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Addiction comes in many forms.A person can become addicted to not just drugs and alcohol, but also to a certain type of food or scent, shopping, sex, or gambling. It is a condition, where a person is too dependent on a certain type of substance, activity, or object. Over time, it can be observed that this addictive behavior becomes a threat to the person's well-being, if left untreated.
Some health experts consider addiction as a brain disease due to the impact of one thing on a person. They say it alters the normal patterns of thinking and, as a result, the pattern of a person’s everyday life. It is a habit that is tough to fight off, so anyone suffering from any kind of addiction must be afforded quick medical help.
Recently, the US Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) said it is shifting its fight to nicotine or smoking addiction.
“A lot of people have been thinking about this for a long time, including experts in the agency, including myself,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb in an interview with Bloomberg.
The FDA said it would use the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act to their advantage to limit the nicotine levels found in cigarettes and vaping devices to non-addictive levels. Gottlieb said he would tackle addiction to nicotine “with the same vigor” as in with addiction to opioids and prescription drugs. He called nicotine the “problem” and the “solution” and said the FDA would need more time to put the regulations in place.
How Addiction Starts
People who are addicted to a certain object, such as sweets, will often be observed with peculiar behaviors, including wanting to have a sweet with an intense urgency, exhibiting irrational behavior without having his needed dose of a sweet, a change in his behavior at the presence of a sweet, spending too much money and time when buying sweets, and exhibiting mood swings when not able to access a sweet.
These are just some of the signs that can be observed in an addicted person, and the list of symptoms can go on, depending on what a person is addicted to. One thing is present and observable though, and that is a change in the behavior of a person, especially when exposed to that certain thing he is addicted to. Triggers can be in other means as well, such as a depressed feeling.
One way of helping an addicted person get rid of his addiction is by keeping him away from what he is addicted to; another is to gradually get him off the habit. However, no matter how rehabilitation and withdrawal may be done, they have to be done with a plan, and a person has to acknowledge his addiction.
Dr.Stanton Peele, Ph.D., J.D., creator of Life Process Program, broke down the steps to recovery into seven crucial steps:
(1) check into your values, what’s important to you – the things that mean more to you than remaining addicted;
(2) develop and practice the skills you need to manage your life without relying on addiction;
(3) learn how to control addictive urges through mind management techniques;
(4) find and appreciate the rewards that come from a “sober” (by which I mean a non-addicted) lifestyle;
(5) build and appreciate personal relationships and turn to positive communities for support and companionship;
(6) find your purpose and plan a future that leads to accomplishing your life goals;
(7) mature into a new, non-addicted you — a person who simply and naturally rejects addiction in all forms.
He highlighted the importance of looking at the values of a person as a start to breaking the addiction or addictive behavior. He said addicted persons would limit themselves according to what they believed to be right or wrong.
“If you compulsively gamble, shop, or have affairs, then your values are on display. Many people feel good and get a boost to their self-esteem from shopping. However, most of these people don’t consistently spend beyond their limits. They refrain from overspending because they don’t think it’s right.” Dr.Peele said in his book 7 Tools to Beat Addiction.
Not all addicted persons had been traumatized. Some of them may have started the habit as they go along with their lives and never realized they have developed an addictive behavior. Therefore, a family member or friend should let this person know once they notice the signs. After all, caring starts at home before it extends to friends and, later, peers. A family member can help a person get this addicted behavior out of their system by talking to them, stopping them from continuing, and accompanying them in their path to change.