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Overcoming Addiction by Michael Hardiman

This article was inspired by Michael Hardiman's Overcoming Addiction . If you enjoy this article then consider purchasing or borrowing the book.

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How to Defeat an Addiction

“Sometimes the addict is the last person to see his addiction, and will continue in denial for as long as he can, sometimes ably assisted by those around him.”

Addiction affects every person differently. Though some people have a greater proclivity for obsessive behavior or suffer stronger symptoms of an addiction than others, scientists still have not determined what causes these differences among human beings.

In order to help yourself or a loved one deal with an addiction, you must recognize the four main aspects of an addiction:

  1. “Compulsion” – The drive to partake in an addiction will override an addicts rationale.
  2. “Dependence” – Addicts feel that there will be repercussions if they don’t give in to their cravings.
  3. “Regularity” – Though the frequency of addictive activities ranges, the addiction is ever present in the addict’s life.
  4. “Destructiveness” – Eventually, the addict’s life will suffer, though different addictions cause deterioration at different rates.

Depending on your background, you will have a different view as to what causes the addiction in the first place. All addictions have three characteristics that need to be examined: the effects of an abused substance or activity, the emotional and physical motivation of the addict and the proclivity of the addict to develop dependence.

Once an addiction takes over a person’s life, they rationalize it. Stress and boredom are often blamed by the addict as reasons for risky behavior. They will deny that the addiction has caused a problem in their life, and they’ll always downplay the dangers of their behavior.

Substance abuse is the most recognizable of addictions. Alcohol, amphetamines, nicotine, tranquilizers, antidepressants, hallucinogens, psychostimulants and opiates all affect users’ bodies and minds, leading to psychological dependence.

Many destructive behaviors lead to addictions, as the addict attempts to fill an emotional void. Gambling, eating, shopping, television, computers, sex, relationships and even work can turn into addictions.

Addicts usually won’t be motivated to kick their destructive habits until aspects of their personal lives suffer. Even then, an addict can only continue if:

  1. They realize their addiction is a problem
  2. They’re willing to change

In order to heal, addicts with severe chemical dependency will need to be hospitalized to clear their systems of toxins. To prevent relapses, addicts must avoid locales and people that remind them of their habit. Support groups can also help one overcome an addiction. No one knows how to give advice on kicking a craving better than someone who already has.

If someone close to you is suffering from an addiction, don’t deny that they have a problem. Research your friend or family member’s specific problem and talk to experts who can help. Do not provide addicts with the means to fulfill their addiction (don’t give them cash). Tactfully inform the addict that the addiction is a problem, but don’t badger them about it.

Remember, you cannot force the addict to give up on an addiction. Control your own behavior and seek counseling for yourself, if necessary.


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