Fight drug addiction and feel good

Drug addiction is the compulsive urge to take drugs and this is a chronic disease where the addict is unable to curb drug cravings despite the negative changes experienced. A person who is keen to try out drugs for the first time will do it voluntarily, but when he/she becomes addicted to the consequences of taking the drug, it leads to changes in brain that fights the need to stop taking the drug and this change is constantly enabling the person to lack self-control or facilitating them to continuously take the drug.

Brain of a person who takes drugs:

What compels a person to take drugs to an extent that they enjoy the feeling tremendously. These drugs target brain’s reward system and this center is flooded by a chemical messenger called dopamine responsible for controlling pleasure and behaviors such as spending moments with loved ones, movement, motivation, emotion and eating. The level of dopamine that floods the reward system is excessively high compared to the normal amount and this induces a person to experience a pleasurable high feeling compelling them to take the drug often.

When the person continues to take drugs the brain adjusts to increased amount of dopamine by reducing the amount of this chemical or by lowering dopamine receptors and the ability of the cells in the reward circuit system to respond to dopamine. This response reduces a person’s ability to feel the pleasurable high compared to the first time when they took the drug. During such a situation the person will continue to take the drug, till they encounter a dopamine high that was experienced when they took the drug for the first time. The affected person is now not interested in anything else, not even the activities which they find to be highly enjoyable.

Drugs affect the normal functioning of the brain, drugs such as heroin or marijuana have similar structure to neurotransmitters. Due to this similarity they are able to fool brain receptors and activate nerve cells to release abnormal messages. Drugs like cocaine stimulate nerve cells to release large amount of neurotransmitters thereby avoiding normal recycling of brain chemicals required to shut down normal communication between neurons. This irregularity  produces large amount of false messages and therefore disrupting normal communication process.

Negative effects of drug addiction and abuse:

Drug addiction is a serious problem, it changes the way a person functions and behaves, mainly because drugs affects the body to a great extent. An important point to remember is drugs are chemicals, and each drug has a different structure that affects the body in various ways. There are drugs that are absorbed through ingestion, inhalation and injection. The drugs that are injected moves into the blood stream directly and drugs that are ingested passes through digestive system.

The pleasure of addiction emerges from the flooding of dopamine a neurotransmitter in the brain’s reward circuit. Dopamine is responsible for feelings of pleasure, emotion, movement and cognition. The high levels of dopamine causes a person to experience a state of euphoria and this is what leads a person to get addicted.

Drug addiction affects relationships with family, friends, work colleagues, and the person is also prone to self-harm, accident, domestic violence and even death.  Drugs have an adverse effect on physical health, and the affected person suffers stroke and severe brain damage resulting in problems with decision making, attention and memory and the individual is unable to function normally with his/her day to day activities.

Drug addiction causes cardiovascular conditions that range from infected heart valves and blood vessels, collapsed veins from injected drugs and abnormal heart beat that can progress to heart attacks. The other harmful effects on the body caused by drugs are nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting and weakened immunity system increasing susceptibility to infections. When a person is addicted to drugs he/she looses self-control and is not aware of their surroundings, and you will notice these behavioral changes, which are loss of self-control, extreme activity, lack of judgement, aggressive behavior, paranoia and hallucinations.

Effective ways to fight drug addiction:

Whether in rehabilitation or recovery, it is common for an addict to experience cravings, the need to crave drugs is present even in a person who has recovered from the addiction for many years. Holiday periods and celebration moments are also a trigger to encounter cravings and the frequency of wanting drugs is at its peak. It is certainly tough for a person in complete recovery to let go of addiction during holiday periods, but the addict should not feel under-confident during such a circumstance and he/she should relate the craving to just a feeling. An important point to remember is cravings surface every now and then, and there are ways of tackling these cravings.

When craving hits do not panic:

It is possible to feel cravings, but when it hits you do not panic and feel you are likely to get into relapse. Just consider this to be a feeling and think of the pleasurable things life has to offer, or think of a good and commendable moment. Practice meditation and even prayers will help. Most importantly try to switch from thoughts of craving into victorious moments encountered in life.

Aim to get into a social circle:

Any person who has recovered from addiction treatment would certainly want alone time to ponder over cravings. It would be great to get into a social circle or reach out to close friends and family and even speak to someone who has recovered fully to know what it feels like to be in recovery and overcome cravings.

Get into a regular activity:

A good way to beat cravings will be to get into a regular physical activity, it releases feel good chemicals called endorphins that promotes good mood and takes a person’s mind off cravings. You can jog or brisk walk with a large group of friends or even swim or play a fun sport. You will only have fun and feel the fantastic rhythm of recovery, and you can also indulge in great hobbies like music, books, painting, art, music and so on.

Make a list of your efforts in tackling every step of overcoming addiction:

An excellent way to beat cravings is to make a list of the efforts you have made to overcome every step of addiction. Remember every step of addiction overcome is a reward to not only yourself but other people around. Every time you get cravings, think of how victorious you have been in overcoming the addiction and you will experience good vibes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Quit smoking now

Smoking addiction is when a person is addicted to tobacco, and the addictive substance is nicotine. Nicotine changes the balance of two chemicals noradrenaline and dopamine in the brain. When the level of these two chemicals are altered by nicotine, the concentration and mood level of a person changes and smokers find this feeling to be pleasurable. When a person inhales nicotine the change in the level of noradrenaline and dopamine happens quickly and the drug immediately moves to the brain and such a reaction reduces anxiety and stress and increases the feeling of pleasure and this is why smokers become dependent on nicotine.

Why do people smoke:

Smoking is a strong addiction, and once a person starts, it is difficult to stop, in many cases individuals start smoking during their teenage years, and they find it tough to break the addiction once they reach adulthood. There are many reasons why people start smoking, and it is life stresses and peer pressure that trigger this habit.

Young individuals smoke to look mature, and they get influenced from friend circle or family, who give a wrong impression on smoking indicating that people smoke to look cool and mature.

Adults get into smoking for many reasons, and the main reasons are stress and anxiety from work and financial issues. People also smoke when they feel depressed, when they are in a broken relationship or when a family member or loved one is suffering from a life-threatening disease.

The environment is a major factor that influences smoking, people who grow in an environment where parents or family members smoke from depression are likely to get influenced and take on the habit head strong.

Low self-esteem also plays a big role in getting addicted to smoking, people who are socially anxious and who are conscious about being in a crowd, take in to smoking to just find something to do and relieve themselves from stress.

Some people indulge in smoking to maintain weight because nicotine increases energy expenditure and reduces appetite. This is the reason why smokers have a lower body weight than non smokers.

Harmful effects of smoking:

People who smoke are not only at a high risk of suffering from lung and throat cancer. An important point to remember is smoking affects the overall health of an individual. Whether you are a light smoker or chain smoker, tobacco is severely harmful to overall health.

A person who smokes suffers from various body complications such as poor vision, poor appetite, anxiety and irritability, persistent cough, cold and flu, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung, throat and various other cancers such as cancer of stomach, bowel, bladder, liver, ureter, ovary, cervix, kidney, bone marrow, pancreas, nasal sinus, larynx, esophagus, tongue and nose. The other diseases caused from smoking is  bronchitis, high cholesterol, heart disease, wrinkled skin, yellow finger, diabetes, gum disease, pregnancy problem, health issues in new born, early menopause, erectile dysfunction, infertility, osteoporosis and ulcers of digestive system.

Remember there is no safe means of smoking, and you cannot replace cigarettes with hookah, pipe or cigar. According to American Lung Association, cigarettes have 600 ingredients, and when you burn a cigarette over 7,000 chemicals are generated, and at least 69 of these chemicals are carcinogenic. Cigar is not a safer substitute, based on information produced from National Cancer Institute, there is a greater amount of tar, toxins and carcinogens in cigars than cigarettes. When you inhale hookah you are inhaling more amount of smoke than that of a cigarette because it has more toxic compounds and thereby has more amount of carbon monoxide, which is extremely harmful to the body.

According to research conducted by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smokers are at a higher risk of a shorter life by three times compared to individuals who have not smoked in their life. Smoking is one of the biggest killers in the preventable diseases category.

Smoking cessation tips:

Any amount of smoking is harmful in the long run, and this holds true for a person who is a light smoker or a chain smoker. It is important and beneficial to consider different means to quit. There is help available, there are doctors, counselors, and psychologists who offer best support. However, an individual has to have the willpower to quit smoking.

Initially there are going to be challenges while trying to give up smoking, the affected person will experience withdrawal symptoms such as difficulty concentrating, drowsiness, mood swings, frustration, extreme anxiety, headache, increased appetite, sleep problems  dry mouth and severe cravings.

Just because a person experiences withdrawal symptoms, they should not lose hope about quitting and think it is impossible. Experience strength and positive thinking by working on great methods to fight withdrawal symptoms.

Powerful ways to fight withdrawal symptoms:

Binge on a healthy diet:

It is natural to experience cravings during the period of giving up smoking, and it increases a person’s appetite. When an individual encounters cravings, encourage him/her to binge on healthy foods that consists of lean proteins, fruits and vegetables. Remember that a healthy diet lowers the urge and severity of withdrawal symptoms.

Get into a regular exercise regime:

Nicotine is an addictive substance that elevates a person’s mood and he/she experiences pleasurable feeling that makes them get addicted to smoking. Once a person is off smoking he/she begins to suffer mild depression and a good way to fight this is regular exercise. Scientific studies have discovered exercise triggers release of endorphins in the body and this is a chemical known to enhance good mood. So exercise to keep yourself occupied and fight withdrawal.

Confide in close circle of friends and family:

Everybody knows smoking is harmful for health and it kills, it is visible on many mediums such as television, newspaper, advertisement banners and so on. A smoker also knows the addiction is harmful, but it is difficult to give it up easily. A good way is for smokers to confide in close friends and family and speak to them about the addiction and willpower to give it up. Friends and family of smokers should provide encouragement and empathize with smokers, and help them with the issue they are facing and also work together in fighting the addiction. Each time a person overcomes a withdrawal barrier throw out good words of achievement.

Celebrate, write down an achievement and mingle around good company:

Every time you feel you have achieved the quit smoking goal, celebrate and reward yourself, by taking a walk, reading a book, listening to music, visit a library, bowling center or binge on a nice healthy meal. Also maintain a diary and note down your achievements in overcoming the initial and final steps of smoking.

Get into a company of non-smokers and be around people who appreciate you for who you are. Do not mingle with people who let you down, otherwise you will start feeling depressed. One of the best ways to overcome withdrawal symptoms is to move around with people who make you feel good.

Decorate your home with color and positive vibes:

If you are into interior decoration, then decorate your house with items that smell good like a scented candle and flowers. You can even decorate your house with nice decorative items like paintings, accessories that represent different cultures and so on. You will only get good vibes when you enter your home, and there will be no room for withdrawal symptoms.

It is possible to give up smoking, feel good about yourself and enjoy life.