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Alcohol and Drug Addiction in India – A Rising Problem

With increasing affluence and recreational time available with the population of India the Alcohol Consumption and the Drug Problem has spiraled out of control.

Let us first talk about Alcohol. Alcohol is the most readily available legal substance with abuse potential in the world. Even when it is banned, as has been done in Gujarat for a long time and recently in Bihar , the availability has not been affected. Recently many people died in Bihar due to drinking spurious liquor. The number of alcoholics in Gujarat is no less than any state where it is legal. Recently, in Delhi people are getting one bottle free with the purchase of one bottle. The main problem with Alcohol is that it has got social acceptability. In Delhi, the government is responsible for running liquor vends. It contributes to the national exchequer in a big way as it is taxed very heavily. During the lock-down liquor shops were the first to be opened, even when schools and colleges remained online. The abuse potential of Alcohol is enormous. If 100 people drink Alcohol, on average 12 of them will be Alcoholics. Weather you are an Alcoholic or not has nothing to do with how much you drink or how often you drink. Basically, an Alcoholic is a person who is not able to guarantee how much he or she is going to drink or what he or she is going to do after drinking Alcohol. An Alcoholic is not able to control and enjoy at the same time. There was a time when women would hide their drinking Alcohol by mixing it with cold drinks etc due to the social stigma but today girls are drinking openly. If you go to any pub in the country, you are likely to see as many girls as boys consuming Alcohol openly. Even though the government earns a lot of revenue from the sale of Alcohol, it does precious little to treat Alcoholics or even educate people about the dangers of drinking Alcohol. Even Gandhi seems to have been forgotten as far as prohibition goes; not that prohibition is any solution to the problem of Alcoholism in society.

As far as Drugs are concerned the trend these days is for youngsters to abuse substances which are not physiologically addictive. Not that substances which have physiological addiction are being abused any less. Smack and heroin are still  common choices in youngsters but the use of party drugs has increased disproportionately, especially Cannabis. With Cannabis becoming legal in many countries for not only medicinal use but also recreational use too. After Alcohol, Cannabis is the next substance which is abused and sold legally in many settings.

Uppers like Cocaine and Ecstasy and Amphetamines and Crystal Meth are also becoming more and more common in India.

The Problem of Addiction in India

One thing is certain; the problem of addiction is increasing day by day in India. And it is a very disturbing trend. Alcohol has always had social acceptability in our society and is very common substance of abuse and the percentage of alcoholics has remained more or less the same, even though it is the most commonly abused substance by all strata of society. Youngsters start with beer and graduate to stronger stuff.

The next most abused substance in my opinion is weed or ganja. Marijuana is being made legal in more and more countries. Earlier, only Holland was the only country where it was legal. Now, Canada has made it legal and a few states in U.S. have made it legal even for recreational use. There is talk to make it legal even in India. Bhang thekas have been legal in many states in India. And it is possible to get weed or hash from these outlets. Marijuana has a very strong historical, cultural and religious association in India. But these days if you take a walk in the evenings, you are very likely to get a whiff of the smoke of Marijuana. The youth today is smoking it left, right and center. It has gained in social acceptability tremendously. Under the guise of being herbal or organic the concept of it being illegal is swept away. Every person who smokes is not an addict, just like every person who drinks is not an alcoholic. In fact if 100 people drink alcohol, only 12 of them are alcoholics. Similarly, if 100 people smoke marijuana, in my opinion, only 5 are addicts. They are people who continue to smoke even after experiencing adverse effects of Marijuana. Adverse effects can include Amotivation Syndrome and Cannabis Psychosis. Besides the fact that Marijuana is a gateway drug, which means that people who have tried smoking weed are more likely to experiment with other drugs.

The next area of concern is prescription drugs. Because they are available with the chemist and have a pharmacological function their harmful effect tends to minimized. The most common prescription which is abused in my opinion is cough syrups. The extent of cough syrup abuse is astonishing. The spectrum includes college students and even housewives. The active ingredient in cough syrups is codeine, which is made from opium. So, codeine is an opiate and codeine addiction is similar to opium addiction. Another commonly abused opiate is dextropropoxypene, which is the active ingredient of Spasmo-Proxyvon. Again, students and even people who have been prescribed by doctors get addicted to it. Sleeping tablets are also very commonly abused. They include Valium or Calmpose, Alprax, Ativan, Nitrest and a whole lot of other benzodiazapenes. A drug which is freely available with chemists and is very popular in China but for some reason has not taken off in the same way is Ketamine. Ketamine is used by vets and is used for dissociative anesthesia by doctors and is commonly used to cut cocaine by drug dealers. Since all the cocaine comes from South America and is very expensive, Ketamine is used in its place by many.

Another area of concern is designer drugs like Meow – Meow. Youngsters are getting smart and are using uppers and party drugs in abundance. They work hard through out the week and party hard on weekends. Most of them are only psychologically addictive like cocaine but addiction is likely to occur. These drugs are mostly used by the more affluent section of the society. Rave parties are another area where such drugs and drugs like Ecstasy are more often used. These drugs are mostly made in labs and newer and newer variants are constantly flooding the market. Because they are made in labs and are expensive there is no standardization and the quality and the adulterants vary a lot. The harmful effects are not only due to the drug but also due to the adulterants. These are very common in Metropolitan cities and are also called designer drugs.

Last but not the least is inhalants like thinner, petrol, balms like iodex etc. They are commonly abused by school children and rag pickers. Erasex which was most commonly abused earlier is not so readily available anymore, so people abuse the organic solvents like sulochan. Hazing can cause total liver cell failure besides damage to lungs.

With more affluence the drug use is increasing in India. The youth have no jobs. Punjab is a typical example where drug addiction is rampant.

The government needs to tackle this epidemic of addiction on a war footing.

Substance Abuse Counselling

Psychological Risk Factors Associated with Alcoholism and Drug Addiction

After writing  about the Biological Risk Factors let us take a look at the Psychological Risk Factors associated with Alcoholism and Drug Addiction. The Psychological Risk Factors revolve around a set a mistaken addictive beliefs that using alcohol and drugs is good for me and not using these substances is bad for me. There are three other Psychological Risk Factors, namely, Confused Morality, Antisocial Personality Traits and Poor Judgement. All these can intensify the addictive beliefs. Let us look at them in some detail as this can help explain why some people become alcoholics and addicts.

The Psychological Risk Factors                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             1. Addictive Beliefs:  It is the mistaken belief that alcohol and drugs are good for me and not drinking alcohol and using drugs is bad for me.                                                                                                                                  2. Confused Morality: A lack of clarity in distinguishing right from wrong and good from bad.                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. Antisocial Personality Traits: A strong need to be dishonest, challenge authority, break rules, victimize others, tendency to blame others, and a deeply held conviction that I have done no wrong until I am caught.              4. Poor Judgement: A tendency to make bad decisions that cause problems and unnecessary suffering and pain.

We shall look at these factors in more detail. As we look at these factors remember that it is a two way street. Addictive Beliefs, Confused Morality, Antisocial Personality Traits and Poor Judgement make it more likely for the person to start using alcohol and other drugs that leads to abuse and addiction. However, the reverse is also true. When High Risk People start abusing alcohol and other drugs they are more likely to develop Addictive Beliefs, Confused Morality, Antisocial Personality Traits and Poor Judgement that set them up to continue using alcohol and other drugs.

Psychological Risk Factor # 1: People at high risk of alcoholism and addiction develop and cultivate eight primary addictive beliefs. These addictive beliefs become the foundation for habitual ways of thinking, acting and feeling that justify the regular and heavy use of alcohol and other drugs. They tend to believe that alcohol and drugs are good for them because they make them feel good and improve their personality. They are seldom get over intoxicated and rarely suffer from after effects of heavy using. Everything seems fine. Their pain and problems seem to disappear. They feel they are a better person because of using alcohol and drugs and they seem to get along better with every one else. So they do not see any problem in continuing to use alcohol and other drugs. Here are the eight primary Addictive Beliefs:-                                                                                                  1. Alcohol and other drugs are good for me and not using alcohol and drugs is bad for me.                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Alcohol and drugs make my life worth living and without alcohol and drugs my life is not worth living.                                                                                                                                                                                                3. I need alcohol and drugs to survive and without alcohol and drugs I cannot survive.                                                                                                                                                                                                                           4. Alcohol and drug centered lifestyle is good and lifestyle based on other things is bad.                                                                                                                                                                                                                       5. Supporters of my alcohol and drug based lifestyle are my friends and people who oppose my alcohol and drug based lifestyle are my enemies.                                                                                                                           6. I need alcohol and drugs to have a good time in life and I cannot have good time without drinking and drugging.                                                                                                                                                                             7. It is Okay to use alcohol and other drugs heavily, frequently and abusively.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         8. Alcohol and drugs are safe and I will not have any problems and I will not become addicted to alcohol or drugs.

Psychological Risk Factor # 2: Confused Morality: A confused sense of morality is the second Psychological Risk Factor. People with a confused sense of morality cannot differentiate between right and wrong and do not understand the concept of good and bad. They tend to make emotional reasoning to make moral judgments. People who tend to use emotional reasoning while making moral judgments tend to believe that if it makes them feel good it must be a good thing and if it makes them feel bad then it must be a bad thing. As a result of Confused Morality people who are addicted to alcohol and drugs are unable to judge their alcohol and drug use from a moral perspective. They are often unable to see the adverse consequences of their using alcohol and drugs as bad for them. They tend to see them as a price which has to paid to have a good time. Addicted people fail to distinguish between good and evil. They do not know which things to value. They also believe that things of value should always bring them fun, excitement and thrills. They have no idea that to have things of value you must invest time and effort. They cannot see what is good  or bad about  alcohol and drug use for them and the ones they love. When they consider the balance between the good and bad aspects of their drinking and using drugs, what is the right thing for them to do.

The other two Psychological Risk Factors will be discussed in the next blog.

All the Biological and Psychological Risk Factors are explained in detail during the therapy sessions at Sahyog Detox and De addiction Clinic which helps the patients understand why they have become addicted to alcohol and drugs in the first place and that is why Sahyog is the Best Nasha Mukti Kendra in Delhi by far.

Detoxification Centre in Delhi

Biological Risk Factors in Alcoholism and Drug Addiction

It is the way the brain responds to alcohol and drug use that determines the Biological Risk Factors. In High Risk Patients the brain responds differently as compared to the brain of Low Risk Patients. High Risk Reactions of the brain make the person feel good and not using it makes them feel bad. Mainly, there are five biological risk factors that make a person feel good when he or she consumes alcohol or takes drugs. They are:-                       1. Euphoric Recall                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     2. Positive Personality Change                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 3. High Tolerance                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4. Hangover Resistance                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             5. Brain Damage Sensitivity                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Now, let us look at each one of them in a bit of detail.

Biological Risk Factor # 1: Euphoric Response: The first Biological Risk Factor involves the euphoric brain response to the use of alcohol and drugs. If alcohol and drugs make you feel “really good” then you are really at risk for developing alcoholism and addiction. When high risk people use any mood altering substance they have an addictive brain response. In other words, alcohol or drugs cause their brains to be flooded by pleasure chemicals and to be deprived of warning chemicals. The flooding of the brain by pleasure chemicals makes the person feel good by creating an intense feeling of euphoria. Normally, the brain also makes warning chemicals whenever we are in a dangerous situation. The job of these warning chemicals is to make us feel uncomfortable so that we can assess what is the danger. When the brain stops making these chemicals we are not concerned about any dangerous situation. As a result good judgement goes out of the window and we can start doing dangerous things without even realizing it.

Biological Risk Factor # 2: Positive Personality Change: The second Biological Risk Factor is Positive Personality Change when using alcohol or other drugs. The euphoric effects of alcohol and drugs intensify positive personality traits and tone down negative personality traits. This means that it is possible to improve our personalities by using mood altering substances. As a result of this, the Addictive Brain Response can turn mood altering substances into a means for changing the mood and personality of the person. The only problem with this is that the change is only temporary. The positive personality change will last only till the effect of alcohol or drug lasts. When you stop using alcohol or drugs the negative personality traits will tend to come back which causes the person to use more and more of the substance to correct the problem.

Biological Risk Factor # 3: High Tolerance: The third Biological Risk Factor is High Tolerance. High Tolerance means the ability to use the mood altering substance in large quantities without becoming overly intoxicated or dysfunctional. Intoxication is a protective factor against addiction. If a small amount of the mood altering substance will make the person intoxicated or dysfunctional, he or she will stop consuming it before they can become addicted. People with High Tolerance can use large amounts of the mood altering substances to get physically dependent while still remaining functional. As a result of High Tolerance they end up using larger quantities which ultimately harms their bodies and brains more than people with low tolerance.

Biological Risk Factor # 4: Hangover Resistance: The fourth Biological Risk Factor is Hangover Resistance. Hangover Resistance is the ability to consume large quantities of alcohol or other drugs without feeling bad or sick the next morning. They feel fine the next day and do not experience any harmful effects of the substance. Some may feel even better  the next day after a night of heavy drinking or drugging. The combination of all the above risk factors makes it appear to the High Risk person that they can use alcohol and drugs without any adverse consequences. They, thus, erroneously conclude that drinking and drugging is safe and may even be good for them. They think they are immune to the harmful effects of alcohol and drugs. Therefore they are likely to use more and therefore get addicted.

Biological Risk Factor # 5: Brain Damage Sensitivity: Brain Damage Sensitivity: The fifth Biological Risk Factor is Brain Damage Sensitivity. The brain of High Risk People is more vulnerable to disruption of biochemical processes due to alcohol and drug intake. This leads to progressive brain dysfunction. High Risk People tend to experience more brain dysfunction as compared to Low Risk People when consuming  the same amount of substance, at similar frequency and for similar period of time. The brain of High Risk Person will show more neuropshychological impairment for longer duration after a bout of drinking or drugging. These symptoms of brain dysfunction cause problems when a person stops using his or her substance of choice. They cannot think clearly and get easily confused. They experience mood swings and become emotionally labile. Because of all these things they cannot control their behavior. When they start using the mood altering substance again, the symptoms of brain dysfunction temporarily disappear leading them to erroneously conclude that alcohol and drugs are good for them.

All this is explained in detail to the patients at SAHYOG Detox and De addiction Clinic and that is why it is the Best Rehabilitation Center in Delhi.

De Addiction Method

Aspects of Alcoholism and Drug Addiction

Drugs, everyone knows from day one, are bad news, even though marijuana is becoming legal in many countries now for medicinal as well as recreational use and even the social stigma in the younger generation is waning, but alcohol has always had a different connotation. Everybody drinks-it’s good for you, Right? But believe it or not, alcohol too is harmful and kills countless people in the world. It kills by two ways: by damaging the body, as we have detailed in the earlier blogs and by causing accidents, violence, suicides etc. The medicinal benefits of alcohol are virtually nonexistent. A little research has of course shown that alcohol, red wine in particular can be good for the health of your heart. It is ”supposed” to increase the good cholesterol and increase the antioxidant activity, BUT-and it is a big BUT-the benefits seen in that research might have been due to other factors, such as being physically active and eating a diet with lots of fruits and vegetables and low in saturated fats. Besides you can get the same benefits by drinking red grape juice-without any risk. If you want a healthy heart, there are many other things you can do: control your blood pressure, cholesterol and weight; eat a healthy diet and exercise. There is really no need to drink alcohol to get health benefits.

When friends and loved ones say that you have a drinking or drug problem and are after you to quit, it can be quite bothersome. Sometimes you think they might be right but most of the time you think that if they are wrong you will be giving up this stuff for nothing. Maybe you have a problem, maybe you don’t. Even if you DO have a problem, chances are that you will not be able to see it clearly. Self-deception is rampant in alcoholism and drug addiction. It is so, because it helps you escape a very unpleasant reality and you do not have to do any thing about it. It may not be easy to answer the question whether you ARE an alcoholic or a drug addict or not. One exercise you can do is write your life story listing all the problems in your life and your drinking and drug use. Be totally honest – even though that is a very tall order. List all the problems and how alcohol and drugs were responsible for those problems and how your life was affected by your use. Note opportunities missed, money spent or wasted, the impact on your family, job, friendships and other aspects of your life. Denial often keeps alcoholics and addicts from seeing the problems alcohol and drugs are causing, so rigorous honesty is required in doing this exercise. If your drinking or drug use is causing problems in your life, or if someone who cares about you believes it is, it could be time to entertain the idea that you might be an alcoholic or an addict.

Some people with certain illnesses  –  for example, cancer, alcoholism and addiction –  practice denial. It is not because they are stupid or bad or just plain pigheaded. They are genuinely unable to see the truth for what it is, and they deny the fact that they are ill to protect themselves from facing a fearsome and unpleasant reality. The cancer patient does not want to know about his or her illness out of fear of the unpleasant treatments that might be needed and even a greater fear of the consequences should the treatment fail. Similarly, the alcoholic or addict does not want to know about his condition because of the stigma attached to the conclusion and even a greater fear of having to give up their most trusted chemical support. Denial is a defense mechanism and as long as a person has denial he or she will be able to drink alcohol or use drugs till his or her dying days. It is a primitive mechanism – a self deception that is useful in the short time period but is extremely dangerous and destructive over the long term. This self-deception is common in alcoholism and addiction; your psyche knows that the behavior you are indulging in is self-destructive and not in your own best interest and is unacceptable at many levels coupled with a strong desire to continue using alcohol and other drugs.

Learning about alcoholism and addiction and the hope and happiness that treatment at Sahyog Detox and De addiction Center can help overcome denial and open the door to Recovery and that is why Sahyog is the Best De addiction Center in Delhi.

Why do People Drink and Use Drugs?

It is clear from my previous blogs that alcohol and drugs are dangerous and at some level everyone knows it, then why do people drink alcohol and use drugs even though it causes them negative consequences? And even after people realize that mind altering substances are dangerous why do they continue using them? Why are they willing to take that risk? To answer these questions we have to look at why people start using alcohol and drugs in the first place and then why do they continue using them.

People start using alcohol and other mood altering drugs for three reasons, namely, curiosity, social pressure and automatic cultural responses. People who start using out of curiosity want to see what drinking alcohol and using drugs does to them, so they experiment. They want to try it first hand and see what it does to them. They try to see if they like it and if they do, they tend to continue using them. Many young people do not trust the information given to them by other adults regarding alcohol and drugs. Many young people do not even have a trustworthy relationship with adults they can ask. Kids tend not to believe other sources of information like news or government sources. Kids generally tend to get their information from other users of alcohol and drugs and then decide to try it out for themselves. This is called experimental use of alcohol and drugs and many kids fall prey to it.

People who start using because of social pressure wrongly believe that they have to drink alcohol and use other drugs to belong or fit in. They tend to see alcohol and drug use as a ticket to social belonging and social success. They falsely believe that drinking alcohol and using drugs will help them get along with other people. They also falsely believe that if they don’t use alcohol and drugs they will be rejected and left out. Fear of being left out and not belonging are two major fears of young people. These fears can override reason, risk of adverse and negative consequences and even personal knowledge and information.

People who start using alcohol and other drugs out of an automatic cultural response are usually part of a subculture that views alcohol and drug use as normal. Drinking alcohol and using drugs becomes a part of everyday life because it is so common that most people do not even notice it. This is likely to happen to people who grow up with families and friends who regularly use alcohol and other drugs. Drinking alcohol and using drugs becomes a ‘normal’ thing. The problem happens if they become addicted to any substance. If they happen to go to any culture where addiction to any substance if considered wrong they become disoriented and want to go back to their original culture where it is not considered a problem. Drinking alcohol and using drugs becomes a part of life and they cannot even imagine a life without alcohol and drugs. They see drinking alcohol and using drugs as humdrum as breathing air.

So, people start using alcohol and other drugs for three basic reasons:-                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 1) Curiosity                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2) Social Pressure                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3) Automatic Cultural Response

People start using alcohol and other drugs for one of these three reasons and then continue using them for other reasons.

Why do people keep using alcohol and drugs after they start? There is only one simple answer that alcohol and drugs work and it works every time. Alcohol and drugs guarantee that if you use them they will make you feel in a particular way. That is the seduction of alcohol and drugs. It is guaranteed to work every time. No human relationship can give that guarantee. Whereas, with alcohol and drugs a person can feel the way they want to feel, anytime. They provide a sense of well being, competence and freedom from fear that can be called euphoria. If alcohol and drugs do not give them the feelings they want and need , they won’t keep using them. Not only do alcohol and drugs work every time, it works quickly and reliably. They can get the effect they are chasing NOW. They then come to depend on it for their high and that is why they continue using alcohol and other drugs.

All this is explained in therapy sessions at Sahyog Detox and De addiction Center and that is why it is the Best Rehabilitation Center in Delhi.

Detoxification Centre in Delhi

Harmful Effects of Alcoholism and Addiction

The main problem of any alcoholic or addict is stated very nicely by the phrase, “self-will run riot”. It is the self-will of the alcoholic or addict which lands him or her in trouble every time. The main question before the alcoholic or addict is quite simple. What is his/her will? We shall deal with it in a simple fashion to avoid the many complexities we would otherwise encounter. The truth is that their will is to drink and use drugs when and where they choose, resigned to the consequences of their drinking and using drugs. The fact that they have lost the power of choice narrows down the purpose of their to will to one choice, namely – to drink or use drugs.

This flat statement of an alcoholic’s or addict’s will relates to his or her unpredictable drinking or using behavior and is open to argument. Few of them drank or used drugs all of the time. Some served their communities. Others held responsible positions contributing to the welfare of their families. But only by bluff, lies, imposition and the co-operative support of friends and families did they manage to conduct much important business.

Therein lies the rub, for when the urge to drink or use drugs came, families, religion and business were neglected and disregarded in favor of alcohol or drugs. Medicine and psychiatry seek scientific reasons for their drinking or drug use. But not Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. They admit the results, surmounting them with their spiritual way of life. For this reason new members to A.A. and N.A. are advised to remain laymen. They tend to not remain clean and sober when they try to become able doctors or clergymen overnight. Knowing that members will try it, the stress is on avoiding it.

The will of the drinking alcoholic or using addict seems to point in one direction – towards the bottle or drugs of their choice. Perhaps one should briefly consider their drinking or drugging attitude. There is no identical pattern of behavior to which alcoholics or addicts conform. There is fixed ratio of binges, however, for those who swear off for certain periods of time. The new binges are always in proportion to the resolution to stop drinking or using drugs. That is how the will of the alcoholic or addict functions.

Even while drinking or using drugs they are not sure for how long they’d be using it. They know exactly the number of days they have been clean or sober, but have no idea of when they might take that first drink or drug. They claim that they want to quit drinking or using drugs. They think they mean it. But the truth is they only wished that they wanted to. What they actually want is to be able to control the amount they consume, at least enough to keep them out of trouble.

The word trouble has a wide range of meaning for the drinking alcoholic or using addict. Physically, it can refer to anything from an upset stomach to an alcoholic death. Between these two extremes they are subject to many other infirmities, all because of their unconscious will to drink and use drugs without restraint. For example, there may be anemia, mineral and vitamin deficiency, wet brain. jitters, cold sweats, pneumonia, liver and heart conditions, alcoholic neuritis, low blood sugar, chronic alcoholic poisoning and kindred ailments. The greater the affliction, more the alcoholic will leans toward the bottle or drugs.

Any one, or a combination of these maladies, can mean trouble for the alcoholic or addict. Blackouts, D.T.’s, insanity and other sickness adds to their difficulties. They all resulted in mental and bodily discomfort and loss of valuable time. Because of them they may even require hospitalization. At times, they sweat them out at home, but not without someone’s aid and tolerance or without loss to their business interests. Drunkenness begets drunkenness. It dulls their judgement and finer sensibilities. Financial difficulties appear. Creditors become bothersome. Sometimes they brawl, landing in jail or institutions. At times they are arrested for intoxication, drunken driving or other legal infringements. Divorces and sex problems mess up their lives. On most occasions their will to drink or use drugs amounted to an obsession and always ended in trouble.

All this is explained at Sahyog Detox and De addiction Clinic in therapy sessions and that is why it is the Best Rehabilitation Center in Delhi.

Substance Abuse Counselling

Harmful Effects of Addiction

Addiction is a DISEASE and there are no two ways about it. And to top it all, it is a very nasty disease to have. It is the only disease that denies its own existence and resists treatment. Secondly, the medical definition of addiction is that it is a chronic and relapsing disease. Chronic diseases are like diabetes; you can control it but cannot cure it and relapsing refers to the fact that an alcoholic or addict can revert to drinking or using drugs even after staying clean and sober for some time. Third reason why it is a nasty disease is that the success rate is very low. It is the road less traveled. Some estimate that even after completing treatment in a rehabilitation center, only 20% of the patients will remain clean and sober. When we talk about the success rate we have to talk about a timeline. At the end of 5 years the success rate drops to 2-5%. From this discussion we can see that Recovery from alcohol and drugs is very elusive and unless the person is willing to go to any length to stay clean and sober he or she will not succeed. From all this discussion it is obvious that addiction and alcoholism is a very-very nasty disease. It affects the person at all levels. Physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, financially and socially, in fact there is no area of ones life that remains untouched by addiction.

I have written in detail about the harmful effects of Marijuana, Brown Sugar and Alcohol on the human body. Today let us look at the harmful spiritual effects. When we talk about spirituality, we don’t refer to religious practices. Like going to the temple, mosque, church or gurudwara or keeping fasts etc. These are not being spiritual but only following rituals. Spirituality is more than that. Religion is for people who do not want to go to hell and spirituality is for people who have been to hell and back. In my opinion spirituality refers to relationships. A person has three important relationships in life. The first and foremost is relationship with oneself. If one does not have a relationship with oneself then one cannot have a relationship with others. Having a relationship with oneself starts by looking after oneself. Taking care of health and hygiene is for starters. Then it entails getting rid of resentments, jealousy, past pains, regrets etc. Balancing all the addictive behaviors. Basically, being at peace with oneself and feeling comfortable in ones own skin. The voices in your head will no longer irk you. You will no longer mind solitude. You will then have what is called a fit spiritual condition or have a good relationship with yourself.

Life is all about relationships. Man is a social animal and family is the unit one has to start with. Addicts and alcoholics treat strangers with more courtesy than they do their own family members. This is a bitter truth. Family comes first. That is the harbor where I can come to rest and recuperate after facing the storms of day to day living in the outside world. It is not necessary for me to like my family, after all it is an accident of birth, but if I can not even be polite then my recovery has no meaning. It is worthless. After immediate family comes friends. Friends are the family we chose for ourselves. We share things with them without any hesitation and they can give us the appropriate feedback. Next comes relatives or extended family and then society at large.

The third and most important relationship is with the God of your understanding. The 12 Step Program gives you complete freedom in choosing the God of your own understanding. It is a very important relationship. It offers hope, strength and succor in times of difficulty. God can stand for many things; Good orderly Direction; Group of Drunks or Drugees etc. It is not necessary to believe in a religious God. People who do find it easier but even agnostics and atheists can benefit from the program of 12 Steps. Even Pascal’s postulates logically explain why it is better to believe in God than not. If there is a God and you do not believe in it then you are depriving yourself of a source Great Power. In any case the term used in the 12 Step Program is Higher Power.

All this is explained at Sahyog and that is why it is the Best Rehabilitation Center in Delhi.

Harmful Effects of Alcohol

One blog is not sufficient to list all the Harmful Effects of Alcohol. This just goes to show how harmful this legal drug is. Most people who drink alcohol are social drinkers, in fact 88% of them are but a small minority are alcoholics and they need to stay away from it as they cannot enjoy and control at the same time. Social drinkers drink alcohol but know how much they are going to consume and even if their behavior gets changed it is minor but an alcoholic is not able to guarantee how much he is going to drink and how he is going to behave after drinking. Some change in behavior occurs even in social drinkers but in the case of an alcoholic it is quite drastic and apparent even after small quantities. As mentioned earlier, the main harmful effect of alcohol is on the liver and the condition which occurs is called cirrhosis of the liver. There are other causes of cirrhosis also but the one we are concerned is due to alcohol. It is also called Alcoholic Liver Disease. I had written about Portal Circulation and how it gets obstructed due to cirrhosis of the liver resulting in ascites. The most dangerous effect of obstruction of Portal Circulation is esophageal varices. The portal circulation and the systemic circulation interact with each other at six places. At the umbilicus, it results in caput medusae or the head of Medusa, which we know consisted of snakes. So the appearance is that of snakes underneath the skin which are nothing but coiled and tortuous blood vessels which have dilated as a result of increase in the pressure in the Portal Circulation. The systemic circulation and the portal circulation also meet at the rectum and the dilatation of blood vessels resulting from increase in pressure in portal system causes piles. At the base of the esophagus or food pipe also the portal and systemic circulations meet and this results in a very dangerous condition called esophageal varices. Varices refers to the worm like appearance on endoscopy. It really feels as if a bunch of earthworms is sitting at the base of the food pipe. When these burst it seems as if the liver has burst because the blood which comes out is clotted blood and is jelly like and the color is also like that of liver, thereby confusing people who think that pieces of liver are coming out. Whenever on endoscopy esophageal varices are seen they are banded so as to prevent them from bursting. If they burst it is an emergency and can be fatal if medical attention is not prompt and accurate. Another very dangerous combination is having difficulty in clotting of blood or coagulopathy. Along with cirrhosis it carries a very bad prognosis. The coagulation profile of the blood can be ascertained by doing a PTINR test or Prothrombin Time. There is one very important function of liver and that is activation of testosterone, the male hormone. As the name implies, it is made in the testes but reaches its active form by passing through the liver. Males are different from females because of this hormone. When there is cirrhosis of the liver, the testosterone activation is disrupted, resulting in the feminization of the males. There is testicular atrophy, loss of body hair, gynecomastia or breast formation in males and most importantly, impotence. Even in acute stages, alcohol always increases the desire for sex but decreases the performance and in chronic cases it causes impotence when the liver is affected to a great degree. The world functions because of two drives, hunger and the sex drive. Alcohol is such an insidious poison that it can affect both these drives. It can kill the appetite and finish the sexual drive totally.

All this is explained at Sahyog and that is why it is the Best De addiction Center in Delhi.

Harmful Effects of Alcohol

Like I had written earlier, 1 blog is not sufficient to list all the harmful effects of alcohol. That just goes to show how harmful alcohol is. It effects all the organ systems of the body but the main harmful effect is felt by the gastrointestinal tract and in that too liver is the organ which suffers the most. Liver is a very important organ. Besides digestion of food, clotting of blood, converting proteins to urea is all done in the liver. It is an important part of reticulo-endothelial system associated with the filtration of blood. The condition which occurs in the liver because of alcohol abuse is cirrhosis. There are other causes of cirrhosis but alcohol is the one we are concerned with. Cirrhosis has got 3 Stages. Stage 1,2, and 3. In Stage 1 there is fatty enlargement of the liver. The liver is normally behind the ribs on the right side of the body and except in very thin individuals one cannot palpate the liver. If the liver is palpable that means that it is enlarged and the doctor will write that it is enlarged by so many cms below the costal margin.Liver is associated with the fat metabolism and even a bout of single night of heavy drinking will result in fat droplets to occur in the plasma making it milky. This fat accumulates in the liver leading to fatty liver. In Stage 2 of cirrhosis of liver the structure of liver is  altered but the microscopic structure is maintained. In Stage 3 of cirrhosis of liver even the microscopic structure is damaged beyond repair. In Stage 2 if a person stops drinking the liver will heal itself but in Stage 3 even if a person stops drinking the liver will not revert to its original structure. All the blood from the intestines comes into the liver via the Portal Vein. This is called the Portal Circulation. Due to cirrhosis the pressure in the Portal system is increased resulting in accumulation of plasma in the peritoneum called ascites. The accumulation can be of many liters per day. The doctor may drain the ascitic fluid but due to the cirrhosis it accumulates again.

All this is explained at Sahyog and that is why it is the Best Rehabilitation Center in Delhi.