Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The How To Help People Quit Smoking And Taking Drugs

Addiction is a life-threatening condition that affects millions of Americans. Addiction to illegal drugs can lead to serious health consequences, legal troubles and other outcomes including permanent disability and death.

Nicotine Addiction

Nicotine is the addictive substance in tobacco products like cigarettes, cigars and smokeless tobacco. According to, it is as addictive as heroin and may be even harder to quit. Use of tobacco products is the leading cause of preventable death and illness in the U.S. Even with this knowledge, quitting can seem impossible to someone addicted to the drug.

Nicotine replacement therapy is one popular option for giving up tobacco. This approach uses nicotine-containing gums and patches as substitutes for cigarettes and other tobacco products. They release the drug into the bloodstream slowly, decreasing cravings and making the withdrawal process easier to manage.

Prescription medications, like Zyban and Chantix, are another option for treating nicotine addiction, though they're not without risks. They work by altering brain chemistry in such a way that nicotine is no longer desired by the smoker. Hypnosis and other forms of psychotherapy can also be helpful in changing addictive patterns such as smoking.

Illegal Drug Addiction

Common drugs of abuse include opiates, amphetamines and cocaine. Because of their illegal nature, no cheap over-the-counter options exist for treating drug withdrawal. While smoking can take years and even decades to cause irreversible health problems, many illegal drugs present a more immediate danger due to the possibility of overdose and the risks involved in obtaining them.

Drug detox and rehabilitation are recommended for anyone struggling with drug addiction. Inpatient rehab centers provide a safe environment where addicts can work on building sober living skills with the help of trained professionals. Post-rehab treatment in a halfway house or sober living facility is also recommended and allows the addict to slowly reintegrate into society and regain structure in their daily lives. For those who have completed rehabilitation programs, outpatient group therapies, like Narcotics Anonymous, can be helpful in maintaining sobriety.

General Tips and Advice

No matter the substance of abuse, addiction is a complex process. While there is no single correct method for helping a loved one overcome addiction, there are ways to offer support while protecting yourself from unnecessary stress. First, learn to practice good listening skills. Sometimes the best thing you can do is to be an active listener who doesn't show judgment or offer unwanted advice. Avoid discussing addiction too frequently and try not to burden the addict with trivial problems during the first phases of sobriety.

While it's important to be supportive, there's a difference between supporting a person and supporting addictive behaviors. Set boundaries and practice saying no to requests that enable the addict to engage in destructive behaviors that could lead to a relapse. This includes loaning large sums of money and anything else that allows the addict to avoid the responsibilities of normal adult life. Maintain a healthy distance to avoid getting overly involved emotionally, and set aside time to focus on your own needs. After all, you can only truly help others if you're happy and healthy yourself.

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