When it comes to overcoming addiction, those affected often find that they cannot face the idea of living without the substance they have relied on for so long. Addiction is an illness that changes the way the brain functions, so once a person has become physically dependent on a particular substance, he or she will find it almost impossible to quit without help.
A physical dependence means that the individual is going to suffer withdrawal symptoms when not taking the drug. However, the person quickly learns that these symptoms will subside as soon as he/she begins taking the drug again. The temptation to lessen or get rid of these symptoms is enough to keep people hooked.
In many instances, those addicted to substances such as drugs or alcohol will only quit when pushed into it by a loved one, or when they are frightened by a health warning from a doctor. James Higham, who had been smoking cannabis since the age of sixteen, thought he would never be able to quit, until his partner Claire gave him an ultimatum. He said, â€œI knew Claire had had enough, I could sense she was getting totally fed up. She said I had to do something, and I donâ€™t blame her. I was spending far too much money on it â€“ and as a plasterer, I donâ€™t have work all the time.â€
James said he does not know how Claire, his partner for the past eighteen years, has put up with him for so long. Since quitting the drug, he admitted to feeling much better. He added, â€œIâ€™ve saved my relationship, and Iâ€™ve booked a family holiday to Mexico with the money Iâ€™ve saved!â€
James said he got in with the wrong crowd at the age of sixteen, and this was when he started smoking cannabis. He said, â€œThere was a gang of us, school friends and lads in the area, and everyone smoked. I started off spending around Â£30 a week, but at times I have spent about Â£300! It just got to be more and more and more â€“ and itâ€™s an expensive habit.â€
James said that he had always believed that he could quit whenever he wanted, but after a while, he realised he had become reliant on the drug and could be classed as an addict. He said, â€œAs I got more, I needed more. It didnâ€™t affect me doing my job, but I thought I needed it to feel normal, I thought it calmed me down, but I couldnâ€™t have been more wrong.â€
It was only when James realised that Claire was serious about him quitting or he would have to leave that he knew he had to stop. He had tried to quit in the past but had convinced himself that he was a nicer person when he smoked cannabis. He now knows that he is much calmer without the drug.
James reached out to a clinical hypnotherapist in Merseyside for help. Kathy Curnan was able to bring James back to his childhood through hypnotherapy and identified that James had been spoiled as a kid. After the first session, he said that although he did not feel any different, he realised that he did not immediately want to smoke cannabis. Just three days later he did not need to smoke, and said, â€œIâ€™ve never had a smoke since.â€
Since quitting, James says his relationship with Claire is much better. He went on to say, â€œAfter years of being angry and feeling frustrated, I am a completely different person, a nicer person, and a healthier person. I even eat better, and I have started going to the gym.â€
He said he is looking to the future now and wishes he had given up long ago.
Source: Liverpool Echo