OVERCOMING ADDICTION, A PERSONAL INVENTORY

To break any addiction you have to be clear in your mind why you want to do so. Knowing why others want you to stop using an addictive substance is not as important as knowing why you yourself should stop using it. This is because personal conviction is more effective than the convictions of your parents, spouse or friends in fighting the confusion that develops in tempting situations. To avoid this confusion that breaks willpower and strengthen your personal conviction in overcoming your addiction, answer the following questions for yourself.

If you are addicted to cigarettes, do you want to stop smoking to avoid developing cancer of the lips, mouth, throat, larynx, lungs, esophagus, stomach, liver, pancreas, colon, kidneys, bladder and cervix? Or is it because you want to steer clear of chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, strokes, heart attacks and ulcers? Or do you want to stop smoking to prevent birth defects and the premature delivery of your unborn baby? Or is it simply because you don’t want your skin to age prematurely?

If you are addicted to alcohol, do you want to stop drinking to avert developing liver cirrhosis, liver cancer and pancreatitis? Or is it because when you drink you are irritable, weepy or violent? Or is it because you are worn out by the withdrawal symptoms of sweating, shaking, confusion, convulsions and hallucinations? Or do you want to overcome the addiction as you have made terrible, irreversible errors when the alcohol blurred your vision, impaired your judgment and slowed your reaction time? Or is it simply because you are miserable like all those who linger for long with alcohol? (Proverbs 23:29)

If you are addicted to drugs, do you want to break the addiction to circumvent cannabinoid generated impaired concentration? Or do you want to elude inhalant induced nose bleeding, confusion and brain damage? Or do you want to sidestep stimulant induced strokes? Or do you want to duck depressant induced drowsiness? Or do you want to overcome addiction to dodge narcotic induced drowsiness? Or do you want to pass up the hallucinogen induced illusions? Or do you want to dodge the disorganized thinking induced by dissociative anesthetics? Or do you want to evade club drug euphoria? Or do you simply don’t want to die a drug addict?

Clarify for yourself why you want to stop using addictive substances and let your reasons serve as your incentives to continue resisting them and overcome the addiction permanently.


Adapted from Managing Stress for Teens by Dr. Miriam Kinai. (C) 2009 For more info click here.

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