An addiction is defined as a persistent, chronic intense focus on a single behaviour pattern that feels or is out of control. Almost everyone has some kind of addiction-if not to drugs or alcohol then to gambling, cigarettes, risky behaviour, exercise, television, computer games, internet, adult videos, work, shopping and so on. The symptoms of addiction to drugs or any other activities are:
- Persistent and frequent thinking about the activity throughout the day.
- Significant interference with enjoying other important aspects of life.
- Inability to control, cut back or stop the behaviour even after becoming aware of the debilitating effects.
- Restlessness or irritability when attempts are made to cut back the behaviour.
- Feelings of anxiety or agitation if behaviours is stopped for a period of time.
- Use of the addiction to escape and to avoid other responsibilities.
- Engaging in high risk behaviour that jeopardizes emotional or physical safety.
- Intense mood swings associated with the activity ranging from euphoria to shame, guilt or depression.
Among the various addiction alcohol or drug abuse are the most challenging. Drug can be any substance ingested into the body that produces an altered state of consciousness or change in body chemistry. Once the need of drug has been established in order to maintain effective functioning, addiction and physiological dependence prevail. The most widely used drugs are those that happen to be legal – coffee, cigarettes, chocolates and cola beverages. All contain sufficient quantities of amphetamine to create full fledge addictions.
Occasional Use Habit Formation
There are many negative physical effects that results from the drug abuse. Disturbances of sleep are common results of introducing artificial stimulants or depressants into the blood stream. Through neglect, disinterest and distraction, the diet of a drug abuser often suffers. Many drugs tend to stifle the appetite or lead the user toward malnourishment. Some problems are the result of the ways in which the drugs are introduced into the body. For example, nasal damage results from repeated snorting of cocaine, lung damage has been reported in marijuana smoker and skin disorder occur in those who inject heroin, variety of musculoskeletal, respiratory gastrointestinal and central nervous system disorders are possible. In addiction almost every system of the body is affected, example nerves are destroyed, neurotransmitters are side-tracked, genetic material is altered etc.
Death is placed on the top of the list of the effects. Death due to drug overdoses, suicide in altered state of consciousness, death during the convulsions while withdrawing from barbiturates are very common.
Preventions programmes for addiction can be classified into two types. The primary prevention programmes are designed for adolescents with little or no experience with substances. Secondary prevention targets the beginner and tertiary programme work with the experienced, highly abuser or dependent abuser. The alcoholics anonymous/ narcotics anonymous (AA/NA) model, motivational intervening, relapse prevention and pharmacotherapy is widely used for addiction process.
The form of addiction has been increasing with time. Internet surfing became as havoc for the rising generation. Internet addicts may spend forty to eighty hours a week on the net, and abuse in various forms. For example, online game addiction, compulsive internet shopping, seeking, pursuing and possibly masturbating to online pornographic imagery etc.
Many a treatment protocol has been invented by various psychologists to prevent the user to become an abuser.
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