Tuesday, March 19, 2013


ADDICTION in any form is harmful to the individual and the society at large. Addiction to power, addiction to self,  addiction to be 'always right' etc: but in this post I will be talking about addiction to Nicotine (cigar rates, chewing tobacco, zarda, kaat, kheni  etc:) the harmful effects of which are well documented and also well known to the addicts, but sadly very hard to overcome.

A'li Qdr Muffadal Moula Saifuddin (TUS) has given a clarion call, has started a 'mauhim' in earnest to free the community of the growing menace of nicotine use, and within a short span of time, positive results are being witnessed. Not in the distant past, the community has freed it self from the clutches of 'interest' and now is the time to rise up and help each other, in what ever way possible, to free the festering underbelly of the community with the immense harm of nicotine use.

This than is my humble effort in that direction. There are many families who may be having their loved ones, addicted to this menace. There may be friends, tanzeem members, co-workers, who I am sure very well know the immense harm they are bringing on themselves and their loved ones, by their addiction.

What I feel is that they - our fellow mumineen , need our empathy and understanding  and mere sermonizing and admonitions will not do. You are said to be  doing a disservice to your loved ones, friends and colleagues, if you merely sermonize, admonish and feel smug, that you have done or duty. Sorry no, you have to reach out, and in order to to do that, one  should first understand, why it is so hard to kick the habit ? What is nicotine ?  What are the causes for addictions ? What are the consequences ? What are the remedies and solutions ?

First and foremost the family / friend addict needs your empathy and understanding, and you must also feel that for his condition, you are also responsible in a sense. So this post of mine, is in that direction of understanding the addiction, and how best to overcome it.

Nicotine is addictive. It contains powerful chemicals such as carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen. It is the prime cause of cancer, heart disease, blood sugar, Chronic Bronchitis, Respiratory failure, depression etc:

What it does ?

It causes changes in the brain , which induces a euphoric state of the mind. Here it is prudent to recall the Nashihat of Syedi Sadiq Ali Saheb : ' zahir ma halavat chhe, pan zehr chhe khufiya ma'. With recent scientific studies and many Research Papers published on the Net, it is no more 'khufiya' the addict also knows, that it is bringing harm to him and his family.

Nicotine is a psychoactive drug that produces dependence  Nicotine releases Dopamine, which stimulates sensation of pleasure, motivation and reward.  Nicotine levels drop relatively quickly, which causes the sense of craving.

When an addict tries to overcome the addiction, very unpleasant withdrawal symptoms are experienced, the addict feels depressed, irritated and unable to concentrate. So these are real issues, and they need our understanding and empathy.

So if one wants to reach out and do a singular service, one has to accept the fact that nicotine addiction is a hard nut to crack. But studies have shown, that it can be overcome, and there are thousands of success stories.

What is needed to overcome the addiction ?

We mumineen are blessed to have our beloved Aqa Moula (TUS) his doa mubaraka and his nazarat rahima and the world wide community awareness campaign initiated by his Mansoos A'li Qdr Muffadal Saifuddin Moula (TUS) is for ever there. What is needed is a firm resolve on the part of those addicted and the firm belief that 'we will overcome'

These are some of the other points.
1. Determination and inner strength.
2. Encouragement and understanding from the loved ones and community at large.
3. Healthy diet.
4. Adequate exercise. Tanzeem can start clubs, where physical activities are encouraged.
5. Homeopathic - Naturepathy - Herbal treatments.

According to Associate Proffesor of Medicine  Franck T Leone - " My patient are people who smoke, but they know they should stop. They describe feeling sad, angry and hopeless. They tell me it is frustrating and confusing, embarrassing and shameful. They are trapped between desperately - wanting to stop and desperately not wanting to stop. Their lives are literally on the line - they know it.

Nicotine works in that place of the brain, where survival instincts are born. The more a person wants to change - the more the instinct tells him - change is bad for you'

So my friends, if you  really want to 'reach out'  you have to first respect the problem, and also respect the people struggling to find a way out from it. Start working on solution based thinking 

Determination and inner strength can be achieved by meditation, mindfulness and deep breathing exercises. There are hundreds of resources on the Net. In my own family one of my sister, who is very much into alternate therapy, overcame the urge of chocolates, by being 'mindfulness' and being 'aware' at each stage, from opening of the chocolate wrapper, the twirling of chocolate in her mouth, the taste etc: It did surely work for her.

For effectively overcoming  the addiction, here are several other tested measures. 

Drink water at regular intervals. take cough drops or chewing gum in the initial stages only.

Understand that the craving last for not more than 5 minutes. So when the craving arises, find a distraction, move away from what ever you are doing, take a walk or call a friend or listen to soothing music. Laugh out loud -' mein tara sinkaja nahi avoo, mane uloo ghana waqt thi banavto rahyo, mari zeet chhe - tari haar chhe ......... go on and on - what ever works best for you.

Homeopathic remedies help to lessen anxiety, restlessness, and irritability. One has to consult a practicinor  for proper evaluation, as the treatment is fully symptom based. Some of the recommended medicine to kick the habit, are Nux Vomica - Avna Sativa which is made from wild oats, Carbo Animalis, Plantago etc: The doctor should explain to the addict, what each type of medicine will do. Understanding and awareness is the key to complete recovery.

Some of the herbal remedies are - Oats - Lobelia - Marsh mellows.

So it is not the end of the world for one who seriously wants to overcome addiction. Knowledge is Power. Addiction can be defeated, one deserves more from life than just being subdued by addition, and if our well organized community lends a helping hand, the goal of complete eradication of addiction from the community, similar to being completely free from the clutches of 'interest bearing transactions' will be surely achieved in the shortest possible time.

The difference for complete transformation from ILNESS to WELNESS is to substitute the suffering 'I' with the 'WE'  of compassion, friendship and altruism. Let us all join hands in this noble 'mauhim'  by advising , encouraging, motivating our brother addict, but most of all by empathizing. If compassion is there, miracles will surely happen.



Anonymous said...

Being a medical professional I can testify that nicotine addiction is not only a social or psycological problem,but it is a real medical illness.The patient needs help and understanding not only from family but society as well.Fortunately with determination and correct guidance many patients have overcome it and I get to see success stories many a times.
This article will definitely open many eyes.

Dr Aliasgar

Anonymous said...

Researches show that the chewing of betel nut is also harmful and can lead to cancer. Any suggestions regarding the chewing of betel nut, sir?

Taher said...

In response to your 5 minutes craving, following solution has been given by Saifee Uncle Surka, Ahmedabad:

Apna naseeb ni bulandi chhe ke aava shafeeq moula mila chhe ke mumin ne farishta banavva ni tadbeer kare chhe.

ek ghano easy solution thai sake ke jivare bhi 'talab' thay, jenu duration 5 minutes si vadhu nahi hoy. to imam husein no vasillo lai khaake shifa lai le.

pavardigar tene imam husein aj madad karse.

khuda aava hamara mumin dost ne aa bala ma si jald chhoravi de tej dua khuda pase apne saghla raat din kariye.

Yaa Rab bewe maula ( tus ) ni Umr ta hashra tak baka kar je...Aameen

Anonymous said...

Great post, sir.