Addiction: a habit or an illness?
It was dark, and it was raining heavily! 11:30 pm my phone suddenly started ringing! As I answered the phone, I heard a trembling voice trying to speak feebly on the other end. He said, “I want to come out of this, please help me out.” When I asked him what is it that bothered him, he narrated his story about his dependency on drinking. Any form of addiction can be bad, as it leads to so many health issues. Let us find out what this man was dealing with.
He was introduced to alcohol in his early college days by his friends. Though initially, he was reluctant, in the end, he succumbed to the peer pressure and tasted his first drink. After a few years, he was just a social drinker. But, some years back he experienced major losses in his business, and without consciously realizing he got completely dependent on alcohol. These days he is finding it very difficult to cope up with the impact of prolonged uncontrollable drinking which is, heightened anxiety, stress, frequent bouts of anger, and emotional intolerance.
Along with him, his family also was going through a tough time with their emotional reactions ranging across a broad landscape of pain, stress, and discouragement. He tried to quit drinking a couple of times but unfortunately relapsed, which further got him very frustrated.
After listening to his story I explained to him that, addiction is a physical disorder with profound emotional ramifications and dimensions. I also spoke to his wife about this matter. I explained to her regarding the substance dependency, and along with co-dependent relationships generally seen within the families of the person with substance dependency.
I further mentioned that the addiction can’t be wished away or banished by sheer will power. Later I suggested both of them to seek professional support from a psychiatrist who can help him in his de-addiction process, which will provide information about alcoholism and discuss the recovery process, and also try to put together a structured and a more realistic treatment and recovery plan based on the patient’s actual needs.
The doctor can help him uncover any underlying issues and triggers associated with the drinking habit along with the tips and techniques for a successful recovery and long-term sobriety. Most importantly, he will support emotionally and encourage the patient throughout each stage of recovery.
After 2 – 3 rounds of discussion with him and his wife over the phone, both of them have decided to seek help from a psychiatrist to overcome his substance dependency and remain sober as much as possible. Also, he has agreed to attend the AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) meetings regularly.
From the above story, we can understand that a person with a severe alcohol dependency felt like calling the helpline and seek support to achieve sobriety. And the other positive outcome is that the person along with his wife has understood the importance of the intervention by trained, expert assistance from a psychiatrist experienced in the de-addiction treatment. Hence, the conclusion here is to contact the helpline and share your worries so that we can guide you in the right path and help you overcome your troubles.