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How to Stop An Addiction: Key Factors for Success

This challenge "how to stop an addiction" has numerous sides since one's success depends on the following factors:
- presence of the past psychological or emotional trauma(s) that can be found in over 90% of people
- support from the community of people with the same goal (to overcome addiction)
- support from family, relatives or people living in the same household
- current employment and/or hobbies
- the physical state of the brain, especially its oxygen and CO2 levels that can either favor or prevent expression of addictive thoughts and behaviors.

It is impossible to predict the importance and contribution of each of these factors on final outcomes. Many people may suggest that an emotional state, will power and attitude of the person are also important. There are also some other influential parameters. In this article, we are going to focus on one's ability to get as much as possible from each of the 5 above-mentioned factors.

1. There are many methods and techniques that deal with emotional traumas. In my view, the most powerful method is the New Decision Therapy that is based on forgiveness and uses clearing three layers of denial in order to ensure success. For more info about this therapy and how emotional traumas change our breathing patterns, see this page: Emotional trauma.

2. For support from the community, a person needs to find out if there are specific groups or counselors who work with the same or similar addictions and join or consult them.

3. Support from family, relatives or people living in the same household is often difficult to control, but remaining in the environment that causes too much stress or promotes addictive behavior may not be a smart step.

4. Getting an interesting job and hobbies will surely provide a person with a better substitutes to his or her addictive habits.

5. Finally, the last factor will be analyzed in more detail below since this factor also explains an explosion of addictive behaviors that took place some decades ago. An addiction to numerous substances and abnormal behaviors is nearly always based, on a physiological level, on low body and brain oxygenation. Appearance of numerous addictions during the previous century has roots in increased breathing rates of ordinary people.

Breathing changes during last 80 years

Hyperventilation causes low O2 and headaches Why and how can ineffective breathing patterns and low brain oxygen levels cause the desire for and possible addiction to sugar, caffeine, alcohol, cigarette smoking, and other stimulants or depressants (including chemical substances and drugs)?

What are the contributions of mouth breathing, chest breathing, and breathing too much air?

Mouth breathing reduces brain and body-oxygen levels due to arterial hypocapnia (low CO2 in the arterial blood) and reduced absorption of nasal nitric oxide. Chest breathing leads to ineffective gas exchange in the alveoli of the lungs and reduced blood oxygenation (hypoxemia). Over-breathing causes arterial hypocapnia, which constricts arteries and arterioles reducing blood and O2 delivery to the brain and all other vital organs. All these effects and how to stop these habits are considered in detail on separate web pages.

How to stop addictions and their vicious circles

Possible symptoms of low body O2 include, but are not limited to chronic fatigue, confused thinking, and depression. Potential addictive substances can often be respiratory depressants, like codeine, morphine, and high doses of alcohol. Therefore, they reduce or slow down breathing and cause a temporary boost in brain and body oxygenation. On the other hand, some addictive substances can be stimulants which increase metabolic rates, as in the case of caffeine, low doses of alcohol, or cigarettes. Then these substances provide a transitory feeling of energy, improved concentration and fitness.

The major problems with these addictive substances are related to their withdrawal symptoms and toxicity that produce stress on the organs of elimination and increase ventilation. Therefore, due to toxicity of the addictive substance, addicts suffer from increased hyperventilation and deterioration in one's physical and mental condition. Increased breathing later requires increased doses of the addictive substance. This forms the vicious circle of addiction. As a result, body O2 content gets below 20 seconds, and later even under 10 seconds. You can learn how to stop an addiction naturally from clinical experience of more than 160 Soviet and Russian doctors.

How to stop addiction (chart)You can stop an addiction, if you start to slow down your breathing towards the medical norm, while practicing any breathing exercises that increase brain and body oxygenation. There are also numerous lifestyle changes that assist you in increasing body O2 and help to eliminate addictions. For example, if you avoid supine sleep (that is the worst sleep positions according to over 20 clinical studies), you immediately increase body O2 content in the morning. Any physical exercise with nasal breathing (in and out) is another great way to get rid of addictions.

Body-oxygen test results and chosen lifestyle with possible addictions

Based on observations of thousands of patients by Soviet and Russian doctors, as well as the experience of my students, here are the relationships between morning body-oxygen levels and key lifestyle factors:

Lifestyle factor: Body oxygen < 30 s Body oxygen > 50 s
Energy level Medium, low, or very low High
Desire to exercise Not strong, but possible Craving and joy of exercise
Intensive exercise with nose breathing Hard or impossible Easy and effortless
Typical mind states Confusion, anxiety, depression Focus, concentration, clarity
Craving for coffee, sugar and junk foods Present Absent
Addictions to smoking, alcohol, and drugs Possible Absent
Desire to eat raw foods Weak and rare Very common and natural
Correct posture Rare and requires efforts Natural and automatic
Sleep Often of poor quality; > 7 hours Excellent quality; < 5 hours naturally
Or go back to Symptoms of hyperventilation

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