Understanding Addictions
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Understanding Addictions is a comprehensive and practical guide to accepting and dealing with addiction. From drugs to alcohol, from sexual to cyber addiction, and from gambling to cross-addictions, the book defines the problem, shares common myths and realities associated with it and offer ways to deal with this dreaded disease many of us or around us face in this fast-paced life.
Recovery is an important phase when dealing with an addiction and family and peer support is an integral part that cannot be overlooked. With details of organizations that help one deal with this disease of the mind, and how family members can support the addict, this book is a must read to face the challenge.



Publié par
Date de parution 02 novembre 2012
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9789351940401
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 1 Mo

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Smita Barooah Sanyal

Lotus Collection
© Smita Barooah Sanyal, 2012
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission of the author.
First published in 2012 The Lotus Collection An imprint of Roli Books Pvt. Ltd M-75, Greater Kailash II Market, New Delhi 110 048 Phone: ++91 (011) 40682000 Fax: ++91 (011) 2921 7185 E-mail: info@rolibooks.com Website: www.rolibooks.com
Also at Bangalore, Chennai, & Mumbai
Cover: Sanchita Jain
ISBN: 978-81-7436-848-5

I would like to thank the following people, without whose help and encouragement, this book would not have been possible.

Marjorie Nixon
Manjit Gill
Dr Munidasa Winslow
Dr Meenakshi Gopinath, Dr Rachna Johri and the library staff at Lady Shri Ram College for Women, New Delhi Lubhana from the Hope Foundation, New Delhi All the people who shared their personal stories The team at Roli Books My family, for their support and encouragement, always.

Section I
Addiction Basics
1. A Disease called Addiction
2. Addiction and the Brain
3. Addiction and the Addict
4. The Stages of Addiction
Section II
Types of Addictions
5. Drug Addiction
6. Alcohol Addiction
Behavioural Addiction
7. Gambling
8. Sexual Addiction
9. Cyber Addiction
10. Cross Addictions
Section III
Consequences of addicti
11. Impact on Family
12. Impact on the Addict ;
Section IV
Recovery and Beyond
13. Recovery
14. Relapse
15. Moving Ahead
16. Support Groups and the Twelve Steps ;
17. Getting Help

A few years ago, I stepped into We Care Community Services in Singapore with shaking knees and a hollow feeling in my stomach. We Care is a recovery centre for addicts, and it was on the lookout for volunteers. Armed with a recently acquired diploma in counselling, I wanted contact hours with clients. A lecturer recommended that I try out the centre, which I dutifully did. But I had my exit lines ready. Working with addicts was just not my cup of tea! Addicts were scary people. Addiction was a frightening thing. And I wanted to have nothing to do with ‘those people’ or their issues. I was just going there to satisfy my curiosity, and then, run. However, my outlook underwent a change during my interviews and subsequent interaction with the addicts. It suddenly sunk in that when you strip off labels such as ‘weak’, ‘addict’, ‘immoral’ and ‘jailbird’, all that remains is a regular human being plagued by troubling issues. I ended up spending two years at the centre before finally returning to India.
I now admit with great humility – I went to teach people, but ended up being taught. Among the things I learnt were lessons in acceptance, kindness, courage, and hope. This book is dedicated to the wonderful people I met at We Care, who reposed their trust, shared their lives and took a stranger so readily into their folds. This book is not meant as a serious academic text book. Nor is it a presentation of original clinical research. It is meant as a simple guide for the layperson to understand a very complex issue.


A Disease called Addiction
All through my childhood, my grandparents’ house in the hills was my haven. I loved the place, the quaint wooden house, the surrounding hills, and the close-knit community of the small town. But most of all, I loved the fact that I felt special, thanks to the attention that my uncles and their friends showered on me. One of the friends was a particular favourite. He was generous, dependable and whacky, and always had goodies for my brothers and me. But on my last visit, I noticed a change. People were gossiping about him in hushed voices. He had hit the bottle, they said. He had lost his job and his personal life was in a shambles. He was also said to beat his wife. I thought these were exaggerated rumours till I saw him one day lurching past me. He did not even recognize me! Even more distressing was the fact that I almost did not recognize him. The red-eyed, bloated and disoriented individual before me was not the kind and jovial man I had known all my life. He had indeed changed.
The community’s reaction to this change was typical of many such close-knit communities – private censure, pity and looking the other way. They could not accept his problem, nor could they let people outside their community know there was a problem with one of their own. A shroud of secrecy surrounded the issue. No one thought it important to seek professional help for him. After all, alcoholism was a moral failing and was not to be discussed openly or analysed.
This particular case brings me to the basic premise of this book. Addiction (of any kind) is not a moral flaw or problem of the weak-willed. Addiction is a disease of the brain. While it is not contagious, it is a disease like many others. Only, most people do not see it that way. It has a severe and long-lasting impact on the lives of those afflicted and those living with them. And it has a very high social cost. Acknowledging this is fundamental to understanding the problem of addiction, as well as crucial to changing perceptions about addicts and their issues.

Addiction is a disease of the brain
Addicts need help not condemnation
Addiction does not simply go away. It needs systematic treatment and follow-up care, like any other disease
Addiction can be treated effectively
If you were to ask a layperson about addiction, the reaction would probably be moralistic. There may even be emotions of fear, discomfort and mistrust. While reactions may be varied, the underlying tone would be unsympathetic and negative.
Now, if you were to ask the same person for his or her views on a chronic disease such as diabetes or asthma, the reaction would be one of concern, sympathy and suggestions for relief.
Why is the response to the addict versus that to the diabetic so different? Would the reaction change if the person believed that addiction too was a disease, just like diabetes or any other? Would there then be attempts to find solutions, and provide support and appropriate treatment? Food for thought, isn’t it?
In the course of this book, we will look at the disease of addiction, its many facets, the impact it has on a person and the possible outcomes. There are various types of addictions, many of which will not be discussed specifically, because of the wide scope of the subject. Instead, we will focus on some of the more common forms of addiction prevalent today.

‘When I was a child, I dreamt of being many things. I never said to myself, Hey, I want to grow up and be an addict. But look at me now.’ This was a statement made by a recovering addict in my group. I carry those words with me. No one sets out in life wanting to become an addict. Addiction happens. And much as we might hate to admit it, it happens to people like you and me. But how? And when and why does the process begin?

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