3 Easy Steps to Break an Addiction

Breaking free of addiction

Written by Kabir Salisu Ali

September 7, 2020

Many people find themselves engaging in some acts that affect their lives negatively, acts that disrupt their physical, social, and emotional health yet continue doing it times and more with no seemingly sign of stoppage. Are you one of them? Do you have a habit that haunts your well-being and yet you couldn’t stop it? Then, this article will teach you how to break an addiction.

Addiction is an abnormal condition during which there is uncontrollable engagement in acts that give intrinsic pleasure to the brain and negative undesirable physical, social, and/or emotional consequences to the persona of the addict. It can be substance addiction (alcohol, drugs, Marijuana), video games, porn, the internet (check the article on the impact of social media here) sex, gambling (bets), and so on. One might find himself used to any of these and not able to stop despite the negative consequences it has in his life. How does one find himself trapped in the webs of addiction?

How Does Addiction Develop?

Humans are naturally curious. We like putting new things to ‘experiment’ and see the outcome even if we have seen their effect on others. It’s that curiosity that makes us try out things that we later get addicted to. We all know that the brain is the organ responsible for the control of our general body function and actions. When one tries an act, say drink a little alcohol, a chemical called dopamine is released in the brain and makes it ‘happy’ and crave for more (just the way you become happy when you are given sweet things and wants to have more).

The brain makes us redo that act again for it to have the dopamine released in it and feel happy one time more. The cycle develops with subsequent desires and trials to satisfy the ever-growing need of that ‘sweet’ chemical by the brain. The brain needs the pleasure, and so subdues the body to perform the harmful act, and the brain gets rewarded with the sweet in turn. And so the vicious cycle continues. One might say the brain is selfish, but aren’t we all?

Dangers of Addiction

Although most dangers of addiction are well known to the addict, and that is what makes him feel the unrest while or after engaging in the act, we need to shine the light the dangers for those that ain’t yet involved to stay miles away from the cycle. Here are some dangerous effects of addiction.

The Federal Ministry of Health warns that smokers are liable to die young.

Labels on Nigerian cigarettes packets

1. Physical Consequences

We all know that substance abuse has negative effects on our bodily health. Alcohol consumption damages the liver, smoking damages the lungs, drugs affect the brain, and screens affect the eyes. Addiction also weakens one’s body, mind, and spirit. All these sums up to slash one’s chances of living a healthy life and sends him off to the ‘next level’ untimely.

2. Social Consequences

Being an addict makes one less attractive and powerful in society. People naturally loathe addicts because they have high chances of committing crimes under the effect of the substance, or on the desire to act on their act of addiction. A marijuana addict is less likely to be liked in society. Addicts are regarded as people that couldn’t control themselves hence are not fit to be given the power to control and lead others.

3. Emotional Consequences

Addicts develop a dependence on the substance or the act to the extent that they could do whatever it takes to satisfy their desires. In the process, they make stupid decisions that might come to hunt their emotional stability, causing imbalance and emotional crisis. Addicts are most often at crossroads with their emotions and can’t understand them. They are most likely to suffer anxiety, depression, insecurity, and think of suicide more often than the average human being.

3. Spiritual Consequences

Some acts of addictions are spiritual abominations and hence undesirable. Whenever done, the addict feels spiritually detached from his faith and feels low, guilty, and temporarily worthless.

How to Break an Addiction

Whatever kind of addiction one suffers from, the common pathway that leads to the addiction is one, the rewarding effect of the act to the brain. So, the solution is also one, withdrawal of the rewarding effect by dismantling the cycle. How? Here are three easy steps on how you can easily break an addiction.

1. Acceptance

One needs to accept the fact that he is addicted to something that’s actively or potentially harmful. He should believe that he has the problem of addiction and needs to breakfree for his own betterment and development. For example, people that don’t believe are addicted to porn or video games couldn’t desist from them. Rather, they continue doing so, not beliving it has a detrimental effect on them while it keeps depriving them of useful utilization of their time and resources.

One needs to accept and take responsibility for their actions and decides on his willingness to stop the addictive habit.

2. Gradual Reduction and Withdrawal

The trick is to reduce the amount (in case of substance) or the intensity (in case of an act) of the addictive one step at a time. Someone that takes a packet of cigarettes daily might decide to reduce to ten sticks, then five after a week, and so on till he no longer smokes a stick.

This is the hardest part of recovery, one might encounter withdrawal effects because the brain is being denied what it likes which ranges from feeling unrest, headaches, anxiety, and detachment. But with perseverance, all the effects would leave and the person will emerge addiction free. It is foolhardy to think you will stop altogether one time, as it won’t ever happen. Instead, work on gradual reduction and you might just break your addiction.

3. Avoid Stimulators

Every addiction has a stimulator, something that triggers the addict to engage. It could be one’s partners in the act, the environment, pictures, sighting the substance, having weird thoughts, being alone, etc. It’s the responsibility of the addict to observe and find out what his stimulators are and avoid them at all costs to prevent the risk of relapse. This is as equally important as the previous two, as many addicts have found themselves back in the folds of addiction due to not avoiding stimulators. Change friends, relocate to a new place if it will help you beat addiction.

By adapting to the listed guidelines, the brain will surely get used to the absence of ‘the sweet’ and restore to normalcy with successive reduction of the withdrawal effects. Henceforth, an addiction-free happy life could be achieved.

Break free, stay happy!

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  1. Bashir sambo

    Well done! Kabir Salis Ali this article would really help so many individuals including me, May Almighty Allah reward you for this. This is the kind of article we need in this generation that’s full with so many addictions. MAY ALMIGHTY ALLAH GRANT US FORGIVENESS AND UNDERSTANDING… Jazakallah…

    • Kabir Salisu Ali

      Ameen, Jazakallah brother

  2. Sadiq Yunusa

    I’ve been a hookah addict for more than 9years now, I tried quitting and it worked but I came back fully again because the people surrounding me are my sessions partners so I couldn’t resist, Thanks for d article, found some useful tips.

    • Kabir Salisu Ali

      I feel sorry for you.
      You should resist the urge to mingle with your fellow addicts especially in the periods you normally engage in the hookah sessions. Check out my other article about the harms of hookah to your health, it’ll give you more reasons to quit.
      You’ll be free Inshaa Allah. Stay strong 💪.


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