This week, Dr. Elaine answers your questions about addictions.
Q. How long does it take to get over an addiction? 2 weeks, 2 months or 2 years?
A. Of course that depends on many factors, the individual and the complexity and depth of the addiction, his or her history, family and social network, the stresses and pressures involved and other elements. Often emotional wounds need to be healed, a person needs to learn how to deal with stress healthfully.
There is no one size fits all method; that's the reason standardized and the commonly applied traditional approaches fail in the long run for most people. With the right approach most people can begin to overcome the use of the substance in a few weeks, that is, reduce or even stop the use of the substance. Also being provided the most comfortable easy ways to go through the dreaded withdrawal process, which hypnotherapy , when skillfully applied can accomplish. However it takes awhile to be able to achieve holistic independence from the substances forever. All issues must be resolved on the deepest levels of consciousness and of course the mind/brain/body elements must be addressed.
We must also take into consideration the difference between stopping the use of a substance and truly becoming addiction fee. The individual needs to develop the psychology of a non drinker, or a non smoker for example, psychically mentally emotionally and chemically, and that takes some time for most people.
A careful in depth evaluation of the individual from many perspectives, for example processing and language styles, how quickly they integrate and many other factors helps to determine the best approach and how long it will take that person to achieve their goals for freedom from addiction. It requires a total commitment to the prescribed process. It can be an empowering and rewarding experience that in and of self adds to the quality of their inner and outer lives.
Q. If people quit an addiction why do they start back again after 20 years?
A. Again, as in answer to the previous question I explain that quitting smoking for example does not mean the person has developed the psychology of a non smoker. This applies to all additions. All too often a person who quits smoking or using a drug reverts to other unhealthy ways of dealing with their life issues and stresses. Or they go back to what they felt gave them relief in the past for want of better ways to deal with what is going on within them and their lives. The issues must be resolved in the deepest levels of consciousness to make sure there is no search for relief via a drug or other substance.
In my many years of experience I have helped countless men and women, even teens finally become independent of drugs and other chemicals. Most had been in and out of various treatment programs, too. They came to me struggling again; they had either gone back to using the same substance or had sought relief from alcohol or another drug, even illegal or dangerous ones. Among the many reasons that drew them them back to the previous ways is they had not learned to access and employ their own natural resources and deal with life and experience in the most positive healthy ways. The necessary in depth approach means giving the right kind of support, not enabling them to become dependent on others to remain free of their addictions. Many emotional issues were in need of resolution too. Suffice it to say herein that every element of addictions needs to be addressed and resolved in order for a person to live forever free of dependence outside sources.
What gets a person into the use and addiction to alcohol and/or drugs varies of course. Its crucially important to face the fact that most people in our society are not taught life skills, that is the best ways of dealing with stress and their emotions, and other life challenges, so they resort to drugs, smoking alcohol or other substances in their attempts to cope. This could relatively easily be taught at an early ages, and even later in life before people resort to addictive substances.