Friday, July 26, 2019

Substance Abuse


Reduce substance abuse to protect the health, safety, and quality of life for all, especially children.


In 2005, an estimated 22 million Americans struggled with a drug or alcohol problem. Almost 95 percent of people with substance use problems are considered unaware of their problem.* Of those who recognize their problem, 273,000 have made an unsuccessful effort to obtain treatment. These estimates highlight the importance of increasing prevention efforts and improving access to treatment for substance abuse and co-occurring disorders.1

Why Is Substance Abuse Important?

Substance abuse has a major impact on individuals, families, and communities. The effects of substance abuse are cumulative, significantly contributing to costly social, physical, mental, and public health problems. 

Drug addiction (substance use disorder)

Drug addiction, also called substance use disorder, is a disease that affects a person's brain and behavior and leads to an inability to control the use of a legal or illegal drug or medication. Substances such as alcohol, marijuana and nicotine also are considered drugs. When you're addicted, you may continue using the drug despite the harm it causes.

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An Overview of Substance Use

Tackling the "Seven Deadly Toxins"

Wednesday, 14 June 2017 02:02By Kristen Schepker, Assistant Editor

A number of pervasive toxins -- seven, to be exact -- are wreaking daily havoc on health and wellbeing, according to detox expert Deanna Minich, PhD.
"We are living in a sick, toxic world," Minich said at the recent Clinical and Scientific Insights (CASI) conference sponsored by Designs for Health in San Francisco. She discussed her unique holistic approach to detoxification.
Minich, a faculty member of the Institute for Functional Medicine, is a nutrition researcher, clinician, and author of the book Whole Detox.  She holds that effective detoxification programs need to address much more than just diet alone. To successfully clear the body of toxins, it is essential to consider the whole spectrum of toxic elements to which an individual patient is exposed. This includes factors that negatively affect the the mind and spirit.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Where Anger Originates

By      Expert Author Norma Holt

Deep within our psyche we have triggers that shut down logic and common sense and take over our brains with rage. We have all felt it and sometimes it starts with fear or jealousy. If it is allowed to intensify, it becomes anger that may lead to the death of others, suicide or both. With many cases of this scenario in recent times it is important to understand how and why this happens.
The bottom line in many of these cases is revenge. The emotion triggering that is a sense of loss and feelings of hate towards and punishment for a perpetrator.
In the last month or so in Australia we have seen a grandfather shoot dead his entire family before killing himself. Seven people in all that included his wife, daughter, and four grandchildren. While that has shocked the nation it is now followed by a father who killed his two teenage children before turning the gun on himself.
Both these cases followed custody battles in court in which the two men lost out. Their anger, however, followed months of planning. In the case of the father he joined a shooting club to gain a license to buy guns. That took place weeks or even months beforehand.
In the case of the grandfather there were other signs as he became more violent as the end approached. The court outcome may have had little to do with his final act but there is evidence of jealousy or fear planning out.
The recent shooting of victims in the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, USA, is another case in point. It involved the death of five people but the shooter survived and is in custody. He had a grudge against the business after failing in court to get compensation.
There are many killings that are not related to court outcomes, such as when a partner is murdered by their ex or current lover. The reasons are not always clear but many are motivated by jealousy and or fear, especially if there is a break-down in the relationship.
The question is how does one avoid reaching the point of either committing murder or being a victim of a killer? Every case is different and every outcome is equally unpredictable. Women, however, are more vulnerable because they are the weaker of the two. The answer must, therefore, lie in the signs exhibited.
It is likely that one who is planning such an outcome has mood swings and other things that point to a change in his or her thinking. While it is not possible to give positive answers the best approach is to encourage one to think things through and not act because of the force within that blocks out common sense and logic.
Commissioned by God Norma Holt works to spread the knowledge given to her by the Spirit. It differs to religious teachings because she has memory of reincarnation and knows that heaven and hell are myths. Her experience in the Spirit is here. The evidence given to her to remove the wall of blindness is here. Everything she writes is verifiable in the bible and through research.

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Depression Quiz

By     Expert Author Dr. R.E. Freedman

When an individual experiences difficulties in their life, they may experience what we call "situational depression." This is a sadness or hopelessness due to a stress related event such as:
An illness
Problems at work or school
Death of a loved one or beloved pet
Moving to a new location
Relationship problems or breakup
Anxiety situation
Situational depression is often short term when approached correctly. Natural treatment is often very helpful in the elimination of this type of depression.
Quiz for Depression
Are you experiencing a sadness causing you to feel down or cry on a daily basis?
Do you feel a hopelessness that is difficult to shake?
Is insomnia a new symptom that is interfering with your sleep patterns?
Are you constantly worrying, and experiencing anxiety or stress?
Has negative "what if" thinking become your habit?
Do you find your appetite has declined?
Is it difficult for you to concentrate and you suffer from a lack of focus?
Do small stresses overwhelm you?
Are you experiencing a lack of interest or difficulty with daily activities?
Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed?
Are you avoiding social situations?
Do you find yourself spending more time alone?
Are you experiencing hormonal changes?
Are you avoiding physical activities because you feel fatigued or unmotivated?
Do you have a background of childhood stress?
Do you have a history of depression in your family?
If you answered "yes" to many of the above questions, you might be experiencing a short term feeling of depression, which is not difficult to overcome if approached correctly.
Through the proper natural approach, you will learn how to:
Boost Serotonin in the brain, through learning to retrain the brain.
Follow a Serotonin boosting food plan
Use a specific exercise and activity plan to not only add to the production of Serotonin but to alleviate the majority of depression symptoms.
You'll learn how to rest and relax in a way that refreshes both mind and body so your body will be tired at night and sleep will come naturally and restfully, as it was in childhood.
You'll learn the value of outdoor activity and how it helps heal and upset mind and rejuvenate a mind and body exhausted from worry.
You'll learn how to focus on stepping out of your own way, allowing the mind to refresh. Depression dissolves when you stop fueling it with fear and negativity. Happiness naturally replaces feelings of negativity and depression.
Anxiety Busters Phone: 215-635-4700 Hours: 10:00 AM - 10:00 PM (EST)

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Combatting Anxiety With 4-7-8 Breathing Pattern


Individuals suffering from anxiety are on a continuous lookout for techniques that can help them combat the mental disorder and relax their minds. One such technique doing the rounds these days is the 4-7-8 breathing pattern.
Also known as the "relaxing breath", the 4-7-8 breathing technique involves breathing in for 4 seconds, holding the breath for 7 seconds, and exhaling for 8 seconds. According to some proponents, this breathing technique helps in reducing anxiety and even helps people fall sleep within a minute. Even though there is little scientific evidence to support this breathing technique, a lot of people are turning to it for instant relief from anxiety symptoms and a more relaxed sleep.
Understanding the 4-7-8 breathing technique
The 4-7-8 breathing technique is followed as a core exercise by several alternative healing therapies such as yoga and meditation, as it helps promote relaxation. This breathing technique needs an individual to focus on taking a long deep breath at the time of inhalation. Supporters of this technique feel that it can help achieve the following:
  • Better sleep
  • Management of various types of yearnings and cravings
  • Reduced or controlled anger responses
  • Improved and gradually reduced anxiety symptoms
How to practice the 4-7-8 breathing technique?
Prior to starting this breathing pattern, it is suggested that an individual gets into a relaxed sitting or lying down position. They should then touch the roof of their mouth, just behind the front teeth with the tip of their tongue. Once settled, the individual should follow the below mentioned steps.
  • Exhale the air out of the lungs so as to empty the lungs completely
  • Inhale for a count of four seconds
  • Hold the breath for a count of seven seconds
  • Exhale forcefully via the mouth for a count of eight seconds. While exhaling, the individual should make a "o" of their lips and make a "whoosh" sound.
An individual must follow this breathing technique twice a day to start noticing the benefits at the earliest. However, first-timers must refrain from exceeding four breath cycles at a stretch. Once the practitioner is comfortable with the technique, they can practice it for longer durations.
For the first couple of times, an individual may feel light-headed after practicing this breathing technique. Thus it is advised to try this technique while lying or sitting down to avert falls or dizziness. It is far more important to maintain the ratio instead of focusing on the number of seconds the breathing pattern lasts for. If an individual struggles to hold their breath for a long time, they can opt for a breathing pattern of shorter duration, which would be:
  • Inhaling for a count of 2 seconds
  • Holding the breath for a period of 3.5 seconds
  • Exhaling forcefully for 4 seconds
If an individual is successful in maintaining the appropriate ratio, they will start noticing the benefits within a couple of weeks of following this technique consistently, once or twice a day. They would notice a lower frequency in the occurrence of their anxiety symptoms and a more restful sleep.
Seeking help for anxiety disorder
Anxiety is a part and parcel of life, and feeling anxious in situations that are challenging and stressful is quite normal. However, when anxiety persists and worsens with time, it becomes a disorder. Anxiety afflicts nearly 40 million American adults and is one of the most common mental health concerns in the U.S.
If you or a loved one is suffering from an anxiety disorder, get in touch with the Medical Concierge of California. We offer our patients evidence-based treatment for anxiety disorders using a combination of medications, individual and group psychotherapy, and alternative therapies like yoga and meditation. Call our 24/7 anxiety disorder treatment helpline 866-678-8308 to learn more about our anxiety disorder treatment centers. You can also chat online with our counselor for more information on how we customize our intervention programs to get you the maximum benefits.

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How Much Do You, LIKE, Yourself?

By      Expert Author Richard Brody

Far too often, instead of proceeding, in the best possible manner, and your own, personal best interest, rather, we proceed, as our personal, worst enemy! When we allow negative thoughts, ideas, and attitude, to control us, and our way of life, instead of proceeding, in a positive, can - do, manner, the tendency is, often, to focus on the reasons, why we can't, rather than, how, we will! A logical, common sense, approach, might be, therefore, to, give yourself, a check - up, from the neck - up, and evaluate, whether, you, truly, LIKE yourself, and why. With that in mind, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, using the mnemonic approach, how self - image, and liking ourself, may be one of the key components, in enjoying a far healthier and happier life.
1. Look at; listen; learn; love: Will you be able to proceed, with a combination of introspection, and objectivity? Being objectively, introspective, and taking a serious look at, the possibilities, is a big step, towards, positive, self - help! Look at the possibilities, effectively listen to the possibilities, options and alternatives, and learn, how to best proceed! The more you get, to love yourself, the happier and healthier, you will be!
2. Image (self - image); imagination; innovate; insist: Have you ever considered, your personal self - image, and the reasons? Do you have the imagination, to effectively, innovate, in your best - interests? Will you insist, on becoming the best, you can possibly be?
3. Knowledge; keep; keys: The more you know, yourself, and realize, what you like and dislike, what your strengths and weaknesses, are, etc, the better you'll be able to help yourself! Use that knowledge, to know, what you should maintain, and keep, and what, to, let - go! Understand the keys to being as happy, and healthy, as possible!
4. Examine; energy; emphasis; excellence; endurance: Take a thorough, look, and consider, the best way, to improve, and enhance your potential! Maximize your personal energy, emphasize positive principles and approaches, and always, demand the utmost degree of personal excellence! Sometimes, this takes a considerable amount of persistence, and perseverance, so be ready, to maintain your endurance, and fight, for what's best, for you!
Saying you LIKE yourself, is, often, far different from, actually, liking everything, about you! The more self - satisfied, and pleased, with how you are, and how you live, as well as the positive effects on others, the better the chance of a happier, healthier existence!
Richard has owned businesses, been a COO, CEO, Director of Development, consultant, professionally run events, consulted to thousands, and conducted personal development seminars, for 4 decades. Rich has written three books and thousands of articles. Website: and LIKE the Facebook page for alternative health:

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Open Your Mind, And Have A BETTER Chance, To Be Healthier!

By     Expert Author Richard Brody

Every year, it seems, more, and more people, are becoming, ready, willing, and able, to open - their - minds, and consider, alternatives and options, especially, those which have been effectively used, in a significant number of cases/ instances! As more studies, and literature, have been explored, many believe, it might make sense, to combine, conventional, with alternative medicine, in a meaningful, wellness - approach! Wouldn't it, perhaps, make sense, to proceed, with an open - mind, consider options and alternatives, and have a BETTER chance, to optimize our health, and live a healthier life? With that in mind, this article will attempt to, consider, examine, review, and explain, using the mnemonic approach, some of the relevant factors, and considerations.
1. Benefits; beliefs: When we open - our - mind, and permit ourself, to expand our willingness, to accept certain beliefs, considering the options and alternatives, there are many key benefits. While conventional medical treatment, is a necessary component of care, there are many instances, where an alternative approach, may be as effective (or, even more), and, perhaps, safer.
2. Effort; emphasis: Isn't it worth, a little extra effort, to learn, and discover, your options and alternatives, or at least, help you, ask your trusted health professional, significant questions? When our emphasis is on using the best ways, in a holistic manner, it often creates a healthier system, and approach!
3. Trends: We constantly witness, new information, ideas, and potential approaches. These trends, may assist, in being healthier, and the more we learn, and understand, the more we help ourselves!
4. Time - tested: Being a trend, doesn't mean, ignoring time - tested, logical, approaches, and techniques! For example, when Dr. Robert Atkins, first explored, and considered, his approach to using a low carbohydrate diet, towards a healthier life, he originally, got much of the underlying ideas, and concepts, from centuries - old, European scientific papers.
5. Enrich: Shouldn't the overall, goal, of our approach to healthier living, be, to enrich our overall health, using every possible, well - considered approach, concept, option and alternative? When we open - our - minds, to the possibilities, we become better equipped, to live a healthier, happier life!
6. Relief; reasonable; rationale/ reasoning: Give yourself, a check - up, from the neck - up, and consider, the basis of your rationale, and reasoning, in terms of, the best way, to proceed! Isn't it, a smart, reasonable approach, to do all you can, to enhance, your ability for personal relief, health, and happiness?
Will you open - you - mind, and have a BETTER chance, at enhancing your personal health, well - being, and overall happiness? Will you consider, and take advantage of viable possibilities?
Richard has owned businesses, been a COO, CEO, Director of Development, consultant, professionally run events, consulted to thousands, and conducted personal development seminars, for 4 decades. Rich has written three books and thousands of articles. Website: and LIKE the Facebook page for alternative health:

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Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Maine Rehabs: Best Addiction Treatment Centers in ME

Indeed small, but terrible! Maine, the 12th smallest state, also known as the Pine Tree state, is a premiere Blueberry and lobster producer. But that’s not all! It is even among the many leading states having the increase in the number of opioid overdoses. In fact, drug rehab centers in Maine report that cases of opioids addiction increase each year, while the rate of opioid-related deaths of 25.2 per 100,000 people doubles with the national average of 13.3. With these, drug rehabilitation becomes more challenging nowadays compared to before and even heightened by the availability of synthetic opioids.


Saturday, July 13, 2019

The Science of Drug Use and Addiction: The Basics

What is drug addiction?

Addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drug seeking, continued use despite harmful consequences, and long-lasting changes in the brain. It is considered both a complex brain disorder and a mental illness. Addiction is the most severe form of a full spectrum of substance use disorders, and is a medical illness caused by repeated misuse of a substance or substances.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Treating Chronic Hepatitis C With tMavyre

By James Myhre and Dennis Sifris, MD

Mavyret (glecapravir, pibrentasvir) is a fixed dose combination drug used in the treatment of chronic hepatitis C (HCV) infection. The drugs used in Mavyret work by blocking two individual proteins that the virus needs to replicate.
Mavyret was approved on August 3, 2017 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in adults 18 and over. Research suggests that the drug can achieve cure rates of between 92 percent and 100 percent depending HCV subtype, a figure that is more or less in line with other direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) currently used in hepatitis C treatment.

Silent no more: Suicide is epidemic


At the end of April, two leaders in health research and medicine made national headlines with their New England Journal of Medicine article “Suicide: A Silent Contributor to Opioid-Overdose Deaths.” Dr. Nora Volkow, the head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and Dr. Maria Oquendo, a renowned expert in suicide prevention, brought into mainstream discussion a topic that many of us on the frontlines of clinical care have been advocating for years: opioid-related suicide is real, and a preventable part of the nation’s drug overdose epidemic.
The reluctance to address opioid-related suicide has deep roots in stigma and denial that self-injury deaths are preventable, whether substance-related or suicide, or both.

Key Findings: A Growing Number of Reproductive-Aged Women are Filling Prescriptions for ADHD Medicine

Female doctor giving a prescription medicine to a young woman  Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects people of all ages, including adult women. A study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found the percentage of privately-insured U.S. women aged 15-44 who filled a prescription for a medicine to treat ADHD increased nearly 350% between 2003 and 2015. Options for managing ADHD symptoms during pregnancy should be discussed with a healthcare provider as women consider getting pregnant.

important article--learn more>>>Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects people of all ages, including adult women. A study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found the percentage of privately-insured U.S. women aged 15-44 who filled a prescription for a medicine to treat ADHD increased nearly 350% between 2003 and 2015. Options for managing ADHD symptoms during pregnancy should be discussed with a healthcare provider as women consider getting pregnant.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

The Psychotherapy for Drug Addicts

By    Expert Author Mohamed Al Marzooqi

The field of research and psychoanalysis and the behavioral modification is considered one of the most important methods of treatment of drug addiction, in addition to the other two elements 1- the medical element, 2- social element, and it is known that there are multiple methods of The psychotherapy for various types of addiction.
It is a basic principle in this field that the treatment that suits a patient and leads to the improvement of his condition may not be suitable for another patient suffering from the same illness, that means that the therapist can choose between several therapeutic alternatives to suit the patient, and it increases the chance of the treatment, more importantly, more treatment methods are being invented in the present time, which will raise more hopes for the foreseeable future. One of the most famous psychological treatments in this field is the group of behavioral treatments for addiction and it is considered among the main applications of modern psychological science in the field of the psychological disorders.
It is based on the essentials that indicate that all forms of behavior (including drug abuse and addiction) of the individual are acquired and grow under certain living conditions (psychosocial and social) and thus ratified by the laws of the acquisition of the habits and its growth, all the differences must be taken into account in the categories of the different habits in terms of levels of support and installation available to them.
Since the practices of the drugs abuse when taking over the abuser and it managed to lead to dependence or addiction, it means that it has reached the formation of the habits, meaning that the treatment (any attempt to get rid of the set of habits that serve the continuation of the drug abuse) will not be easy, However, it will not be impossible. It requires a high degree of cooperation between the addicts and the therapist with some remedial measures, in addition to perseverance to receive this procedure for a several months, followed by another period of follow-up and integrity.
One of the method psychotherapy is Boudin H.M `s method and it is based on three main elements:
1. To train the addict to self-observation;
2. To train the addict on self-assessment;
3. Then programming behavior modification based on the data reached from the previous two items.
Training on self-observation is considered one of the most important methods used in modern psychotherapy (ie, self-observation and monitoring). There are three functions under these treatments as follows:
1. Monitoring specific types of behaviors of the individual related to the subject of the required treatment, before therapeutic intervention;
2. Monitoring these types of behavior at intervals during and after the therapeutic intervention to assess the impact of this intervention.
3. Sometimes it is used to facilitate the desired changes, and there are multiple ways to perform this self-observation and conduct the monitoring resulting in the methods taught by the therapist to the addict.
The objective of training the addict on this self-observation is to achieve the capture and monitoring of the "functional patterns" that reveal his or her addictive behavior.
The functional pattern in this case is the sequence that begins with the occurrence of an event or chain of events that will raise the motivation to use the drug, Then the act of abuse itself, and thereafter the feelings and behavioral events that support the behavior of the addict.
In other words, the functional pattern is the set of behavioral precedents that precede the occurrence of the act of abuse, then the act of abuse itself, and then the act of the direct drug abuse.
The therapist evaluates these patterns in terms of the appropriate ways of modifying or changing the behavior according to the case that he is handling, in order to choose these methods that he deems appropriate and avoids their masculinity. If the patient showed a relative improvement, and then to a new stage in which he teaches him how to evaluate his functional patterns, as he teaches him a ways of changing his behavior.
One point remains to indicate that the therapist does not end up treating the case except by assessing the effect of the treatment on the basis of four important elements: the level of performance of the addict in his work, the level of his personal and social dealings and the number of times he may be involved during (and despite) the therapeutic program and, finally, the number of times it conflicted with the law throughout the treatment period.
The implementation of this program takes a few months, and can be applied to the addicts who are held in sanatoriums, and can be applied on the basis of the outpatient clinic system, which is considered to be flexible and thus maximizing its benefits.
It is worth noting that this therapeutic system has already experienced a number of heroin addicts who have been sentenced to obligatory treatment, and their results have been highly efficient. However, there are many other behavioral treatments, and some therapists prefer to do some of these treatments combined with CBMTS at the same time. The field here allows for many scientific differences that ultimately aim at more efficient treatment service.
Attorney/ Mohamed Al Marzooqi
Mohamed Al Marzooqi Advocates & Consultancy

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4 Practical Benefits of Getting Addiction Therapy


The option to use addiction therapy is a lot more effective than attempting to recover at-home. They can be very effective at creating the tailored treatment plan that will give a solid base to recover as fast as possible. Also, the trained staff has the knowledge and know-how to increase the likelihood of a successful recovery.
Let's take a look at a few of the major benefits of professional treatment:
Therapeutic support
Counselors can create the tailored therapeutic support that will help increase the likelihood of success. They can include a variety of therapy techniques that relate to motivational counseling, family therapy and behavioral therapy. This type of support aims to get the patient in the right frame of mind to avoid any of the past bad habits while out in the society.
Additionally, they will try to identify the triggers that lead to the initial addiction issues. Once they are found, the patient can be given self-help techniques that can help to manage the triggers in an effort to stop the same problems reappearing.
Any respectable center that offers addiction therapy will be set up offer help in situations like psychiatric issues, medication regulation and medical emergency care. The extra protection offered to patients will mean there is less risk of suffering from an unexpected health issue.
Relapse control
Many patients that attend addiction therapy are likely to experience issues with a relapse. Anything that results in a patient returning to their past life of drink or drugs has the potential to lead to other mental or medical health problems. Additionally, this could lead to an overdose. The body is often more vulnerable at the time of completing a detox program, so extra care and attention is needed to minimize the risk of a relapse.
Medical monitoring
After any episode of addiction, there is certain to be a period of withdrawal that can display a variety of symptoms. In addition, these symptoms can be made much worse if there are issues with mental health or physical disorders. Occasionally, there will be life-threatening issues that need urgent attention. After being booked into professional treatment, a patient will be able to benefit from regular medical monitoring to make sure they are safe and healthy at all times.
Overall, the caring and support staff at an addiction treatment center can help most patients overcome their addiction to ensure they fully recover from their past troubles.
Discover more about the options related to addiction therapy Palm Beach.

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The Addictive Personality Part Three

By    Expert Author Randi G Fine

Deep down inside people with addictions know that what they are doing is wrong. They know that their behaviors, choices, and actions are hurting them and their loved ones. But the need to feed their addiction supersedes everything else in their life.
To perpetuate their addiction they must deny that the substance, compulsion, or habit has anything to do with what is going wrong around them. That is why they become very defensive when confronted with their behavior. There are a variety of defense mechanisms used by those with active addictions.
Denial is a defense mechanism in which a person is faced with a fact that is too uncomfortable to accept and rejects it instead, insisting that it is not true. The ability to deny that he or she has such a strong emotional attachment to his or her addiction of choice is largely what enables an addict to continue the addiction despite overwhelming evidence. The more severe the problem, the more denial there usually is.
Repression is the conscious mechanism those with addictions use to completely tune out the fact that they have a problem. They simply stop acknowledging the addiction to themselves and others.
With minimizing, those with addictions will acknowledge that something is wrong but not want to make a big deal out of it. When confronted by others they rationalize that others are placing too much emphasis on the problem; that it's not nearly as bad as others are making it out to be.
Toxic Shame
Toxic shame is used by those with addictions to avoid taking responsibility for their problem. They see themselves as flawed and never measuring up; like their whole life has been a mistake. They believe they are victims of their past. Because they feel defective, they seek something that will make them feel better, but it is a hole they can never fill.
Blaming and Shifting Blame
Blaming is similar to toxic shame in that those with addictions avoid taking responsibility for the problem. They may accept some of the responsibility for their problem but believe that others are more to blame for it. They may act like victims, shifting the blame for their addiction onto the situation they are in or the people they are with. They don't look at how they contribute to the problem. This gives them a sense of entitlement to use their substance since they are not to blame for doing it.
Rationalization is used to explain away the consequences of their addictive behavior or choices. They rationalize that whatever happened would have happened regardless of their addiction. For example: The factors that led to the car accident would have caused it to happen whether he or she was intoxicated or not.
When confronted about their addiction addicts may use deflection to take the focus off of themselves. They do this by bringing up the other person's shortcomings, similar activities that the person may partake in, or behavior the person may have exhibited in the past. For example, alcoholics might remind people that they have no room to criticize their drinking because they drink too.
Wanting to feel normal, since they feel so shameful for their behavior, they surround themselves with others who abuse the same substance and have the same level of addiction.
Most people with addictions suffer from low-self-esteem. Aware and shameful that they are messing up their lives, they use "Grandiosity," the unrealistic inflation of their sense of self, as a defense mechanism to hide their feelings of vulnerability and low of self-worth. They may have low self-esteem yet still believe they are better than other people.
By compartmentalizing their addiction they are able to display the behaviors expected of them for windows of time. This fools them and others into thinking that they have control over their lives.
Those with addictions try to control everything and everyone around them, believing it will get them what they want. When others don't cooperate they become even more controlling. It is delusional; they believe that what they are doing is going to work even though it rarely does.
People with addictions will demonstrate destructive behavior and then try to "undo" it by apologizing, offering gifts, or promising that they'll never do it again. They do this to distract others from the real problem; from the fact that they have an addiction.
If you recognize signs of an addictive personality in yourself there are steps you can take to prevent it from spiraling out of control.
  1. You must admit that there is a problem. Take responsibility for your thoughts and actions. Be honest and objective in your assessment of it. Surround yourself with a good support system.
  2. Learn to face your feelings whether good or bad. Don't put them on the back burner, stuff them inside, ignore them, or medicate them. Allow yourself to experience whatever emotions come up.
  3. Arm yourself with knowledge; research your problem so you will not have to fear it.
  4. If you can discontinue the addictive behavior without needing medical intervention, begin weaning yourself off of it. Cigarette smoking and overeating both fall into this category. If you are addicted to a substance such as drugs or alcohol, get professional help immediately. You cannot stop these habits without medical supervision.
  5. Join a support group with people who share your particular addiction. It helps to know that you are not the only one dealing with it. If you would like to try attending a twelve-step meeting, find out where and when they meet in your area. There are 12-step support groups for every kind of addiction imaginable. To find one search "List of Twelve Step Programs."
Be kind to yourself. Replace negative or destructive behaviors with positive ones. Set goals and reward yourself for reaching them. Find healthy ways to be happy whatever they may be. Take a class in a hobby or something that interests you. Surround yourself with positive people; weed toxic people out of your life. Learn how to reduce stress in your life in ways that are beneficial to your overall well-being. Learn how to meditate. Take long relaxing baths. Take a yoga class or learn how to practice it on your own. Take walks. Go to the gym.
If you want to head in the right direction, all you have to do is keep walking forward.
Learn the steps you can take to prevent your addiction from spiraling out of control.

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The Addictive Personality Part Two

By    Expert Author Randi G Fine

Much has been written about genetic predisposition and its relationship to addictive personalities. Having an addict in the family does not guarantee that everyone in the family will become addicts. But many believe that hereditary factors can raise a person's level of vulnerability to substance abuse or other addictions. That may explain why some gamble in moderation and others compulsively-why some can drink for enjoyment and others become alcoholics.
It does seem as if those with the genetic predisposition will engage in some type of excessive behavior but will not necessary choose the same stimuli they have been exposed to. Adult children of alcoholics may never drink but they may become addicted to gambling. Children of drug addicts may exercise excessively or be workaholics.
There is no single gene that determines a person's susceptibility to addiction. Studies comparing identical and fraternal twins estimate that genetic factors account for 40 to 60 percent of the occurrence of the gene variation.
Researchers have discovered a number of genes that link to addiction through DNA testing. One gene causes dizziness and nausea from smoking and is more present in non-smokers than smokers. Alcoholism is rare in those who have two copies of the ALDH2 gene. Other genes have been linked to narcotic dependency.
Variants in certain genes have been shown to suppress dopamine signals in the brain. Those with these blunted receptors have the need to seek higher levels of stimulation to reach the same level of pleasure as those who don't have the variants. DNA testing can offer vital clues in battling addiction but the use of it is very controversial. The concern is that some may use this information for discrimination purposes.
It comes down to the nature versus nurture argument. Environment and upbringing are believed to be equally important in shaping the personality. Our life circumstances and emotional experiences may have more influence than our genetic make-up does. Under this theory no matter our chemical make-up, we still have the ability to choose and control our actions.
There are factors that may indicate a higher risk of developing a serious addiction. People who have difficulty thinking about the long term consequences of their actions are more susceptible to developing an addiction. So are those who do everything in excess and/or to extremes, and those who habitually substitute one compulsion for another. For example, stressed out workaholics may come home at the end of the day and start drinking to help them relax. They may use cybersex because they don't have time for real relationships. They may stress-eat.
Those with addictive personalities are most vulnerable during periods of heightened stress such as adolescence and times of transition. People who suffer from mental illnesses, emotional disorders, and personality disorders are highly prone to addiction as well. Without being aware that they have a condition, they may self-medicate to manage emotions using substances or behaviors to relieve whatever discomfort they may feel.
Nonconformists, non-achievers, and those with deviant personalities are also prime candidates for addiction. Many adult addicts report having been subjected to deprivation or overindulgence in their childhoods. Others report that they were negatively impacted by their parents' constant, unpredictable fluctuation between over-praise and over-criticism.
Addictions are unmanageable, excessive, and repetitive. The addiction activity begins harmlessly with a pleasurable experience, but over time more and more of the activity is needed to achieve the same effect. People become dependent on the high they get and find it difficult to stop the behavior. If deprived of their fix they will find a substitute. If forced to stop the behavior they will suffer physical or psychological symptoms of withdrawal that compel them to resume the addiction. Over time they lose the ability to cope with life without the addictive stimuli.
People with addictions will deny that what they're doing is detrimentally affecting them while work, family, and social relationships suffer and their health declines. Their desperation often lead them to take extremes in getting the fix, which ultimately creates financial and legal issues.
Addictions can be classified as hard or soft. Hard addictions, also known as substance addiction, are categorized by the rapid affect they have on many aspects of the person's behavior as well as the effect they have on everyone around him or her. Abuse of alcohol, barbiturates, and narcotics are usually the source of this type of addiction. This is different than substance abusers who use from time to time. Substance addicts spend every waking moment finding ways to buy and use drugs or alcohol.
With soft addictions the abuser uses activities that are harmless to most people. The consequences of those behaviors are not immediately felt. Cigarette smoking and coffee drinking are two commonly known examples of soft addictions. It is much easier to hide soft addictions and cover up the behaviors that result from them. But soft-addictions have the propensity to lead to more serious addictions down the road.
Gambling is another common example of a soft addiction. Gamblers with addictive personalities go through three stages. In the first phase, also known as the winning phase, the person has control over his or her behavior. The second stage is known as the losing phase. In this phase the person begins gambling alone, gambling large sums of money, and borrowing cash to pay off mounting debt. The third phase is called the desperation phase. In this phase the gambler engages in more risky, sometimes illegal behavior. In desperation he or she may borrow money from non conventional sources. Depression and attempted suicide are common in the third phase of gambling.
Other examples of soft addictions are eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and compulsive over-eating. Though there are other factors that contribute to this type of behavior, it can develop into pathological behavior that is very similar to addiction. The anorexic fixates on the goal of losing weight. Once the person begins dieting he or she finds it very hard to stop. Those with bulimia are after the same goal as those who are anorexic, but the mode of operation is different. Instead of limiting their diet they binge on large amounts of food and then purge it before their bodies have the chance to digest it. Compulsive eaters are not concerned with weight loss or weight gain, though the disorder often results in obesity. They have a compulsive urge to eat, whether hungry or not.
Something as beneficial as exercising can become a preoccupation or addiction to those who are predisposed to having one. Running is the most prevalent; runners are known to get a runner's high and can become dependent on it. This is attributed to mood-enhancing chemicals called endorphins that are released during exercise. An addiction occurs when the exercise activity is used as an escape or a coping mechanism. It's a problem when it becomes so excessive that the body suffers injury, and when it negatively impacts relationships.
Compulsive buying falls under the category of soft addictions. Those who do it are addicted to the buzz it gives them. It has nothing to do with what they are buying, it is simply their drug. They buy only for the sake of buying without ever intending to use it. Those with this disorder often suffer from other disorders such as depression, mood swings, and anxiety. Buying gives them temporary relief, but after they do it they feel heightened anxiety and intense guilt. One study showed that twenty percent of compulsive buyers suffer from an eating disorder as well.
The two newest additions to the soft-addiction category are Internet abuse and cell phone abuse. They are more prevalent in younger generations, though there is a significant number of older people who develop these addictions as well.
Those who have an Internet addiction, also known as pathological Internet use, find they cannot control their usage of it. They may be drawn to online games, social networking sites, or other online sites, and will spend an excessive amount of time there. The use becomes an addiction when withdrawal symptoms such as mood changes are suffered when they are away from it.
Some people become addicted to cyber relationships. A problem occurs when these relationships are used to avoid face to face, interpersonal interactions. This addiction can lead to social, psychological, and work or school problems.
A recent study shows that those who are addicted to cell phone use display behaviors very similar to those with addictive personalities-low self-esteem, approval seeking, insecurity. Cell phones have become indispensable in our lives, but they can reinforce the tendency of over-attachment for those with addictive personalities.
Learn the factors that may predispose someone for an addictive personality.

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