Yesterday I was very inspired by the program " Satyame Jayete" -a show hosted by Mr. Amir Khan..The topic was Addiction-Alcoholism.
When I was doing course in M.Sc Human Development, Mumbai SNDT University, I had chosen this topic of Alcoholic father-Effect on Children and memories flew back of the impact this Addiction had on families. I also had been part of Children of Ala Non group sharing and it was heart rendering experience each child had. So i thought today I will put down few of my learnings in context to this:
Addiction is a condition that results when a person ingests a substance (alcohol, cocaine, nicotine) or engages in an activity (gambling) that can be pleasurable but the continued use of which becomes compulsive and interferes with ordinary life responsibilities, such as work or relationships, even health. Users may not be aware that their behavior is out of control and causing problems for themselves and others.
When a person is addicted to something they cannot control how they use it, and become dependent on it to cope with daily life.
A habit may eventually develop into an addiction.Many of us can use substances or become engaged in activities without any significant problems. Some people, however, may experience damaging psychological and/or physical effects when their habit becomes an addiction.
What is the difference between a habit and an addiction?
Addiction - there is a psychological/physical component; the person is unable to control the aspects of the addiction without help because of the mental or physical conditions involved.
Habit - it is done by choice. The person with the habit can choose to stop, and will subsequently stop successfully if they want to. The psychological/physical component is not an issue as it is with an addiction.
Put simply - with a habit you are in control of your choices, with an addiction you are not in control of your choices. Addiction to substances or activities can sometimes lead to serious problems at home, work, school and socially.Addiction to substances or activities can sometimes lead to serious problems at home, work, school and socially.
The causes of addiction vary considerably, and are not often fully understood. They are generally caused by a combination of physical, mental, circumstantial and emotional factors.
Addiction, often referred to as dependency often leads to tolerance - the addicted person needs larger and more regular amounts of whatever they are addicted to in order to receive the same effect. Often, the initial reward is no longer felt, and the addiction continues because withdrawal is so unpleasant.
Most addictive behavior is not related to either physical tolerance or exposure to cues. People compulsively use drugs, or gamble or shop, nearly always in reaction to being emotionally stressed, whether or not they have a physical addiction. Since these psychologically based addictions are not based on drug or brain effects, they can account for why people frequently switch addictive actions from one drug to a completely different kind of drug, or even to a non-drug behavior. The focus of the addiction isn't what matters; it's the need to take action under certain kinds of stress. To treat this kind of addiction requires understanding of how it works psychologically.
I totally agree that Addiction is not a habit it is an illness. We need to acknowledge that this is a health issue and start taking help for this. There is a lot to be done and I really thank God that I am saved from this menace of society but pray for all the family members affected by this.