Can Hypnosis Really Help You Overcome Addiction?

Overcome Addiction

As researchers search for a cure for addiction, it is tempting to look for a quick fix in the meantime. You may already have suffered through countless bouts of binge drinking or a downward spiral caused by addiction to street drugs or prescription drugs. Wouldn’t it be great if you could be cured through holistic addiction treatment or just get hypnotized to stop your addiction? For example, if hypnosis can help you stop using drugs or drinking alcohol.

Hypnosis can provide to individuals genuinely trying to overcome their addiction to alcohol and/or drugs. The good news is that hypnosis may help temporarily overcome some destructive behaviors. The bad news is that it doesn’t get at the underlying physical and/or psychological causes that drive the addict to use.

In the case of alcohol and drug addiction, according to the NIDA, the essence of addiction is uncontrollable. It is compulsive drug-seeking despite knowing negative health and social consequences. The addicts resist change, because to them, it is better to assuage the hurt with something they believe they can control, such as drinking and doing drugs, than to try to overcome the addiction.

Addictions occur for the following main reasons:

  • The individual uses alcohol or drug to relieve pain and stress, whether that may be emotional and or physical.
  • By drinking or doing drugs, the individual obtains instant gratification – an immediate high which, in itself, becomes a psychological craving for more.
  • Repetition of the behavior (drinking, doing drugs) moves the person into addiction through classical conditioning response. The addict sees people he or she associates with drinking or doing drugs or goes to a certain location where this activity occurs. It could even be a certain time of day or a sound of glasses tinkling. When the addict drinks and uses drugs, this conditions them to do it again.

Underlying Causes of Addiction

According to experts in the field of psychology, underlying pre-cursors to addiction include low self-esteem. This may include repeated rejection, abuse, child abuse, neglect, and feelings of inferiority and inadequacy. Such harsh and destructive experiences lead addicts to seek refuge in alcohol and drugs. In effect, they’re compensating and masking deeper personal underlying causes that may have occurred long ago and have been repressed.

What Hypnosis Can Do

Hypnosis can give some kind of post-hypnotic suggestion to create a distraction or diversion when the addict feels compelled to engage in his or her addiction. But hypnosis cannot get at the underlying causes of the addiction.

Some of the behavioral triggers (emotional/psychological) can be helped through hypnosis. But digging deeper into personality problems during hypnosis veers past true hypnosis into regression hypnosis. Experts recommend that the addict may be better off with long-term therapy or counseling.

Hypnosis can help the addict relax and be more receptive to the message of recovery. Along with other alternative treatments, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), individual and group counseling, hypnosis can give the addict better tools with which to combat addiction.

As the NIDA counsels, addiction can be treated behaviorally and, in some cases, with medications. But it is not simple. While a range of effective addiction treatments exists, they are not enough. The NIDA continues to invest in research to improve existing treatments and develop new approaches to help addicted individuals deal with their compulsions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *