenting and get easily and readily hooked. Unfortunately for our teens, once they are hooked at a very young age – when the brain is still developing – they will have a very difficult time ahead of them.

Studies have shown that brain chemicals play a big role in enhancing and reinforcing the individual’s dependence on drugs. Drug addiction is not just caused by the environment but also by the chemical processes in the brain.

The Human Brain and the Reward System

The human brain is a complex organ. It has evolved through the course of time into something that regulates everything that makes man function, act and think the way he does. The brain has a reward system in place. Apparently, this reward center is the source of glad feelings – that which make us feel good about ourselves and life in general. This is our brain’s way of motivating us to do something that’s good for us, really – when we do something good, our brain rewards us for doing it.

It’s much more complex than that, of course. This reward system is in place for our own survival. One of the examples is food intake and procreation. They are governed by specific systems in the brain. The interaction of food such as sugar and fats activate taste receptors which in turn stimulate the brain reward mechanisms. The brain’s reward system produces changes such as mood elevation and a feeling of intense pleasure. As a result, we will want to eat and we will want to have sex again because we feel good when we do them – and this, in turn, promotes our survival because we need both food and progeny for our species to survive.

However, brain chemicals are not the only things that can activate the reward system. This system can also be activated by certain chemicals. Caffeine, alcohol and nicotine are some of these chemicals that can make us feel good – and we become addicted to these chemicals as a result.

How It Works

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter – a carrier of brain signals. It plays a role in regulating an individual’s moods. It is also involved in the process of motivation and rewards in our brain. It is found at the dopamine’s mesolimbic system, which is very important in the motivational process of the brain. During normal activity the dopamine is produced at a slow rate. Dopamine’s mesolimbic system is spontaneously active but the potential is produced at a low rate. At this rate the individual maintains and experiences a normal mood.

Some drugs, however, become highly addictive by enhancing the activity of the mesolimbic dopamine system. Nicotine and alcohol can activate the brain’s reward system through moderate use; addictive drugs have a more intense effect. In any case, most addictive drugs result in high levels of dopamine and fast rates of dopamine production.

Since they make us feel so good, we use these substances again and again until our brain’s organization changes. The recreational substances become necessary substances. They become more necessary than food, sex and all the other natural triggers of the reward system. It no longer matters that a job well done is something that can give us a lot of pleasure; such a pleasure becomes inferior compared to the euphoria induced by the addictive substances.

Our threshold for euphoria involving these substances also gradually rises. A stick of cigarette will not have the same effect it once had after months of continuous smoking. In response, we will also gradually increase our intake, and soon we will be smoking more than a pack per day. The same is true for other addictive substances. Soon, a bottle of beer or one pill will not give us the same ‘high” that it used to; increased intake is inevitable.

Dopamine Activity Enhanced by Heroin

It is one of the most common, highly addictive drugs. It produces relaxation and intense euphoria. It increases dopamine production activity and thus increases the dopamine levels in the brain. High levels of dopamine activity increase the effect of the postsynaptic dopamine.

The increased dopamine activity produces the heroin’s effects on the individual. When its effect has worn off, the user becomes motivated to take more of the drug to experience more of the euphoria it causes.

Dopamine Activity Enhanced by Cocaine

Cocaine, on the other hand, prevents the reabsorption of dopamine. This causes the accumulation of dopamine and magnification of its effect. The increased dopamine levels produce euphoria and mood elevation, quite similar to the effect of heroin use.

Cocaine’s effect is rather short-lived. Thus, a cocaine addict will administer more of the drug for better results.

Combination Heroin and Cocaine: “Speedball”

Heroin and Cocaine may be combined for longer and more intense effects. This is known to users as “speed-ball”. They work in different parts on the dopamine’s mesolimbic system. The end result is even greater dopamine in the synapse. The combined activity of these drugs therefore produces a longer-lasting effect. This combination, however, is extremely dangerous for it causes rapid physiological and psychological deterioration to the user.

Conclusion

It is clear from the above discussion that our brain’s own chemical processes and activities can lead to addiction. Nevertheless, the final responsibility and accountability is still ours. The decision to start using or abusing substances is ours to make. The brain only adapts and reacts to the stimuli you give it.

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LEECHES LEECH MEHDI LEECH THERAPIST Addiction: Causes by mehdi jaffari

Addiction: Causes

The cause of addiction has sparked countless debates over the years. There is no single cause of addiction. Some factors can make someone predisposed to addiction, but not all who have the predisposition for addiction develop the condition. Meanwhile, someone who has no such predisposition may be triggered into developing an addiction.

There are two general causes of addiction: the physical and the psychological. There are also theories (with supporting studies) that indicate genetics play a major role in someone’s susceptibility to addiction.

Physical and Psychological Addiction

While it is true that physical dependence is always accompanied by psychological dependence, psychological dependence is not always accompanied by physical dependence.

Physical addiction refers to the condition where continued use is necessary for satisfaction and gratification. This is especially applicable in the case of drug addiction where undesirable neuroplasticity or brain reorganization occurs as a result of continuous, repetitive drug use. In a manner of speaking, your brain gets rewired – new neural pathways are opened and defective (abnormal) brain signaling takes place – so that the brain’s reward center no longer works as they used to. You will no longer feel any or as much pleasure in the things that you once found pleasurable such as food, sex and other people’s company. To feel gratified, you will need to use drugs. In the end, you will get physically addicted to the act of drug use itself. Even if the euphoria you feel from drug use no longer equals that which you felt when you first started using drugs, it wouldn’t matter. You’ll value your next drug intake more than anything – more than food, family, life, and health; you would have to use drugs or you would be miserable.

Psychological factors are also among the main causes of addiction. Depression, family problems and emotional turmoil can drive you towards activities and things that will make you forget your problems or take your mind off your depression or emotional turmoil.

Abuse is also another common cause of addiction. A person who has experienced any form of abuse – whether psychological, emotional, physical, or sexual – may turn to recreational drug use or other forms of addictive behaviour as a defense or coping mechanism. Abuse victims would rather spend their days dazed and insentient rather than be sober and keep thinking about the injustice done to them. To keep feeling the hurt, the shame and the guilt all over again.

Doing something or taking something constantly to bring relief or forgetfulness can lead to psychological addiction – that is, you become psychologically conditioned to feel pleasure, relief from pain, validated, or fulfilled only if you do the activity or take the substance again. Even if the brain still hasn’t been rewired physically, you have already been psychologically conditioned to associate gratification with that activity or product to which you are addicted. This causes and reinforces addiction and sooner or later, physical addiction will set in and further exacerbate the problem.

Genetics Play a Role

Our genes also play a very important role in addiction. Certain genes and certain gene configurations can affect our predisposition to addiction. To put it simply, the presence of certain genes (e.g. risk-taking behaviour, gene for neurotransmitter production, gene that regulates reward, etc.) and in certain combinations means some people are more likely to become addicted than others.

The genes that have been passed on to us by our parents have a lot to answer for. In fact, it has been noted that if the cause for some people’s predisposition toward addictive behaviour is to be explained, genetic considerations would be one of the most major factors; it does in fact account for around forty to sixty percent.

Genes play a role in predicting future behaviour. They have been shown to be one of the causes of addiction. They will explain why one person who drinks wine everyday at the dinner table does not get addicted to alcohol (he is just as happy and just as lively if he eats dinner with a friend who practices abstinence), when another who has started drinking alcohol just a few months ago suddenly cannot sleep if he doesn’t have a drink beforehand or would rather lose his job than miss his daily Johnny Walker date.

Nevertheless, even if genes can increase our susceptibility to addiction, it is never a definite predictor of actual addiction behaviour.

If your parents are addictive and have the genes that predispose a person towards addiction, this does not mean you will automatically get the same level of predisposition towards addiction. Remember that we do not manifest all but only some of all of our inherited genes. The genes that predispose one to addiction may be inactive in your case.

Furthermore, the presence of certain addiction-predisposing genes – even the presence of all the genes that can possibly create the greatest amount of predisposition to addiction – does not mean certain addiction. It only means you are more susceptible to addiction than most. In other words, do not touch addictive substances and you should be fine.

The Environment

Children who grew up in an environment where their supposed role models display addictive behaviour, they have a much higher likelihood of developing addictive behaviour themselves. In other words, the environment also predisposes one to addiction. One who grows up in a family where smoking is discouraged is probably not going to be a smoker whereas one who grows up in a family of smoker is much more likely to be a smoker.

Just like in the case of genetics, however, your environment may predispose you towards addiction but this does not mean that you will certainly develop an addiction.

Peer pressure is also a very important factor. It accounts for a large percentage of addiction incidence rates worldwide, especially in adolescents. In a study conducted in USA, results show that 20% of teenagers have tried smoking pot after reaching adolescence largely due to the influence of their peers.

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leeches leech mehdi leech therapist Different Types of Addiction by mehdi jaffari

Different Types of Addiction

In our fast paced society where constant demand is around us, some people are driven to the edge. People can start depending on other means to forget their problems rather than facing them – and they get addicted as a result. People also have more choices now. With the advancement of technology people have more things to obsess about. This can also alter their behaviour and later lead them to addiction.

Addicts become physically dependent on a substance or psychologically dependent on an activity. Addiction can be described as an obsession and compulsion for something. It can range from mild to severe; people start needing a regular dose of a specific substance or activity to function normally. There are also varied types of addiction, and some may not even be identified yet.

Addiction is no longer just drug addiction. Nowadays there are more things that people can get addicted to, not just because they have problems but also due to constant exposure to a barrage of advertisements about products that promise instant gratification. People can be addicted to a lot of things apart from alcohol and substance abuse. People can also get addicted to engage in specific activities even if they actually pose a risk to their mental health or their social lives and often prove to be destructive. This type of addiction may not be evident at first, but as physical and psychological dependency emerges it will soon turn into an addiction. Addiction can therefore refer to a lot of types: addiction to prescription drugs, addiction to shopping, addiction to food, etc.

Well-Known Types of Addiction

Drug Addiction

Most of us are well aware of what this is. Traditionally, it referred to addiction to illegal drugs like cocaine. These illegal drugs are obviously not sold in pharmacies; typically they are smuggled in or manufactured in an obscure factory and sold in the streets – thus the term street drugs. Now, however, drug addiction can just as easily be applied to addiction to prescribed medication. Some therapeutic drugs like Vicodin are highly addictive. These drugs are legal and therefore dispensed in pharmacies, but they are meant for controlled use and they require prescription.

A person is considered to be physically dependent on a drug if he develops withdrawal symptoms upon stopping use.

Use usually starts with simple experimentation. With constant use, however, drug addiction (manifested by reliance and dependence on the substance) ensues. Why would anyone start using or experimenting on something that is well known to be addictive? Several reasons come to mind.

It may be simple peer pressure. This is especially true in the case of addiction to illegal drugs. Someone does not want to be thought cowardly or labeled as a wet blanket by his friends so he tries drugs to prove that he’s none of the above. Naturally, he’ll have to do this again and again while he’s with his friends or he will lose his friends’ regard. Sooner or later, he will be using drugs not because he wants to please his friends but because he is already addicted to the substance.

It may also be a legitimate medical condition. This is especially applicable in the case of addiction to prescription drugs. Someone who has been given Vicodin for pain relief may feel that his dosage is insufficient and start taking more than the prescribed number of pills. Dependence sets in and the patient will soon be inventing more pain symptoms to get more of the same medication.

There is a wide array of drugs that a person can be addicted to apart from illegal drugs. There are also prescription and over-the-counter drugs. These include stimulants, sedatives, pain relief medication, hypnotics, and opiate analgesics. Particularly addictive are drugs that promote feelings of well being and euphoria.

Withdrawal symptoms can also vary from one person to another. The most common are anxiety, depression and craving. These withdrawal symptoms make stopping drug use almost physically impossible for some people.

Alcohol Addiction

Most adults drink alcohol. It is always present at parties and social gatherings. Wine is perfect for cocktails, during dinner and after dinner. Beer is perfect for weekend ballgames and card games. Unfortunately, frequent use can lead to dependence on alcohol; genetics can also make someone more vulnerable to alcoholism.

Alcoholics can drink unbelievable amounts of alcohol without any noticeable impact; they usually end a binge when they pass out. They cannot resist its lure even if drinking will cause health problems (e.g. cirrhosis of the liver) and risk to life and limb (e.g. driving under the influence is a major cause of vehicular accidents). Drinking becomes a compulsion – either they drink or they suffer withdrawal symptoms.

There are many alcohol withdrawal symptoms. They vary according to the severity of alcoholism. They depend on how long the person has been addicted to alcohol, on the degree of alcohol intake and on the person’s age. Mild symptoms include anxiety and sleep disturbances. In severe cases the individual may experience hallucinations, delirium and convulsions which can be life threatening.

Other Types of Addiction

Nicotine Addiction

Smoking is one the leading vices today. Individuals are not addicted to the habit of smoking but to nicotine which tobacco cigarettes and cigars contain. Smoking causes various health problems and puts smokers at risk for an even greater variety of medical problems.

Caffeine Addiction

Most of us at work cannot live without coffee. Coffee shops at every corner and coffee vending machines at every office building have made drinking coffee a very convenient habit. In result, some people become addicted to caffeine. They feel down and lethargic and they cannot function without it.

Apart from coffee there are also different caffeine products such as chocolate, cola and energy drinks. These products induce effects similar to psychoactive drugs such as alcohol and cocaine.

Caffeine addiction levels can differ depending on intake. Some are content with a couple of cups of coffee but others cannot survive without cans of energy drink or liters of cola.

Internet Addiction

Internet addiction is especially evident among young people. It is also accompanied by Online Compulsive Disorder or, in slang term, Screen Sucking. Symptoms include setting aside important work for trivial things such as chatting, surfing the web, watching internet videos, responding to unimportant emails, and checking membership profiles at various social networking sites. This addiction can make one vulnerable to cyber crimes and can lead to other forms of addiction such as addiction to online gambling or online gaming.

PC, Video and Arcade Game Addiction

Games online and offline are visually engaging and entertaining; they can also be very addictive. Just like internet addicts, game addicts spend all their waking hours in front of a video monitor to hunt goblins or shoot terrorists. They lead very dysfunctional lives.

Shopping Addiction

Some women refer to this as retail therapy. Buying items that you need is essential but splurging on things that you don’t really need – and won’t even use – is a different story. Shopping addicts usually clear out all of their old things – even things which have just been bought recently – to make way for the new things they will be buying. It is not possession or ownership that those addicted to shopping enjoy – it is the act of shopping itself. Effects usually include a lot of clutter and a lot of debt.

Sex Addiction

People who have sexual compulsion are fixated on the sexual act. They cannot think about anything else and they are always focused on where and how they can get it next. Their obsession with sex reaches a point where they are no longer productive at work. They cannot stop their compulsive behavior even at the risk of contracting STD and losing their family, work and standing in the community.

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leeches leech mehdi leech therapist Addictions by mehdi jaffari

Addictions

When habits or behaviours such as drinking, drug taking, medications or gambling come to dominate daily life and people find themselves powerless to stop the chaos despite many promises to do so, then it is very likely that an addiction is active.

Addictions can be formed to any activity or behaviour that allows people to escape from life and its problems and includes shopping, spending, sexual activities, gambling, food, prescribed and illegal drugs, alcohol and even other people. There is a growing problem in drug and alcohol abuse amongst young people. Fortunately, it is highly treatable with my methods.

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Physical and Psychological Addiction

Physical and Psychological Addiction

While it is true that physical dependence is always accompanied by psychological dependence, psychological dependence is not always accompanied by physical dependence.

Physical addiction refers to the condition where continued use is necessary for satisfaction and gratification. This is especially applicable in the case of drug addiction where undesirable neuroplasticity or brain reorganization occurs as a result of continuous, repetitive drug use. In a manner of speaking, your brain gets rewired – new neural pathways are opened and defective (abnormal) brain signaling takes place – so that the brain’s reward center no longer works as they used to. You will no longer feel any or as much pleasure in the things that you once found pleasurable such as food, sex and other people’s company. To feel gratified, you will need to use drugs. In the end, you will get physically addicted to the act of drug use itself. Even if the euphoria you feel from drug use no longer equals that which you felt when you first started using drugs, it wouldn’t matter. You’ll value your next drug intake more than anything – more than food, family, life, and health; you would have to use drugs or you would be miserable.

Psychological factors are also among the main causes of addiction. Depression, family problems and emotional turmoil can drive you towards activities and things that will make you forget your problems or take your mind off your depression or emotional turmoil.

Abuse is also another common cause of addiction. A person who has experienced any form of abuse – whether psychological, emotional, physical, or sexual – may turn to recreational drug use or other forms of addictive behaviour as a defense or coping mechanism. Abuse victims would rather spend their days dazed and insentient rather than be sober and keep thinking about the injustice done to them. To keep feeling the hurt, the shame and the guilt all over again.

Doing something or taking something constantly to bring relief or forgetfulness can lead to psychological addiction – that is, you become psychologically conditioned to feel pleasure, relief from pain, validated, or fulfilled only if you do the activity or take the substance again. Even if the brain still hasn’t been rewired physically, you have already been psychologically conditioned to associate gratification with that activity or product to which you are addicted. This causes and reinforces addiction and sooner or later, physical addiction will set in and further exacerbate the problem.

Genetics Play a Role

Our genes also play a very important role in addiction. Certain genes and certain gene configurations can affect our predisposition to addiction. To put it simply, the presence of certain genes (e.g. risk-taking behaviour, gene for neurotransmitter production, gene that regulates reward, etc.) and in certain combinations means some people are more likely to become addicted than others.

The genes that have been passed on to us by our parents have a lot to answer for. In fact, it has been noted that if the cause for some people’s predisposition toward addictive behaviour is to be explained, genetic considerations would be one of the most major factors; it does in fact account for around forty to sixty percent.

Genes play a role in predicting future behaviour. They have been shown to be one of the causes of addiction. They will explain why one person who drinks wine everyday at the dinner table does not get addicted to alcohol (he is just as happy and just as lively if he eats dinner with a friend who practices abstinence), when another who has started drinking alcohol just a few months ago suddenly cannot sleep if he doesn’t have a drink beforehand or would rather lose his job than miss his daily Johnny Walker date.

Nevertheless, even if genes can increase our susceptibility to addiction, it is never a definite predictor of actual addiction behaviour.

If your parents are addictive and have the genes that predispose a person towards addiction, this does not mean you will automatically get the same level of predisposition towards addiction. Remember that we do not manifest all but only some of all of our inherited genes. The genes that predispose one to addiction may be inactive in your case.

Furthermore, the presence of certain addiction-predisposing genes – even the presence of all the genes that can possibly create the greatest amount of predisposition to addiction – does not mean certain addiction. It only means you are more susceptible to addiction than most. In other words, do not touch addictive substances and you should be fine.

The Environment

Children who grew up in an environment where their supposed role models display addictive behaviour, they have a much higher likelihood of developing addictive behaviour themselves. In other words, the environment also predisposes one to addiction. One who grows up in a family where smoking is discouraged is probably not going to be a smoker whereas one who grows up in a family of smoker is much more likely to be a smoker.

Just like in the case of genetics, however, your environment may predispose you towards addiction but this does not mean that you will certainly develop an addiction.

Peer pressure is also a very important factor. It accounts for a large percentage of addiction incidence rates worldwide, especially in adolescents. In a study conducted in USA, results show that 20% of teenagers have tried smoking pot after reaching adolescence largely due to the influence of their peers.

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Caffeine Addiction

Caffeine Addiction

Most of us at work cannot live without coffee. Coffee shops at every corner and coffee vending machines at every office building have made drinking coffee a very convenient habit. In result, some people become addicted to caffeine. They feel down and lethargic and they cannot function without it.

Apart from coffee there are also different caffeine products such as chocolate, cola and energy drinks. These products induce effects similar to psychoactive drugs such as alcohol and cocaine.

Caffeine addiction levels can differ depending on intake. Some are content with a couple of cups of coffee but others cannot survive without cans of energy drink or liters of cola.

Internet Addiction

Internet addiction is especially evident among young people. It is also accompanied by Online Compulsive Disorder or, in slang term, Screen Sucking. Symptoms include setting aside important work for trivial things such as chatting, surfing the web, watching internet videos, responding to unimportant emails, and checking membership profiles at various social networking sites. This addiction can make one vulnerable to cyber crimes and can lead to other forms of addiction such as addiction to online gambling or online gaming.

PC, Video and Arcade Game Addiction

Games online and offline are visually engaging and entertaining; they can also be very addictive. Just like internet addicts, game addicts spend all their waking hours in front of a video monitor to hunt goblins or shoot terrorists. They lead very dysfunctional lives.

Shopping Addiction

Some women refer to this as retail therapy. Buying items that you need is essential but splurging on things that you don’t really need – and won’t even use – is a different story. Shopping addicts usually clear out all of their old things – even things which have just been bought recently – to make way for the new things they will be buying. It is not possession or ownership that those addicted to shopping enjoy – it is the act of shopping itself. Effects usually include a lot of clutter and a lot of debt.

Sex Addiction

People who have sexual compulsion are fixated on the sexual act. They cannot think about anything else and they are always focused on where and how they can get it next. Their obsession with sex reaches a point where they are no longer productive at work. They cannot stop their compulsive behavior even at the risk of contracting STD and losing their family, work and standing in the community.

Posted in Addictions
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Sex Addiction

Sex Addiction

People who have sexual compulsion are fixated on the sexual act. They cannot think about anything else and they are always focused on where and how they can get it next. Their obsession with sex reaches a point where they are no longer productive at work. They cannot stop their compulsive behavior even at the risk of contracting STD and losing their family, work and standing in the community.

Posted in Addictions
Tags:
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