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Overcoming Addictions: A Beginner’s Guide

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An addiction can quickly overtake your life, often without you realizing it's happening. You can go from enjoying a simple drink on a Friday after work to finding it difficult to get through the day without reaching for the nearest bottle. However, while your mind may jump to the most spoken about addictions of alcohol and hard drugs, there are many other addictions which can cause havoc in not only your personal life but in your working life too. If you feel an urge is becoming a craving that's becoming harder to control, you may be battling addiction. The below guide details some of the common addictions, and the best ways to overcome it. It won't always be easy, but it'll always be worth the effort.

Understand Your Addiction

Addictions stem from a powerful influence on the brain when you consume or complete an action. It affects people in three ways, which includes craving the addiction, inability to resist or stop the habit, and continuing with it despite knowing the adverse effects it has on a person's life. Addiction is classified as a disease, and it's becoming well recognized as a chronic disease that affects the sufferer’s brain. Hard drugs, such as meth, cocaine, and heroin, are widely known as common addictions, as is alcohol, but there are many other addictions which you may not realize can transform a person's life for the worse. These include:

  • Sex addiction (including addiction to watching porn)
  • Smartphone addiction
  • Internet addiction
  • Nicotine addiction (well-known in those who smoke)
  • Opioid/pain medicine addiction
  • Gambling addiction
  • Caffeine addiction
  • Food addiction

Each of these can have a hugely detrimental effect on the life of those suffering from the addiction, and the lives of their friends and family. 

Discovering Triggers

To combat the addiction you or your loved one face, the first step is to identify any triggers. Triggers can take a range of forms and are highly dependant upon the addiction. For example, one person who is addicted to alcohol may be able to go to a friend's party without taking a bottle of wine, whereas another person will need to avoid the party entirely. It's not always straightforward to discover what triggers the addiction, but it may be exposure to the addiction (such as viewing porn or being in an environment where exposure is more likely), seeing other people engage in the habit, and a particular emotion or feeling (for example, when you feel angry or stressed).

Treatment Available

Luckily, whatever addiction you're struggling with, you will find a treatment to help. This treatment can either be medical, such as help withdrawing from a drug, or holistic. Holistic help can involve therapy to work through the psychological effects of the addiction; for example, the feeling of shame and guilt if you have engaged with the habit when trying to beat it. For those struggling with addiction to sex or porn, in particular, an experienced Houston sex addiction therapist should be one of your first ports of call. Through dedicated counseling, you will be able to battle the addiction and move with your life successfully. 

Help from Those Closest to You

Of course, when trying to beat an addiction, those closest to you should be a beacon of strength to guide you through it successfully. After all, they care for you, and they believe you can get through this difficult period, so be prepared to lean on them for support and assistance. Only by asking for help from those who can be by your side will you form a support system which will keep you motivated even on the darkest days.