Kyle Maring Cory Ridenour
Addiction- the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma. Almost everyone the face of the earth is addicted to one thing or another. It could be something small like a lover, or something as serious as hard drugs that harm you or could even kill you when it’s all said and done.
A lot of people suffer from addiction and either never know it’s a problem, or don’t care to get help for the problem they have. However, a man named Kevin took the time and wrote down his story.
"Who are you to say there is no God?" Indeed, who am I? My name is Kevin and I am an alcoholic. Those first nine words changed my life, forever. I'd been agnostic all my adult life and I drank all my adult life. But, on June 9th 1997, all that changed. I was still married to a wonderful sober woman, I had two beautiful little girls, a nice house and my own business. We had separated five months earlier, but that night she told me she had filed for divorce. I was devastated, but not really surprised. That night, I knew the cost of drinking had become too high. I had to stop paying the price, but how? She had always read the Big Book, so I looked to see if a copy was still in the house, and by what I now know was God's Grace, there was one. I started reading it, and when I got to page 56, I was struck by that same thunderbolt! I knew the time had come for me to ask a God I had never believed in, a God I'd argued against for years, to help me. I knew I was losing someone I loved very much, and I did not want to lose anything or anyone else. I wanted out of that pit of incomprehensible demoralization. I never wanted to die when I was drinking, but I knew I'd not been living, I had hit my bottom. So that night, with tears pouring from my eyes, I prayed with sincerity for the first time in my life. I pleaded with God to help me. The God that I had rejected all my life wasted no time in answering those prayers.
I woke up on June 10th, and have not had to drink since. I now realize, I had started three of the most important steps of my program and my life that night. At my first meeting and many after that I heard a lot about doing God's Will, but I was unable to understand how one does that. I realized I had a lot to learn. I read the Big Book a lot and many other spiritual books over the ensuing weeks. Finally, something I read in one of them put God's Will, into a context that was easy to grasp for me. It said to imagine your children playing in their bedroom. You know how you'd like them to behave (His Will), and they know how they should behave (our will). If you were to come back in and find them fighting, swearing and tearing the place up, you'd be disappointed at the very least. But, if they were playing nicely and sharing you would be pleased. But, if they were, say, treating each other with love and respect, cleaning up, folding their clothes and sharing etc., doing far more that is expected of them, you would be thrilled with them. Along the same line, imagine instead of them saying "I want a new Barbie, I want this and I want that". They were to say to you out of the blue, "Daddy thanks for all the things you give me, and all the love you show me". You would likely be ecstatic. I know I was. Because a couple of days after I had read that, my six year old daughter did that very thing. It was quite a God Shot, and just one of the many I've had.
Garden Grove, California
Sadly, not a lot of people have to courage to do what Kevin did. Some cause they feel as though they don’t even have a problem to begin with. Most people who are addicted don’t even know it, they think of it to be something normal.
Though addiction hurts relationships, trust, and families, it can break the person who is using even more. Most user’s don’t even think about the damage they do to themselves. Most the damage done is to the brain of the user. Nearly all drugs, directly or indirectly, target the brain’s reward system by flooding the circuit with dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter present in regions of the brain that control movement, emotion, motivation, and feelings of pleasure. The overstimulation of this system, which normally responds to natural behaviors that are linked to survival (eating, spending time with loved ones, etc.), produces euphoric effects in response to the drugs. This reaction sets in motion a pattern that “teaches” people to repeat the behavior of abusing drugs. As a person continues to abuse drugs, the brain adapts to the overwhelming surges in dopamine by producing less dopamine or by reducing the number of dopamine receptors in the reward circuit.
To ever get rid of any kind of addiction you have to start some kind of recovery. This is the hardest part of the whole process. There are 12 step programs out there that a lot of people try and use on their own, however when that doesn’t work there are different hospitals you can be checked into and they use their psychotherapy to address the issues in the person’s life that gave enough emotional fuel to cause the addiction in the first place.
Addictions, they are all over the world and everywhere you look. People are constantly finding different things that they like too much and become hooked on them. There are things as minor as becoming addicted to smoking, and as major as becoming addicted to hard core drugs and alcohol. Addictions are found all over the place and with numerous different things that people would not realize you could actually get addicted to. Things such as sex and gambling, or even addictions like being addicted to fame, adrenaline rushes, and even food. Some people like to eat a lot, but some people actually become addicted to eating and that’s all that they want to do. There is well over a hundred different types of addictions. Some are the normal ones that you could have guessed and some are just different. There are beastiality, which is being addicted to sexual encounters with animals for the adrenaline rush. And things like being addicted to crime because of the pure adrenaline rush you get from it; Even getting addicted to using steroids and working out because of the satisfaction of becoming bigger and having a nice body.
The good thing about an addiction problem is there are a ton of places out there and online sites that can help find a solution to addictions. You can find different ways to keep friends, family, or even yourself from becoming addicted or even ways to break and addiction you have acquired. There are even centers and places you can go and stay if your addiction becomes too severe, and there are professionals there that can provide assistance in breaking your addiction.
There are many different signs of somebody becoming addicted. If anybody you know, or yourself starts showing these signs than there is a pretty good chance you or the person you know is starting to become addicted to the substance or thing; and prevention should be put into effect soon to stop it.
• Gets drunk or high on a regular basis.
• Drinks or uses drugs when he/she is alone.
• Shows up at school drunk or high or has skipped class to use.
• Needs drugs or alcohol to have a good time or cope with everyday life.
• Plans for drug use in advance.
• Starts hanging out with new friends who will do drugs with him/her or can score for him/her.
• Lies about drug use.
• Pressures others to use drugs.
• Has broken plans with you, or showed up late, because he/she was getting drunk or high.
• Shows little interest in or quits sports or activities he/she once enjoyed.
• Has driven a car while drunk or high.
• Borrows or steals money to buy drugs or alcohol
The Nature of addictions
There are many difficulties when it comes to addictions. The biggest and hardest problem with it is getting the person to admit that they are addicted and that they have a problem. After you break through that part of the problem you can get started on stopping the problem and getting people to help.
When you start becoming addicted your tolerance for the substance or thing you are addicted to goes up and it takes more and more of the behavior or substance to get the desired effect. It starts becoming dangerous because they are so obsessive over the behavior or substance they are doing way too much of it. Another big side effect of becoming addicted is the withdrawal of the behavior or substance if you take it away from them. The definition of withdrawal is the individual having a very painful physical and/or emotional reaction when the substance or behavior is stopped. And this can be dangerous to both people around them and themselves because before it gets better it will get worse, and they really start to freak out about not having it.
Many different factors affect and influence people on getting addicted to something. Genetics is a really big part influencing people to become addicted; especially with substances like drugs and alcohol. If parents or grandparents were addicted, it is easy for their children to become addicted because of their strong positive response to the subject.