Coach Calling: Students, addiction can be a menace but here's the way out 

Out of more than a decade of experience, the one thing that I can bet my life on is how people get ADDICTED in the beginning
Here are the tips | (Pic: EdexLive)
Here are the tips | (Pic: EdexLive)

I'm literally spellbound and can't even imagine how to express my happiness and relief. I begin with such enthusiasm because I read in the news that all colleges and other educational institutions in Hyderabad have been requested to constitute anti-drug committees in an effort to combat the threat of drugs and the HELL that it let's loose when people get ADDICTED to it.

I've written quite a few columns about this menace and it's something that's worth repeating, although today, I'd like to educate everyone and bring about awareness on how the process of getting hooked on drugs starts so that it'll help everyone here avoid thinking about it in the first place altogether.

#Coach's Equation to understand addiction 
Recreation - addiction - desperation - destruction

Out of more than a decade of experience, the one thing that I can bet my life on is how people get ADDICTED in the beginning. It starts with, "It's not an addiction, but only a recreation" phase. This, in my opinion, can be said for almost 75% of the people whom I've observed or interviewed who use drugs. The remaining? Well, some do it for other reasons like to help INCLUDE themselves in 'the' group, or peer pressure and there are also those who give in to the pattern of self-destruction due to various reasons. 

The RECREATIONAL users may also take up using drugs for the above-mentioned reasons but, it begins with an ILLUSION of being able to exert SELF-CONTROL and be within limits which makes them feel, "I CAN HANDLE IT!". This attitude not only makes them BLIND and keeps them from seeing the ELEPHANT in the room, but also makes them feel that they can SLAY lions too going forward, here the metaphorical lion being addiction. 

The RECREATION slowly, but gradually, becomes an addiction unknowingly because of three reasons. 

The smoker's circle 
I call this the smoker's circle based on my experience because most smokers tend to become the best of friends when they meet anywhere. Initially, each may be smoking one cigarette a day, but as the bond develops and the rapport becomes stronger... they tend to meet more often and thereby, smoke more too. 

I emphasise two aspects here — one, there is an unknowing urge to meet MORE to become CLOSER to the person. Two, there is an unconscious increase in consumption too. 

In the former, there is an URGE to develop more relationships or the contrary also might be true, wherein, more relationships are developed because of this habit which is nothing but DECEPTIVE ADDICTION! 

In the latter, there aren't any alarm bells ringing and these individuals will still not be able to fathom the fact that they are ALREADY ADDICTED as they don't see any cause for concern since it's unconsciously developed. In this phase too, people still feel that they are IN CONTROL, but hardly realise that they've already allowed the DEVIL to enter their SANCTUM. 

The ADDICTION phase is where all hell breaks loose and wreaks havoc in the lives of those who REALISE that they have an addiction. 

Birds of the same feather... Get HIGH TOGETHER! 
People criticise the WALK OF SHAME here, this path becomes a LIFE OF SHAME. This is the phase wherein addicts only meet up with addicts to get high together. Family is avoided, friends are forgotten, careers are lost and so is the ABILITY TO BE CONSCIOUS! 

Eat to live but not live to eat? Well! In this phase, living to fly and only getting high becomes the reason to LIVE. But all hope isn't lost as there is a possibility of rehabilitation and getting one's life together in this phase if help is sought or provided. 

The DESPERATION phase is ten times more chaotic and I really am at a loss for words to describe it, but I'm sure you get the drift. It is in this phase wherein people are unable to manage without a FIX (a colloquial term for a dose of drugs). Due to the high rate of addiction, they start experiencing WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS more frequently and always need to be high to survive. 

This is also the phase, wherein, I've seen addicts steal anything and everything from home and gradually progress to doing the same from the house of relatives and friends. If that also doesn't suffice, that's when they get sucked into anti-social and criminal activities to keep their habit alive. Survival of the fittest? No! Here it's survival of the richest! 

The DESTRUCTION phase is self-explanatory as by the time an individual reaches this phase, almost all bridges are burnt. Their families would've given up hope, friends would have deserted them and last but not the least, many individuals, in an attempt to COPE with the world crumbling around them, tend to OD (overdose) and take their own lives. What started as a recreation ultimately ends up in the destruction of both self and others. 

How do you avoid this and cope?
Here's my own simple Coach's ormula to ensure that you don't indulge in RECREATION and also help others with REHABILITATION.

I call it the SET protocol.

The one thing that I've time and again emphasised on is to be SHAMELESS, forget about what others around you will think and express your issues to family, genuine relatives or trustworthy friends. This helps you VENT your issues, feelings and get a grip on your emotions.

E - Exercise
It may sound stupid but I've seen people get a HIGH by working out and keeping themselves active. This happens literally as the body produces more ENDORPHINS which are often dubbed as the HAPPY HORMONES and also metaphorically, as people now have a healthy and safe way to vent their frustrations physically. If the mind is weak, make your body strong and the mind too shall gain strength!

T - Therapy
Seeking therapy isn't taboo anymore. Enough has been said about mental well-being and the importance of mental wellness. The most effective has been any multi-pronged approach that involves cognitive behavioural therapy along with hypnotherapy and prescription medications. 

My one request to you all, SEEK HELP as soon as you feel that UNEASY GUT FEELING as we're all blessed with an ACCURATE SYSTEM of decision-making which is our CONSCIENCE. If you're STRONG-WILLED and have ensured that you're IMMUNE to drugs, then please allow me to depute you to become a lifesaver, use the above information and save as many as you can.

Let's all get HIGH by HELPING OTHERS, BEING GENUINE AND being HUMANE. Drugs then... will cease to exist!

With regards and lots of love,
Adarsh Benakappa Basavaraj
"Your Coach"

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