The Substance abuse and prevention coach at Safe places Ug, Mr. Bill Bekunda who also refers to himself as a “sober alcoholic” and recovery coach, has cautioned people against the improper consumption of substances, saying that most of them are potentially addictive and could weigh heavily on the victim.
Mr. Bekunda explained that addiction is the loss of control over a substance or behavior, which makes one practice the behavior repeatedly even when it is causing harm to them, their family, and loved ones.
“We can become addicted to almost anything. I have interacted with several people with different addictions. The most common are gambling, alcohol, and drugs. People don’t usually acknowledge sex and religious fanatism as addictions. Everything you are attached to can become an addiction if it crosses the line between normal behavior and starts to pose self-harm or harm to others,” he said.
According to Bekunda, an addiction makes people lose control over their actions and behaviors and their actions afterward.
“At first, a person struggles to stop themselves and do the activity normally as other people. But most people do not know that when someone is addicted to something, they not only fail to stop themselves from using but also fail to stop using it,” he said.
Further, he stated that addiction occurs when someone introduces an intoxicant to their bodies by consuming excess amounts of substances.
The coach explained that addiction starts with having fun and someone having the ability to control themselves, which graduates to having fun and problems like bad hangovers. However, people usually drink more alcohol to cure hangovers. Even though it makes a person feel better, they become worse when they repeat the process and become addicts.
“People drink for pleasure to release dopamine which is a pleasure-giving chemical. When dopamine is released, a person feels good without putting effort into it because normally dopamine is supposed to be released when someone is happy and stabilize when they return to normal,” he explained.
He advised people to seek help once they recognize a change in negative behavior before it becomes too late to reverse when it has caused mental health illnesses such as schizophrenia, Bipolar disorder, and anxiety.
Mr. Bekunda, who was previously addicted to alcohol, said that during recovery, he realized that he could be social without being influenced and acknowledged that he did not have underlying disorders such as anxiety or depression that could have worsened the situation.
He, therefore, asked people experiencing addiction to examine their behavioral change patterns to seek help because there is always a 70 percent chance of recovery.
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