Drug Addiction and Alcoholism
How it Happens-
No one wants to be a drug addict or alcoholic, but this doesn't stop people from getting addicted. The most commonly asked question is simply - how? How could my son, daughter, father, sister, or brother become a liar, a thief, someone who cannot be trusted? How could this happen? And why won't they stop?
Drug Addiction At Its Roots
The first thing you must understand about addiction is that mind-altering drugs are basically painkillers. For drugs to be attractive to a person, there must first be some underlying unhappiness, sense of hopelessness, or physical pain.
The Cycle of Addiction
Drug addiction follows a cycle like this:
A person has some problem, sense of unhappiness or hopelessness, or physical discomfort. It could be a teenager experiencing his first romantic rejection, or a grandmother with arthritis, or it could be a man in his prime, wondering why he keeps failing on the job. Or it could be someone at any age in between.
This person drinks or tries drugs. The alcohol or drugs APPEAR to solve his problem. He feels better. Because he now SEEMS better able to deal with life, the drugs become valuable to him.
The person gradually increases his usage of his drug of choice. He is then trapped. Whatever problem he was initially trying to solve by using drugs or alcohol fades from memory. At this point, all he can think about is getting and using drugs. He loses the ability to control his usage and disregards the horrible consequences of his addiction.
The addict will now attempt to withold the fact of his drug use from friends and family members. He will begin to suffer the effects of his own dishonesty and guilt. He may become withdrawn and difficult to reason with. He may behave strangely.
The more he drinks and uses drugs, the more guilty he will feel, and the more depressed he will become. He will sacrifice his personal integrity, possibly lying and stealing to finance his drinking or drug habit. His relationships with friends and family and his job performance will go drastically downhill.
Addiction and Tolerance
The drugs and alcohol are now the most important thing in his life. He has thrown away his job, his life-savings, his dreams and ambitions, all in an effort to maintain the painkilling and emotion killing effects he once obtained from the drugs. But ironically, his ability to get "high" from the alcohol or drugs gradually decreases as his body adapts to the presence of foreign chemicals. He must take more and more, and he now has to have them to be able to function at all.
As he continues to drink or use drugs, his body continues to adapt to the presence of the drugs. This is when the newly created addict begins to experience drug cravings. He will experience an overwhelming obsession with getting and using his drugs, and will do anything to avoid the pain of withdrawing from them.
He has crossed an invisibile and intangible line. He is now a drug addict or alcoholic.
Progression of Addiction
As his alcoholism or drug addiction progresses, he will become increasingly haggard and ill-tempered. He will be riding on a drug or alcohol induced emotional roller-coaster which may actually be mistaken for mental illness. He may seem very "up" and enthusiastic when he is high, but when the drugs wear off, he becomes depressed and lethargic. He may go into a drug-induced depression. At this point, the addict is stuck in a vicious downward spiral. He faces the problem of having to find money to buy drugs and to attempt to appear normal to his friends, family and employer. Whether he wants to stop or not, he is now trapped. By now, the drugs he abuses will have changed him both physically and mentally.
Long-term alcoholism and drug addiction can cause one's personality to change. This is called the Biochemical Personality. Some of the characteristics are:
Addicts cannot stop using drugs for two reasons. These are:
|Cravings caused by drug residues which remain in the body.|
|The Biochemical Personality caused by drugs and the lifestyle of the addict.|
Bio-Chemical Aspects of Addiction and Drug Craving
When a person continuously drinks or uses drugs, his body becomes supersaturated with metabolites (the chemicals the body converts the drugs or alcohol into). These metabolites, although removed rapidly from most bodily tissues, may become trapped in the fatty tissues and remain there for years.
When he tries to quit, these drug or alcohol metabolites can be released back into the bloodstream. This can trigger drug or alcohol cravings which are almost impossible to resist. It would be like trying to quit smoking while continuing to smoke 1 or 2 cigarettes per day.
Presence of these metabolites in the blood, even in microscopic amounts, cause the brain to react as if the addict were withdrawing from the drug. Receptor sites in brain cells that have adapted to large amounts of the drug metabolite are now forced to deal with having only a small amount of the drug metabolite available. The brain “requests” the addict to give it more of the drug. This is called drug craving. The only way to end this is to take more drugs or drink more, and the cycle begins all over again.
Eliminating Drug Cravings the Narconon Way
In years past, the common assumption in the scientific community was that drugs were eliminated from the body within 3-5 days after the last usage. We now know that these drugs can remain stored in fatty tissues for years.
The graph above demonstrates this fact. This graph shows cocaine metabolites being excreted from a client’s body more than 5 days after he arrived for treatment, and long after all traces of cocaine should have been (according to previous theories) eliminated from his body. Yet, as soon as he begins our detoxification procedure, levels of cocaine metabolites in his sweat and urine skyrocket, and then gradually decrease to zero over the next few weeks.
The New Life Detoxification procedure produces the following results:
1) Reduction or elimination of drug and alcohol cravings.
2) Ability to think more clearly.
3) Reduction or elimination of many symptoms associated with drug addiction and alcoholism. These can include depression, insomnia, and emotional instability.
Addiction and Abilities - the Narconon Program
William Benitez, founder of the Narconon program, recognized that drug addiction was a type of disability. Utilizing the Hubbard method of detoxification, he began the evolution of what was to become a comprehensive program designed to overcome the disability of addiction by restoring the natural abilities of the addicted person.
The Narconon program is a combination of unique forms of cognitive therapy and life-skills training. It is divided into eight distinct sections, each of which addresses a particular problem area for addicts.
Communication - Ability to confront the source of problems and to communicate freely about them.
Physical Detoxification - Freedom from biochemically based drug cravings and drug-induced depression.
Learning Improvement - Ability to fully comprehend the written word.
Objective Therapy - Increases self-control.
Addresses the causes of emotional ups and downs. Ability to handle stress.
Freedom from guilt, shame and remorse. Ability to face the past.
Ability to make correct decisions.
Ability to lead an ethical life and function with all-around self-confidence.
Results of the Narconon Program
In the Narconon program, unlike other programs, we deal with all aspects of addiction. We restore the addict, both mentally and physically, to the person he was before he began using drugs or alcohol, and then improve his natural abilities.
The end result is a success rate that is three to four times that of other programs.
Home | Addiction and Program Info | About Narconon | Admissions Info | News / Events | Credentials | On Line Consultation | Endorsements | Facilities | Other Links | Job Opportunity | FrancaisCopyright (c) 1999-2002 Narconon Montreal. All rights reserved. Narconon is a trade and service mark owned by the Association for Better Living and Education and is used with its permission.