السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
ربي اشرح لي صدري و يسر لي أمري واحلل عقدة من لساني يفقه قولي
ربي زدني علما وارزقني فهما
Do you pick up your mobile the first thing in the morning? Does your hand itch to reach out to the phone as soon as you hear a notification despite being busy with something important? Do you find yourself getting agitated when the Internet cuts off? Do you find yourself going back again and again to poker? Do you drink or use drugs to escape from worries or troubles?
IF you said yes to yourself while reading these you might want to sit back and take a look at the rest…=> You have an addiction.
What goes through YOUR mind when you read the word ADDICTION?
Drugs? Alcohol? Sex? Internet? Gambling? Social Media? Gaming?
Unfortunately, it is not as simple as it sounds. Addiction is a rather complex disease; it involves the brain’s reward system, flooding it with the neurotransmitter dopamine that is responsible for the pleasurable feeling and makes you pursue it. In other words, pursuing a behavior that you find rewarding which explains why you keep going back to it again and again despite the knowledge of knowing it is bad for you. Yes, substances are involved, but behaviors like gambling, gaming, risk-taking, thrill-seeking etc are just as bad, or should I say addictive?
“Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol or morphine or idealism.”-Carl Jung.
We’ve all been hard wired to addiction; it is a genetic predisposition with an evolutionary advantage. Consider your favorite food, ever eaten too much of it even though you know it isn’t really good for you to? While everyone has the potential for addiction, some are more predisposed to it. Lots of people who come from addicted families have managed to overcome their family history and live happy lives. Rest assured it’s not a lost cause!
Why do people take drugs?
To feel good. Most abused drugs produce intense feelings of pleasure. This initial sensation of euphoria is followed by other effects, which differ with the type of drug used. For example, with stimulants such as cocaine, the “high” is followed by feelings of power, self-confidence, and increased energy. In contrast, the euphoria caused by opiates such as heroin is followed by feelings of relaxation and satisfaction.
To feel better. Some people who suffer from social anxiety, stress-related disorders, and depression begin abusing drugs in an attempt to lessen feelings of distress. Stress can play a major role in beginning drug use, continuing drug abuse, or relapse in patients recovering from addiction.
To do better. Some people feel pressure to chemically enhance or improve their cognitive or athletic performance, which can play a role in initial experimentation and continued abuse of drugs such as prescription stimulants or anabolic/androgenic steroids.
Curiosity is another cause, and “because others are doing it.” In this respect adolescents are particularly vulnerable because of the strong influence of peer pressure. Teens are more likely than adults to engage in risky or daring behaviors to impress their friends and express their independence from parental and social rules.
Drug usage or usage of any addictive substance or behavior starts out voluntarily, but if it continues, other pleasurable actives seem less pleasurable and taking the drug/the addictive behavior becomes necessary for the user to feel “normal”. They then start seeking out the drug even though it disrupts their life and the lives of their loved ones. This is where their self-control starts to spiral out of control and their life starts to revolve around the addictive substance.
Environment is another factor that plays an important role. Conditions at home, school, neighborhood, etc and access to drugs increases chances for the individual to develop addiction coupled with biological factors like genes, stage of development, ethnicity and gender.
Drug usage is known to cause changes in the brain. “It is considered a brain disease because drugs change the brain—they change its structure and how it works. These brain changes can be long-lasting, and can lead to the harmful behaviors seen in people who abuse drugs.” Drugs cause intense damage to the individual, to their environment, the people around them. Not to mention the method of taking the drug be it oral, via injection, or snorted in itself has severe health consequences.
All psychoactive substances have the possibility of the user getting addicted to them. These range from depressants (e.g. Alcohol), stimulants (e.g. Cocaine), narcotics (e.g. Morphine, heroin) and hallucinogens (e.g. Mescaline).
ISLAM ON ADDICTION:
Islam encompasses a wide range of topics, including addiction. It recognizes the damages of such self-destructive behavior. Islam lays down permissible ways of fulfilling certain legitimate desires, but draws a clear line around certain types of behaviors and cuts them down at the bud. As a result, alcohol, taking drugs, and gambling are FORBIDDEN.
“O you who believe! intoxicants and games of chance and (sacrificing to) stones set up and (dividing by) arrows are only an uncleanness, the Shaitan’s work; shun it therefore that you may be successful.” (5:90)
Allah knows the limitations of human beings and He revealed to us to abstain completely from such addictive behaviors and substances.
“They ask you about wine and gambling. Say, “In them is great sin and [yet, some] benefit for people. But their sin is greater than their benefit.” And they ask you what they should spend. Say, “The excess [beyond needs].” Thus Allah makes clear to you the verses [of revelation] that you might give thought.” (2:219)
Disputes rose with the expansion of Islam and merging of cultures, cigarettes, hookahs, marijuana, etc came into contact. The Islamic ruling concluded that cigarettes, hookahs, drugs that were being abused/misused are strictly HARAM.
Through the Quran and Sunnah, scholars reached that conclusion. It is hard to refute when one gives it some thought:
Islam forbids everything that is harmful. The Holy Prophet said: “There shall be no infliction of harm on oneself or others.”
Everyone is well aware of the money spent on smoking/alcohol/drugs/gambling is wasted as no benefit is gained out of it. It is money spent on something harmful.
Allah forbids wasteful extravagance:
It was narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah forbids you to trade gossip, to ask too many questions and to waste money.”
“And [they are] those who, when they spend, do so not excessively or sparingly but are ever, between that, [justly] moderate” (al-Furqaan 25:67)
Need we say more?
To those with addictions remember the road to recovery is seldom straight: Relapse, or recurrence of substance use, is common—but definitely not the end of the road. Have strength, trust Allah and make the most of the coming Ramadan to put an end to the bad.
Tips for Recovery 🙂
Recovering from addiction doesn’t end with a 6-week treatment program. It could take longer, but don’t lose hope.
Step 1: As with any physical disease, step 1 is to come to terms with the fact that you have an addiction. Accepting it, and willing to put an end to it.
Step 2: Put a distance between you and bad peers especially if they were the reason you got involved with the substance. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) gave two examples; one for the good companion and one for the bad:
Abu Musa Al-Ash`ary (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: The example of a good companion (who sits with you) in comparison with a bad one, is like that of the musk seller and the blacksmith’s bellows (or furnace);from the first you would either buy musk or enjoy its good smell while the bellows would either burn your clothes or your house, or you get a bad nasty smell thereof.” [Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
Step 3: Seek family, friends, or clinical support. Discuss with your loved ones your decision to quit and accept their help. You might just need to call someone in the middle of the night just to talk. But always remember, every deed you do is being recorded. THINK before you cave in to Satan’s temptations. Is it worth it?
Step 4: Avoid places where your addictions surface. Put an end to casinos, bars, late night parties, smoking zones etc. Find alternatives that are healthier. Exercise, spend time at the mosque, read the Quran, ponder over Hadith, take evening strolls, take up journal writing, learn something new etc.
Step 5: If you find yourself falling back to old pattern, turn to Allah. Ask for forgiveness and guidance. Remind yourself to be patient.
Step 6: Join support groups or seek advice from your local imam. Most people find that joining a support group helps them stay clean. There are many such support groups designed specifically for certain types of substances, 12-step addiction recovery groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Cocaine Anonymous (CA), Heroin Anonymous (HA), Crystal Meth Anonymous (CMA), Marijuana Anonymous (MA), Nicotine Anonymous (NicA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA) etc. These groups offer a chance to meet people who have gone through the same experiences as you have and you will be able to participate in real-life discussions about drugs that they don’t teach in schools.
Step 7: Help someone else with their addiction. Your understanding of how difficult the recovery process can be will help you support others who are battling an addiction.
If you do have a relapse, get help right away so that you don’t undo all the hard work you put into your initial recovery. And, if you do have a relapse, don’t ever be afraid to ask for help!
بارك الله فيكم
وجزاكم الله خيرا
سبحانك اللهم وبحمدك أشهد أن لا إله إلا أنت استغفرك و أتوب إليك
والسلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته
Written by: Shafia Jameel