Addictive Bad Habits - Drinking - Smoking - Drugs

Wow, bad habits, a difficult subject. Are bad habits addictive? Yes, I’m sure they are. In this article I’m not writing about nail biting, but about bad habits like drinking, gambling, smoking and drugs.  A study by scientists at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that avoidable behaviors like smoking, poor diet and lack of exercise were the underlying cause of half of the deaths in the United States in the year 2000. So we are talking about a big issue.

People with bad habits often feel persecuted because smoking is unpopular by the society as a whole. Smoking is not illegal (drugs are) and people have a right to smoke. But what we see: men of pregnant women are smoking in the maternity waiting room; a while later you could smoke in buildings, but only in a designated smoking room and then there came the designated smoking area outside the building. Now restaurants, bars, and whole cities are going smoke-free. Have some people given up their bad habits? No, they do not seem to remember how badly they were addicted before. The truth is that in a way, they are still addicted and always will be. I’m sorry, but that’s how addiction works. 

A new “escape”: many people have switched their bad habits to smokeless tobacco in an effort to save others from the ill effects of their second hand smoke. They believe when the tobacco is not smoked the nicotine is not addictive. Wrong thinking! It is said to be just as hard a bad habit to break as cigarettes. Nicotine is highly addictive.

Alcohol abuse is a bad habit if you drink to excess.  With about 14 million alcohol abusers in the U.S. there is no wonder that more and more marriages break ups are related to alcohol abuse or addiction.

For some people with certain physical conditions, it can be risky anyway.  It can be dangerous if mixed with particular medications.  However, if a person is addicted to alcohol, they will not be concerned with that.  Neither will they be concerned about their jobs or their relationships.  It will all be about the next drink. 

Sleeping tablets are bad habits too. They can be so habit-forming that you need a higher and higher dose to fall asleep.  Finally, they will not help at all.  Some people overdose in an attempt to reach a dose that will put them to sleep. Only the intervention by a doctor and/or a sleep clinic can straighten you out. 

All kind of drugs are bad habits. There are so many illegal drugs that they are too numerous to count.  They have different affects and cause different levels of addiction.  Some have fast and devastating results.  Others do little damage in the short run. 

There are club drugs, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and hallucinogens.  All these drugs can be nasty.  There are also legal drugs that people get into bad habits with by starting with an injury or other medical condition.  These can be pain pills like percocet, or muscle relaxants.  They are also very addictive bad habits. 

If you have an addictive bad habit, you probably need some form of help to get over it.  In fact, once you have a serious addiction, experiencing the sights, smells, or sounds of your addiction will start your brain in that addictive mode again.  It is no wonder that people struggle for years with addictive bad habits. 

Remember the words The Buddha said:

The thought manifests as word
The word manifests as deed
The deed develops into habit
And habit hardens into character
So watch the thought and its ways with care
And let it spring from love
Born out of concern for all beings.

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