Addiction and recovery
Drugs, alcohol, sugar, food, gambling and a lot more
The public's perception needs to be re-educated to stop regarding addicts with little compassion and as losers in society, but rather to support them in their journey to recovery as people who need treatment, much like any other illness., Dr Nora Volkow, Director of NIDA a subdivision of NIH, one of the world's foremost medical research centres in Bethesda, USA.
Addiction is an example of negative brain plasticity. The NIDA defines Addiction as follows,
Addiction is a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterised by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences.
What are these harmful consequences?
- Loss of job and family, often ending on the street
- Health often leading to catastrophic consequences
- Progressive plunge into severe depression, often leading to thoughts of suicide
What causes addiction?
Research of the last few decades, but mostly over the last ten years, has advanced in leaps and bounds and we know today that during the development of addiction, brain structures and brain functions change, which in turn leads to changes in behaviour. This leads addicts in ever tighter cycles back to their drug of choice. Addiction is therefore an ever increasing and spiralling loss of control over the consumption of a substance. It is an acquired brain disease because, what was once a choice in taking the first step is now an compulsion driven by changed brain chemistry and changed brain function. The development of addiction is marked by the erosion of brain pathways needed to make strategic decisions. These pathways constitute free will. Is it then surprising that addicts don't have the will to quit? These neural pathways are lost. The good news is that these pathways can and do recover.
Because of these brain changes, it is vital to understand that for anyone wanting to recover from addiction, there first needs to be total abstinence, sometimes with the help of rehab to detox. Secondly, extended behavioural therapy is essential the moment one comes out of rehab. Sometimes it is important to resort to pharmacological help during the first few months of treatment to rebalance irregular brain firing and to alleviate cravings.
I developed my addiction treatment model after completing my studies in biopsychology, neuropsychology, neuropharmacology, addiction management studies with the University of Adelaide in Australia and the applied addiction research science from NIDA. This model proves effective in helping one regain freedom from drugs and for one to remain free.
The model is split into 4 steps
- Providing one with the latest insights in addiction research to help one better understand one's own brain. One learns to work with one's brain instead of feeling that one is losing the battle because the brain is working against one.
- Uncover the subconscious reasons that drove one to drugs (and this may not be what one thinks they were).
- Resolve and overcome these issues through intensive medium-term therapy, establishing healthier thought structures and behaviour patterns, setting up new life strategies and reintegrating back into society.
- Long-term (2 years) supervision (one session every 1 to 2 months) to ensure one remains focused and dedicated to one's new way of life.
Why extended supervision?
This is the timeframe the brain needs for its structures to recover, reconnect and heal, acording to the latest scientific research, such as NIDA. The path to freedom can be shorter or longer depending on the stage of addiction one finds oneself in (which is subject to my ongoing assessment). Recovery depends on efficient therapy as well as engagement and dedication to oneself. The process to embrace new thinking patterns ultimately leads to healthier behaviour. From the outset, the program helps one abstain from drugs by implementing many different steps, each contributing to a new lifestyle while giving the brain and mind the necessary time to heal.
A frank and honest message of hope and inspiration from a recovered meth addict:
When I first met Yvonne I was addicted to Crystal Meth and drinking daily. I was in a place where I didn't really care whether I lived or died, and after using would sleep for days trying to recover. Yvonne pointed out to me that if I continued down this road that DEATH would follow within a few short years. At first, this had little effect on my habits or the want to stop. Yvonne helped me over this hurdle through powerful hypnotic sessions reaching levels no other treatments I used could achieve. It was not just about breaking a habit, but rather helping you to get in touch with your inner being and helping you decide that it was time to stop.
Then to further my introduction to myself, Yvonne through a series of hypnosis therapy sessions helped me discover the real soul of my being, and helped be learn to meditate and find peace with myself. This is an extremely powerful tool, and when accepted and done in the right manner has incredible effects at both healing and making you aware of self. Your true inner being which is numbed by drugs and as such you are living a life which is not you. It is not an easy path and you will experience plenty of conflict along the way, but through Yvonne's guidance you will prevail because at a given point it becomes about you wanting to live again, and negative addiction falls away.
Does addiction ever leave you truly? I can't answer this for everyone. But for me it became about reprogramming my brain to my passions whether it was business or sports or the arts. I found my own answers and solutions, through Yvonne's guidance. At no time was a programme laid out on how to heal myself. Everyone is different and your solutions will be unique to you, and Yvonne truly understands this.
Yvonne taught me to look inward and not out, and to build a love for myself again, and to forgive myself for the MISTAKES I thought I had made. She then taught me that there are no mistakes in life. Just lessons and how we grow from them. To take the negative in EVERY situation and make it a positive, to change negative thought/talk and turn it positive. How you think and act is how you live. Getting up from the failure we perceive and facing it is what makes you stronger. When you are under the influence of drugs/alcohol one acts on impulse and emotion, and there is no self-control/respect for self or discipline so the decline in every situation will be negative. Through daily positive steps done over a period of time you will flourish.
Yvonne taught me how to meditate, where I could work on myself daily by looking in and not out. Along this path I found gratitude/humility/respect and self-discipline. All of these are the traits that drugs/alcohol/ steal away from us, and by daily work and working with Yvonne in sessions I found myself again. I then learnt that a bad day for the EGO is a great day for the soul. I eventually reached a point where it was not about giving up drugs/alcohol as a habit, but rather there was no need for them because I was so happy within and I liked being who I was. So did others around me.
There have been relapses from time to time during my journey of recovery, and the trap of falling back into the old habits will remain real my whole life, but with Yvonne's help I have found that these became less and less the more I found inner peace.
On your journey with Yvonne you will find that fear/doubt and procrastination etc exist only within our minds, and she will help you overcome this too. Yvonne also helped me discover what my purpose was in life and once I was on this path I stopped thinking about drugs as they just faded away from having any involvement in my life. My addictions have just been redirected into my passions which are healthy, sustainable and benefit myself and many others in the world.
Yvonne is far more than a hypnotherapist. She is a life coach and mentor as well. She is a successful business woman in multiple fields and has co-authored a book on addiction. She holds leadership workshops for top management at companies and helps team leaders to learn how to motivate staff etc. So conversations and sessions with Yvonne can go from addiction to the highest management levels of leadership, and she will have solutions to help you as she did me. Yvonne has also faced cancer and with the right mind-set through introspection, meditation and lifestyle changes has overcome the odds. So when working consulting Yvonne you are dealing with someone who has walked the walk in experience.
Lastly, and I think one of the most important points that I have discovered through this journey is that life needs to have a purpose. Yvonne can guide you down this road, which is different for everyone, and when you ready to travel it. Your outer world is a reflection of your inner world. Learn to enrich your inner self and the outer world will flourish accordingly in family/friends/health and wealth. So to this I add when you have a purpose in life getting up in the morning and doing the work you love, living life becomes the biggest joy of all. I was a self-made millionaire at the age of 25, lived on a golf course sailed yachts and rode horses. A truly amazing life. At 35 I became addicted to drugs being worth nearly 30 million rand. I lost everything because of drugs. However on my journey I found the happiness I was always looking for "INNER PEACE". I found what I was really looking for not knowing my WHOLE LIFE, what I was looking for. The journey is not materialism but introspection of one's self and the consistent improvement thereof and through this you will achieve levels in the physical world you had no idea about on all levels of love/wealth/health/success/ and happiness.
One last thought that made a profound difference along my journey with Yvonne was co-reading books written by Robin Sharma (world famous). Here he mentions ALIGNING four sets.
- Soul set
- Mind set
- Heart set
- Health set
When the above is achieved everything is possible, and the place of DRUGS in your life will be beaten. Yvonne can help you walk this path and understands if fully.
To Yvonne I say THANK YOU for not only saving my life, but also for helping give me real meaning to the life I lead now. My Journey with you is far from over, as what I learn each time I see you is a gift that is truly appreciated.
Drug and alcohol addiction
These types of addiction are also known as SUDs. They develop due to the destructive changes in brain structures such as the reward system and the behaviour control systems in the brain and due to the actual addictive propensity of the substance itself. Substances like ethanol in alcoholic drinks, cocaine from the coca plant are poisonous to the brain. They can overstimulate some parts of the brain while suppressing other parts, thereby affecting the overall functioning of this delicate organ.
Science shows how sugar addiction functions in the brain very much like recreational drugs do. Sugar affects the brain's dopamine and opiate receptors thereby changing brain structures leading to obesity. One must therefore address these issues as one would for drugs and alcohol addiction.
We group behaviours such as gambling, gaming, porn, internet addiction, etcetera, under the label of behavioural addictions. Not too surprisingly, changes in the brain drive these addictions as is the case for substance abuse. Therefore, they need to follow similar addiction recovery protocols much like other addictions, except that chemical detox is not always necessary.
Discuss the way forward
For all complex addiction therapy, it is best advised that you contact Yvonne using our
[ Contact ] facility at the top of this page to discuss the way forward.