Addiction does not, as is commonly thought, relate only to drug (heroin, crack, LSD, marijuana). For instance, in Great Britain alcohol probably causes over 40000 deaths a year and tobacco 100,000 deaths. Other forms of addiction include reliance on coffee, sweets, tranquilizers, sleeping tablets. the nature of the addiction is often linked to cultural factors , e.g., cannabis is considered “normal “ Rastafarians, while alcohol is prohibited among the Muslim community , it is clear that whatever the form of addiction , it coffee or heroin, there appears to be a general increase in the problem in society and that many school and health authorities are increasingly disturbed by the younger age groups that appear to be using hard drugs , recently , the term “addictive personality “has been introduced to describe the characteristic groupings of behaviour that appear to be present , no matter what the addiction is , it is important to realize that human beings are creatures of habit and addiction may be an exaggeration of a normal habit pattern . Often people will become addicted without having a wish to become so. They may be prescribed addictive drugs and then find it difficult to stop taking them. addiction may be chemical ,i.e. , body requires a drug such as caffeine , alcohol, heroin, valium, to function and so ceasing taking the drug will will produce “withdrawal symptoms “. Often the body develops a level of tolerance to the drug and a higher dose may be necessary to produce the the same effect.
Social and cultural influences are clearly important but the addictive personality is described as one who can not tolerate being frustrated and has to gratify his or her need quickly . He or she is of any age and from any social background. Often addicts may lead unstimulating, boring lives and feel inadequate and lack self confidence. On the other hand, some will resort to an addictive drug (alcohol crack) to help them cope with a demanding and difficult life style, e, g. The social drinker who becomes a heavy drinker under increased stress , or the executive who uses valium to reduce the anxiety associated with a busy work schedule, ease of access to addictive drug is clearly a factor in the increase in addiction , but experience suggests that out-and-out prohibition does not
Physical sign and symptoms will depend on the nature and type of addiction and the stage which the addict has reached. General symptoms may include mood swings, behaving out of character, irritability, lack of sleep unreliability poor performance at work or frequent illness, neglecting food change in appearance. ALCOHOL: will produce gastric symptoms, early morning vomiting, the shakes, loss of memory loss of sexual interest and potency.
COFFEE ADDICTS: are often in a terrible hurry, breath rapidly, suffer from palpitations, frequency of micturation, and gastric disturbance. DRUG ADDICTS : may develop pin point pupils (from using heroin ), red eyes and drowsiness (cannabis ) , disorientation and giggly behaviour (LSD) sniffing, a dry cough and skin peeling around the lips (cocaine ) .TOBACCO ADDICTS: may smell cough , have yellow stained fingers and teeth .
PREVENTION AND SELF HELP: probably the most important step for any addict is to acknowledge the problem, because without doing so, treatment is of little value .This is where friends, or a doctor may be of help.
An extensive history will be undertaken by a trained homoeopath to unravel the “constitutional “remedy. (A term relating to a remedy appropriate to the “whole person “but the following may be helpful on a self help basis: TRANQUILIZER ADDICTS: “nux vomica 200, 3 times a day for one month. ALCOHOL WITHDRAWAL: aconite 200
Consult the homoeopathy doctor for follow up and dosage etc. Self prescription is more dangerous.