E-Pao! Education - The time to stop is NOW !

The time to stop is NOW !

By: Sanjoo Thangjam *

The term addiction has been used to refer to both addiction to alcohol and other drugs. However, several aspects of alcoholism and drug addiction and their manifestations are written separately.

What are the characteristics of addiction?

The characteristic of addiction are as follows:
It is a primary disease:
As it has been established that addiction per se is a disease which causes mental, physical and spiritual problems. These ass-ociated problems can't be effectively dealt with unle-ss addiction is treated first.

It is a progressive disease:
If it is not treated, the disease progresses from bad to worse. Sometimes there may be occasional or intermittent period where one feels that there is improvement, but over a period of time, the course of disease will only be towards deterioration.

It will be a terminal disease:
A person taking drugs or drinking alcohol excessively, may die due to some medical complication. But on close observation, it will be found that the complication itself was induced by drugs or alcohol. Thus, drug or alcohol is the real agent behind the person's death.

It is an incurable but treatable/arrestable:
The disease of addiction is incurable but it can be successfully arrested or rather treated with the help of timely, appropriate and comprehensive treatment. Treatment aims at total abstinence from drugs or alcohol.

Total abstinence means staying away from drugs/alcohol totally for life. Ingestion of even a very small amount of alcohol or drugs will lead the person to obsessive drinking or drug taking within a few days and he will lose control.

In other words, an addict or a chemical depen-dent person can never go back to drinking or drug taking again, even if he/she remained sober or cle-an for quite a number of years. Hence, addiction is considered a permanent disease.

2. What are the phases of alcoholism?

There are three distinctly noticeable phases in the disease of alcoholism.

Early phase:

Increased tolerance: This is the first warning sign of the development of alcoholism. It is the body's ability to overcome the usual effect of a drug so that an increased dosage is needed to experience the same effect as before.

Black out: This is a period of temporary amnesia which occurs during the drinking days. This is not 'falling flat' or unconsciousness, however during black out, the person may go through many activities, without being able to remember even a trace of them later on.

Preoccupation with drinking: Even when the alcoholic is not drinking, he is always pre-occupied with thoughts of how, when and where he could get the next drink.

Avoiding any talk about alcohol: When anyone talks about alcohol, the alcoholic moves away feeling guilty about his drinking.

Middle Phase:

Loss of control: Earlier, there is lose of control over the amount of alcohol consumed. Later on, the alcoholic loses control over the quantity, time, place and occasion of drinking.

Justifying his drinking (denial): The alcoholic feels guilty and depressed, and so as to reduce such feelings, he develops an elaborate defence system of reasons and excuses for his drinking.

Grandiosity: This is the time where the alcoholic exhibits grandiose behaviour which is inconsistent with his financial and professional capabilities. e.g. spends much more than that he can afford, talks 'Big' about himself.

Abstaining from alcohol for a temporary period: At this stage, he stops taking alcohol for some days to prove he has control over himself. But soon goes back to exercise drinking.

Changing the drinking pattern: This is another precaution that the alcoholic tries, he changes his friends, the time and place of taking alcohol. An attempt towards self-control, but none of this works and helps so he again continues and goes back to drinking.

Chronic phase:

This is phase is characteristic by noticeable phy-sical, mental and social deterioration (Spiritual bankruptcy).

Binge drinking: The alcoholic drinks continuously for days together without caring for anyone or anything.

Ethical breakdown : The alcoholic steals, lies or goes to any extent to buy alcohol in order to maintain his daily supply of alcohol

Paranoia: The alcoholic becomes suspicious of everyone, thus becoming a victim of circumstances.

Hallucinosis: The alcoholic experiences hallucination. They may be auditory (imaging voice speaking), visual (seeing non-existent things) and tactile (feeling as though something is crawling on the skin).

Lack of motor co-ordination: This is the stage where the alcoholic experience shakes and tremors though not for the first time. Previously, he could control them by taking more alcohol, now they are more pronounced and alcohol does not help in 'quietening' them.

Turning to God: Becomes desperate and turns to God for help is a help to maintain a supply of alcoholic to manage his drinking. The alcoholic pleaded God not to remove his desire of alcohol. This is the final stage when the vicio-us cycle begins.

He drinks just for the sake of drinking, drinks only to stay alive. When the alcoholic reaches this stage, two things may happen to him. He either continues to take alcohol and becomes mentally ill or he continue drinking and die a premature, painful death.

The only solution to this problem is to stop drinking totally for life.

What are the phases of addiction to drugs (Drug Addiction)?

Just like 'Alcoholism', dependency on any other drug is also a disease - a primary, progressive, yet treatable disease. Here also abstinence is the one and only solution to the problem. The disease is progressive and goes through defined stages as in the case of alcoholism.

Early stage:

- Quantity of drug intake increases and doses are taken more frequently. Increasingly, more time is spent using the drugs and in being in the intoxicated state.
- Alters situations to facilitate increased use of drugs - reduces time and money, spent on other non -drug behaviour. e.g. cuts down money spent in the other activities to ensure sufficient money for the drug.
- Thoughts and conversation centre often around drugs. Thinks about when he can use the drug. From whom he can get or how he is going to pay at a lower price.
- Rationalises his use of drug. May tell himself that drugs are not dangerous to use and 'drug warning' are not based on facts.

Middle Stage:

- Tolerance for the drug increases dramatically
- Addiction develops - he needs the drug to ensure a sense of well being and later on, to avoid withdrawal.
- Is unable to limit drug use. Frequently, loses control over the occasions when he uses drugs.
- Resolves often to stop drug use, but his repeated efforts only fail. Substitute drugs are tried.
- Maintains hidden supply of the drugs because the very thought about its absence is threatening.
- Begins to have problems at school, college and place of work.
- Uses drugs to handle unpleasant emotional state and sometime uses them when he anticipates problems.
- Family relationship becomes strained - neglects responsibilities; is not dependable.
- Personality shifts are observable.
- Alienation from friends who were close to him prior to drug use. Interest in extra-curricular/leisures activities decline considerably.
- Neglect of personal hygiene - poor grooming and poor eating habits.
- Feeling of anxiety, guilt or shame may strengthen.

Advanced stage:

- Drug use turns continuous
- Loss of control over the drug is complete. Experience-less and less pleasure from the drug but continues using it to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
- Cheaper drugs are us-ed when the drug of choi-ces cannot be obtained.
- Becomes increasingly dependent on other people to carry on the pretext of living. He often eats only because is pressurised to.
- Social relationship are almost non-existent and companionship is limited almost exclusively to drug addicts.
- Persons may leave ho-me and start living alone.
- Many face premature death due to poor health condition.

Chemically dependent person may exhibit many or most of the signs and symptoms listed above in a variety of combinations. The problems or damages which may follow also occur in diverse combinations. The degree to which the dependency is developed also varies widely.
So it is the responsibility of those people working in the field of addiction and general public as well, not to simply label the person as an addict but rather to specify what signs and symptoms support such diagnosis.

(The writer is a counsellor, MRIS De-addiction Centre, Tera)

Sanjoo Thangjam wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on October 18th, 2006.

* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.

  • Sangai Day 10: Closing #2 :: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 5: Koireng Dance :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 06 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • In remembering Oting, emphasis on Solution
  • Activism against Gender based Violence
  • World Cup 2022- 1st Round: Hope & Despair
  • Is your life worth tobacco ash ?
  • COVID-19 : Impact in Manipur :: News Timeline
  • Sans irrigation toxic food crops imminent
  • Putting off polls & deprivation of rights
  • 60th Mr Manipur Bodybuilding #1 :: Gallery
  • Sangai Fest: Poumai Dance :: Gallery
  • Sangai Fest: Khulang Eshei :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 05 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • Medicines that save us from STI
  • Taj Mahal - The white wonder
  • World Soil Day
  • Oting killing: Protracted probe imminent
  • How many tourists visited during Sangai Fest
  • Sangai Day 1: Laihui Folk Music #2 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 04 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • Aeromycology over Kachai lemon plantation #2
  • Fostering NE-Bangladesh ties through Assam
  • Medical camp at Khongsang
  • Brighten your winter face with pumpkin
  • Stray cattle menace & food self-sufficiency
  • Accusing fingers raised by PAPPM
  • Sangai Fest: Sayol Sangai Chatkoi :: Gallery
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2022 #5: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 03 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • International Day of Persons with Disabilities
  • The unseen masks men put on
  • Organic seed production- Issue & strategy #4
  • Christmas Carol Competition at Leimakhong
  • Sangai Fest: Thang Ta :: Gallery
  • Sangai Fest: Chiru Dance :: Gallery
  • Sports sees no gender, Sports has no gender
  • COVID-19 Status 02 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • RFYC Naupang League in Mizoram
  • MPSC is going ahead of UPSC
  • Session on Meditation & Mental Health
  • Challenges stacked up for Manipuri women
  • Antagonists of ST demand for Meiteis
  • Sangai Day 10: Closing #1 :: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 10: Crowd scene :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 01 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • Will Thailand lead in antimicrobial resistance
  • Webninar @NEHU : India-Japan Relations
  • Keeping up with time :: Poem
  • World AIDS Day 2022 at Tamenglong
  • Doctor-Govt stalemate, public in peril
  • Progress of the Naga peace talk
  • Sangai Day 9: Dancing Drummers :: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 2: Aimol Dance :: Gallery
  • December Calendar for Year 2022 : Tools
  • COVID-19 Status 30 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • A flight of the Hornbill
  • Working with children as career
  • Stable situation essential for attracting tourist
  • Selling Manipur to outside world
  • Sangai Day 8: Shumang Leela :: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 2: Kom Dance :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 29 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Innocence :: Poem
  • Foreign Secy's Myanmar visit ... Naga peace
  • Cancellation of residential proof certs
  • Derelict teachers threat to govt schools
  • Many questions, but no answers
  • Sangai Day 8: Food Stall #1 :: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 7: Vaiphei Dance :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 28 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • 1st & 2nd session of 12th Manipur Assembly
  • Organic seed production- Issue & strategy #3
  • IFFI means to upscale to Manipuri Cinema
  • Continuous bid to save endangered ponies
  • Arguments over ST : Meiteis are indigenes
  • Sangai Day 6: Elowe: Dzuko Valley :: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 5: Khunung Eshei :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 27 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Alligator weed: Indigenous fodder resource
  • Two lives :: Poem
  • People don't actually care !!
  • The beauty in tea
  • Healthy response to Sangai Fest
  • Lessons from Japanese fans at WC
  • Sangai Day 5: Fashion parade :: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 3: Thangal Dance :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 26 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Masterclasses add value to 53rd IFFI at Goa
  • 7th Charuangc 2022 : Rongmei of Delhi-NCR
  • Miss India from Manipur
  • Startup Innovation Conclave 1.0
  • National Constitution Day at Lilong
  • Sangai Day 4: 3 Types Of Drums :: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 3: Chothe Dance :: Gallery
  • Involuntary Displacement in Manipur
  • Forgotten feature Film comes alive at IFFI
  • Will we protect medicines that protect us
  • God gives us our daily bread...
  • NPF consultative meeting at Zunheboto
  • Lapses in education laid bare by student
  • Adding a new flavour to War on Drugs
  • Sangai Day 3: Polo International :: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 2: Tangkhul Dance :: Gallery
  • 1st L. Keivom Memorial Day
  • Eina Khankhiba Natte : Movie Review
  • COVID-19 Status 24 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Eight Meet of Astronomers concluded at MU
  • 'Manipuri films projecting Manipuri culture'
  • Condemn govts of Assam & Meghalaya
  • Corruption-free Manipur resolve under scrutiny
  • Asia at the World Cup
  • Sangai Day 2: Khutpak Chatkoi #1 :: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 2: Tarao Dance :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 23 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Screening of Manipuri films at IFFI
  • Nagaland Govt has no economic policy: NPF
  • Organic seed production- Issue & strategy #2
  • Reinvent Northeast - Dimapur launched
  • Uneasy calm in northeast as border rows rage
  • FIFAWC and Sangai Festival : Splendid recipe
  • Ningol Chakkouba @ Pune :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 22 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Ningol Chakouba organized at Pune
  • Free mega health camp at Nagamapal
  • Outlaw glyphosate and its derivatives
  • Creators Meet of Tripura at Agartala
  • No respite from drug and tobacco threats
  • Manipur: Fountainhead of drugs ?
  • Sangai Day 1: Laihui Folk Music #1 :: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 1: Opening ceremony :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 21 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Copa Manipur at Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • South Asia's film market features Manipur
  • ST Demand: Decided by merits; not by poll
  • Ecotoxicology- needed to save living beings
  • 'Look East policy into Act East Policy'
  • Tourism promotional fest litmus test for state
  • Sangai & Pony, the twin face of Manipur
  • Tarpon Chaklen Katpa #2 :: Gallery
  • Sangai Festival 2022 :: Activities List
  • The Dream Kangleipak :: Book Review
  • COVID-19 Status 20 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • 53rd IFFI featuring Manipuri Cinema kicks off
  • World Toilet Day 2022
  • Pulicat Lagoon, Flamingos' haven
  • Amid substance abuse, thrust on open gym
  • FIFA World Cup 2022
  • 1st CM's Sagol Kangjei C'ship :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 19 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Sangai Fest as a way to Look East Policy
  • 1st Chief Minister's Sagol Kangjei C'ship
  • Organic seed production- Issue & strategy #1
  • For PM Modi, G20 has come at the right time
  • Rock band Arogya releases latest single
  • Community Ningol Chakouba #1 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 18 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Out of the heart comes the issues of life
  • NE Startup Showcase @ Manipur Tech Hub
  • Immortal Gallows :: Poem
  • Workshop on Amrita Meditation at RGU ArP
  • Skin Pigmentation in Winter
  • Influx issue headache for all indigenes
  • Wanted: Visionary leaders :: Follies of past
  • The changing idioms of Manipuri theatre
  • COVID-19 Status 17 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • DFC Shillong launched with Model workshop
  • Antimicrobial resistance... to reverse progress
  • 2nd North East Olympic Games closes
  • Unending quota system & National excellence
  • Solar energy can help India achieve net-zero
  • Sangai Festival as launch pad for tourism
  • All eyes on Qatar
  • Manipur Journalist Awards #1 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 16 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Delegates for IFFI, Goa
  • Intellectual Class- First Line of Defense
  • Who are ST in true spirit of Constitution
  • Journalism is a public good ...
  • Vaccine transported through Drones in ArP
  • Mass tree felling depreciates existence...
  • ST demand : Let Delhi have the say
  • 5th Kwatha Festival #1 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 15 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • This Eleventh Edition of Sangai Festival
  • The garden of Kew #2
  • NE International Fashion Week 2022
  • Housing system for sow & piglets
  • Doctors grieving relentlessly, Govt silent
  • Law catching up after 21 years
  • Leima Jagoi @ Nongshaba #1 :: Gallery
  • Manipur Technology innovation Hub
  • North East BJP Karyakartas Sammelan
  • Supreme Court call for revisit of reservation
  • Rural Immersion Camp at West Kameng
  • World Diabetes Day 2022
  • Undeserving PDS rice beneficiaries
  • Leaving the doors wide open
  • On author, research & publication #3
  • COVID-19 Status 13 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • MSAD : newly elected executives for 2022-23
  • 'Trust deficit' in Naga talks
  • Professor Bimola : A Life Fully Lived
  • Love's Twist :: Poem
  • Rani Gaidinliu Training Camp concluded
  • Job for all promise as unemployed rises
  • Presenting Manipur to the world
  • Manipur Fashion Extravaganza #3 :: Gallery
  • Seminar on Role of Women in Sports : Report
  • The great Asian Highway : Tokyo to Istanbul
  • Seminar : Reconstruction of Education
  • 4th National Lok Adalat for the year, 2022
  • Rishi Sunak .. is a pucca English Burra sahib
  • Ningol Chakkouba : Gift presents :: Gallery
  • Conference on Metallomics @ Manipur Univ
  • An awakening sprout in darkness :: Poem
  • Narration from a man who chase mountains
  • Jobs @ JCRE skill solutions, Thangmeiband
  • Masterclass on Social Photography kicks off
  • Training on mushroom cultivation
  • Probe into PMGSY project blot on graft-free
  • Opinion poll & quest for ST status
  • MANITEX @ Nilakuthi #1 :: Gallery
  • Downloadable Manipuri Calendar for 2023
  • Camping @Shirui Lily Fest #2 :: Gallery
  • Aku Zeliang : Young Talent of the Year Award
  • Manipur in UN's drug cartel map...
  • Hiyang Tannaba @ Loktak #3 :: Gallery
  • Application: AgriEntrepreneur across Manipur
  • Sangai Festival 2022 :: Program & Venues
  • Ningol Chakouba at Bengaluru
  • Linthoi Chanambam- Judo Player :: Gallery
  • Indo-Naga Talks (2012-) :: News Timeline
  • Hari-Uthang Kang Chingba :: Gallery
  • Ningol on way to her mapam #2 :: Gallery
  • Kut Festival @ Churachandpur : Gallery
  • AMAND Pune: Cultural Program #2 : Gallery
  • Ningol on way to her mapam #1 :: Gallery
  • Okram Kumar : Archaeological researcher
  • Mera Houchongba @ Kangla #2 :: Gallery
  • Olympians & National awardees of Manipur
  • Rules of English Pronunciation : Download
  • Sub-Syllables in English : Book Download