Breaking the Bondage of Addiction

Addictions today have become more common than we dare to accept. Many types of addictions have become socially acceptable, in these morally and spiritually bankrupt times. Good things when misused can turn into addictions.

What is Addiction?

It is dependency on a particular substance or behaviour which is impossible to break without timely intervention. It destroys the person, demoralizes the family and all those associated with him.

Society has a general tendency to consider different kinds of substance abuse as addiction, while ignoring certain behaviour patterns that are equally addictive. Food, shopping, gambling, work, or sex can turn to behaviour addictions and create problems that are just as destructive as substance abuse.

• Workaholics would be shocked if told that work has become their addiction. They believe that frenetic activity is good for mental health and wellbeing. People want to carve out positions of power and honour through their professional accomplishments. What starts as a worthy ambition soon grows into an addiction. Without work they feel enervated and depressed.

• Food becomes an emotional pacifier to satisfy longings, loneliness or low self esteem. People eat when under stress. The act of digesting the food switches off that part of the brain mechanism that makes them tense. The rise of serotonin when food is taken makes them feel good. Those who live alone and are sad or depressed are vulnerable. One woman who was eating all the time said, “I miss my husband, and my stomach does not know the difference between hunger and love.” Frenzy feeding is an addiction. It is a vicious cycle. When a depressed person snacks, his blood sugar rises and he feels good. But insulin shoots up in the blood and after a while, blood sugar falls. So he feels depressed again and reaches for a hot chocolate or a cookie.

• Gambling: Lotteries, playing cards, number games, casino games, betting at the races or even cricket matches and other sporting events can become addictive. Even losing money doesn’t deter them. They believe that luck is just around the corner. The adrenaline rush overshadows the guilt of money lost and debts piling up.

• Shopaholics are compulsive buyers. Whenever they are angry or frustrated, they find release in purchasing a pair of shoes or an expensive dress, irrespective of the money and time wasted. It makes them snap out off their moods.

• Relationships: Some people develop an over dependence on a particular person to make them feel complete or fulfilled. This may lead to stalking, threatening or harming the very person they claim to love.

• Sexual addiction is when the need for sex becomes a compulsive obsession whether marital, extramarital or same sex. 44% of sex addicts are embarrassed by what they do, but can’t help themselves nor will they seek treatment. Fetishes, pornography, rape, frottage (pawing women) flashing, are some of the ways by which they get their orgasm. This addiction is to the neurochemical changes that occur during sex. Sex addiction in women is becoming a major problem.

• Mood altering chemicals like cocaine, heroin, LSD, amphetamines, ketamine, and prescription drugs like cough syrups, sedatives, tranquillizers are habit forming. Even caffeine (one cup of coffee contains 150mgs of caffeine) is addictive. Drugs provide a feeling of well being and a false sense of power and control.

• Alcohol is a threat to modern civilization. With free availability, younger age groups are becoming hooked on alcohol. Alcoholism is said to decrease the life span of a person by twelve years. It is a depressant that affects the central nervous system immediately. No doubt it temporarily reduces tension and brings about relaxation. But in the long run, it destroys a person mentally and physically.

• Smoking is a habit very difficult to kick. It has damaging effects on liver, heart and is implicated in the cause of cancer.

All addictions, whether behavioural or chemical, are destructive. They gradually rob one of will power or self control. With drugs and alcohol, the body becomes tolerant to small amounts. So, larger quantities are needed. Mixing of drugs enhances potency, but also increases dangers. Health deteriorates. There is loss of control and inability to manage one’s affairs. Even routine jobs are difficult to perform. Behaviour becomes erratic.

Causes of Addiction:

1. Friends or family members may introduce the young impressionable teen to a glass of beer or a cigarette. This may be the beginning of a love for these substances. Recently, the case of a brandy guzzling child of five was reported. His parents started giving him brandy every day to ward off asthmatic attacks.

2. Keeping wrong company. Peer pressure can be very persuasive.

3. Disorganized home environment where parents are poor role models. There is no love, warmth or appreciation of a sensitive child. Parents may quarrel frequently or there may be domestic violence.

4. Poor and unsafe neighborhoods where drunkenness, violence and abusive behaviour is a way of life.

5. Lack of direction with no moral standards to live by. Young people can be easily influenced into wrong ways.

6. Glorification of alcohol, drugs and vices through films, TV, advertisements.

7. Easy availability of alcohol and drugs.

How to break the bondage of Addiction:

• By first admitting that one has a problem with either substances or behaviour; that life is fully out of control; that there is loss of dignity.

• By seeking help from trained counselors or psychiatrists. They will help to get to the root of the problem – Injustice? Fear? Worthlessness? Anger? Life is not a bed of roses.

Everybody has problems, but one must learn to deal with them without the aid of substances. It is important to be conscious of one’s vulnerabilities.

• Approach for alcohol and substance abuse is multidisciplinary. It needs admission to a facility dealing exclusively with these problems. Medical measures will involve detoxification and treatment of withdrawal symptoms.

Psychological management will be through:

1. Counseling individually, by which he is psychologically conditioned to stay away from drugs or alcohol. Each member of his family must also cooperate with the addict’s treatment, through love, understanding and compassion.

2. Group therapy will help the addict realize that he is not alone and that there are others in a similar situation. Here there is mutual understanding, acceptance, sharing of individual problems and sympathy.

3. Sociotherapy involves teaching the addict effective methods of adjustment to normal life. He should not be left in a high risk environment. Community reinforcements like recreation clubs, Alcoholics Anonymous, and job availability will be helpful.

Rehabilitation can be a long and hard battle depending on whether the addiction is to a substance or behaviour. It depends on the addict’s desire and determination to be cured, and the support he receives from his loved ones. Relapses may occur. But there must be the will to start all over again. Sometimes it may be a life long struggle especially with drug addicts and alcoholics. Therefore finding support groups is important.

Along with therapy, dependence on God is essential. A daily walk with God will strengthen a person enough to surmount the injustices of life, and dispel lurking fears.

The seeds of addiction are within all human beings. We need to periodically examine ourselves and see if there are things we find difficult to let go, and which have the potential to turn into addictions.

Disadvantages of Watching Pornography

In the olden days, the word ‘addiction’ was largely confined to either dependence on substance (addiction to drugs) or behavioral addiction (gambling). Addiction can be defined as the repetition of a habit which an individual does with his/her complete knowledge. In other words, they clearly know and understand that they have to leave the particular habit of either ingesting a substance or performing a specific action, but cannot refrain from doing the same. The habit may prove harmful in the long run as it might lead to compulsive use.

Pornography can be found in various forms such as books, postcards, photographs, drawing, animation, film, video (video games). Before two decades, if an individual has to watch porn, he has to rent out a video. Although growth of internet has brought many advantages, there are also few exceptions like porn, which any one can access by a single click.

As with all addictions, individuals of all ages share this vice of pornography, they usually start with soft porn. Similar to drugs, they will also need larger doses to make them feel high. They will start searching for more explicit porn content. Although no survey has been done to clarify the factor from small to high dosage, it cannot be ruled out that watching porn leads to negative effects in many cases such as:

Addicts feel isolate, spend large amount of time locked in their rooms or own world. Watching pornography individually separates them from social contact dissolving into a fantasy world far from reality. Pornographic addicted individuals may indulge in imagination with multiple partners by watching porn thus causing disillusionment in family lives.

Men, who are addicted, try to become dominant, introvert, deal with anxiety, and develop low self esteem. Porn makes the real universe and world boring leaving its viewers dissatisfied and less sensitive to the emotional feelings of everyday life. According to a survey, men exposed to large volume of pornography tend to be less responsible in their career and suffer from reasoning ability.

Men who view pornography in a very young age have been found to view women only as objects of desire than to have respect for them as human beings. They can also suffer from guilt, shame, failure of rejection or humiliation.

The best way to overcome the addiction is to become socially active. Isolation and loneliness are said to be the main contributing factors. Addicts who have been given proper professional guidance and assistance have overcome and conquered their habit of watching porn.

So Who Exactly is an "Addict" or "Alcoholic" Anyway?

It’s a common question many people have. Am I really an addict? (… or How do I know if someone I care about is addicted?) What’s the difference between an alcoholic and drug addict? Is there a difference between a cocaine … heroin … or even a marijuana addict?

A lot of people today drink alcohol and a fair number use drugs. (Does that make them all alcoholics or drug addicts?) Of course not!

So how do you know for sure? …

The difference between someone who is addicted and someone who simply uses or abuses a particular substance is the “compulsion to use” (whatever the substance may be)

And what do I mean by “compulsion to use”? …

Simply that most people who for example drink, know when to stop or have the power to say, “enough is enough.” (not always, but most of the time)

Whereas the alcoholic or drug addict can’t say no or simply walk away like most people can. As an addict or alcoholic – once you start it becomes almost impossible to stop – to control your using because the compulsion to use or drink is just too strong.

When you become addicted you almost lose the power to choose. That might sound flimsy or wish-washy, but it’s not and I’ll tell you why in the next part of this course …

The other big question … is what’s the difference between being an alcoholic or drug addict, whatever your drug of choice may be?

If you look at it carefully … not a lot actually. Yes your drug (or drink) of choice may be different … create a different form of high (or feeling), but the end result is still pretty much the same, i.e. “addiction,” which leads to “destruction” – or call it what you will – (mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally) … and which can ultimately lead to the heaviest price that anyone can pay … death.

So as a heroin addict that process might happen fairly quickly, whereas for the alcoholic it may happen far more gradually over a number of years, yet the consequences (no matter what the substance), of addiction will be very similar.

That’s why it’s a good idea to start thinking in terms of “addict” rather than “alcoholic,” “drug addict,” “junkie” or whatever you’ve been thinking of or using to describe such a person up to now. (Addicts like to think of themselves as “special and different” and that their problems are unique – but in actual fact they are no different to any other “addict”). I know I’ve been there …

Why do you think most major rehab facilities treat alcoholism, drug addiction and even things like gambling and sex addiction pretty much the same way?

Addicts even refer to alcohol as a drug because they know that even though for most people it can be enjoyed in moderation – for them it can’t – and that’s why it’s viewed in the same light (even though it may legal and regarded as socially acceptable.)

Hooray for the Legit Hall of Fame!

Yeah NBA. They did the right thing. “The Worm” will turn into a Hall of Famer (I hope) in August of 2011.

Baseball Hall of Fame, farce. Until Pete Rose is in there the MLB Hall is illegitimate. I am not a “Charlie Hustle” fan. But the all time hits leader, c’mon. If they want to have an additional “Hall of Shame”, then Pete could be in there also.

Football Hall of Fame, farce. Kickers should wear dresses, so they don’t get in. Well linemen say quarterbacks should also wear dresses and plenty of QBs got in. Kickers are odd so they don’t get in. Well until the Guy gets in the NFL Hall is a farce. Ray Guy should be in with his odd teammates (like “The Snake” Stabler should be also). Ray not only changed games with his punting, he also controlled and won games. No I’m not a Raiders fan, though I do respect them for being the first wild card team to win it all. At least Jan Stenerud, field goal kicker, got in. Ray was in more Pro Bowls than Jan was.

‘Nough said on that.

So the NBA will induct Dennis Rodman into their Hall of Fame even though he wore a dress instead of a tux. Remember? It was a beautiful white wedding dress. Dennis, a tattoo artist’s meal ticket. Dennis, gambling addict. Dennis Outrageous. Even Michael Jordan (who barely snuck into the Hall) and Phil Jackson could not control the court jester “Worm”. This guy was unbelievable. Talk about a nose for the ball. He was 6′ 7″, big compared to you and me; not big under the hole though. There are not a whole lot of guys with 7.3 points per game in the NBA Hall. That’s Dennis’s career average in points scored. Six times he averaged over 15 rebounds per game. Seven times he averaged over 5 offensive rebounds per game, giving his team another chance to score. Twice he averaged over 18 ‘bounds a game. Career average over 13. Since 1998, when Rodman retired, one time a guy averaged over 15 rebounds per game in a season. Dennis almost did it seven years in a row! (He had a 14.9 that ruined it.) Tell you what, they say M. J. doesn’t win his six titles without Scotty Pippen. Well, that may well be. But “Air Jordan” might just say that he couldn’t have done it without the out-of-control “Worm” for 3 years.

Well deserved Dennis. I didn’t think the NBA would do what was right.

NBA you are legitimate…

…and also the best to bet on. If you got nerves of steel. “I’m ahead, I’m behind, I’m ahead, I’m behind.” And a 20 point lead is nothing.

The Double Life of Sex Addiction

Sex addicts are just like you and I, with the exception that they are struggling with a disorder that is gradually consuming more and more of their lives. Because sex addiction causes addicts to continually increase and escalate their sexually compulsive behaviors, they begin to lead double lives. They lead their normal life the best they can and live every moment of the day for their addictive life. Over time the normal life will unravel as the addictive life consumes more and more of time and energy.

For addicts, this issue is a deep, haunting secret. They live in constant fear of being caught. Tension, anxiety and stress built up as a result of having to live a secret double life. The compulsion to engage in sexual behaviors becomes more and more time consuming and the addict finds that he has to constantly escalate his behaviors just to achieve a sense of normalcy in his life. Along with a deteriorating emotional state, many addicts suffer from severe consequences as a result of their double life.

Relationships suffer as a result of this addiction. When a sex addict is living a double life, he tends to withdraw from everyone, including his spouse or life partner. This means that his relationships will suffer and in some cases become broken. The person he is in a relationship with will find it difficult to understand his change in behavior. Naturally, the addict will not be able to explain that change out of fear of revealing his double life.

Leading a double life often has serious financial implications as well. Individuals begin to neglect their responsibilities or are unable to perform well at work as a result of engaging in sexually addictive behaviors the night or morning before work. In some cases, addicts may even be engaging in sexual behaviors while at work, to the detriment of their duties. All of these instances of neglect will eventually add up, and employers will be left with no choice but to terminate the person. Repeated warnings will not be enough for an addict to stop the neglectful behavior from continuing.

Another source of stress and financial burden comes from the expenses related to leading a double life as a sex addict. Just like gambling, alcohol and drug addictions, sex addiction can become quite costly. The costs of pornography, online sex chats, phone sex chat lines, prostitutes, strip clubs, adult videos and books and other sexually related goods can add up to huge debt for the sex addict. The burden of covering up these expenses combined with the looming debt will only add to the pressure the addict is experiencing while trying to keep his double life a secret.

Over time, this double life can lead to severe consequences such as divorce or loss of a house. Unfortunately, like any other addiction, the individual will need to make the decision to seek help, and it often takes serious consequences to convince a sex addict to get help. However, once the addict makes that decision, there are many effective programs that can lead him to lifelong recovery.

The Unruly Judge

G ambling was both legal and wide open in Albuquerque. Town authorities relied heavily on the sale of saloon licenses and fines imposed for disturbances at the gambling tables to help maintain the municipal government. As towns sprouted in the 19th-century American West-outside Army forts, at river crossings along wagon trails, in mining districts and at railheads-some of the first structures built were recreational facilities. Recreation for the almost totally male population inevitably meant Three-W vices of the frontier-whiskey, whoring and wagering.

Since no stigma was attached to games of chance, distinguished pillars of the community indulged openly. One prominent gambling addict was the town’s leading magistrate, Judge William C. Heacock. He could be found most nights whiling away his time dealing three-card Monte in his favorite Albuquerque saloon Dealers banked their own games. If they made money, it was theirs. If they lost, it was out of their own pocket. Judge Heacock loved playing three-card Monte in the backroom of a saloon in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He also presided over Albuquerque’s night court, which he opened and closed at his own discretion. When the judge suffered a bad losing streak, he called in a town deputy and said, “Get me a drunk with money in his pockets that is guilty of disorderly conduct.” Judge Heacock’s widow told an interviewer of one incidence in which the judge ran out of money. Deputies were dispatched to find a drunk. The deputies soon returned carrying a limp man between them. “What the Hell?” asked the judge? “What’s that you got? “Your honor,” replied a deputy, as he laid his burden on the floor, “we found him in the back room of the Blue Indigo.” “Can he stand trial or is he dead drunk?” asked the judge. “He’s not drunk, but he’s dead all right. He croaked himself over there in the Blue Indigo and the proprietor insisted we get him out of there.” This annoyed the judge. “Didn’t the fools ever hear of an inquest?” he asked. Heacock had sent for a lucrative drunk, not a drooling suicide. The judge turned to his deputies. “This court is a court of justice. The right of habeas corpus must not be ignored. The prisoner must be given a speedy and fair trial. This court is ready to hear evidence. What is the charge?” “Your Honor,” said a deputy, “The charge has not yet been determined.” “This court will hear no case without a charge. Did you search the prisoner?” “There was a letter to some dame-“began the deputy.” “Any money?” The deputy counted out $27.32. “Any weapons?”

A deputy produced a gun found in the dead man’s hip pocket. “Has the prisoner anything to say before sentence is imposed upon him?” The judge cocked his ear toward the dead prisoner, listening for a response. “In view of the unresponsiveness of the prisoner, which this court interprets as contempt, and in view of the unlawful possession of a lethal weapon, this court imposes a fine of $20.00 and court costs,” pronounced the judge. “You might as well leave him there till morning,” the judge instructed his deputies, pocketing the money. The judge returned to his Monte game in the saloon below with enough money to continue dealing. His wife remembered well enough the shack she and Judge Heacock lived in-you couldn’t call it a house-for there weren’t any real houses in Albuquerque in those days. The shack was on South Second Street where it was replaced by the Crystal Beer Garden. It was a dusty spot and she wanted her husband to buy a little land near Robinson Park where there were a few trees and a pump. She would have been satisfied with a one-room house and a tent there, she said, but her husband said a house built on that spot would sink into the quicksand in no time. “He had no eye for business,” she said. “He knew just one thing-the law.” Mrs. Heacock recalled one night in the 1890s when she heard shots as she was clearing the supper table. She ran to the door to see what was happening. Her husband, the judge, called her back, telling her the safest thing to do was to lie on the floor. The cowboys had no desire to kill, but it was safer to keep out of the way of their bullets.” On one occasion, a cowboy killed a child. The cowboy was drunk and was looking for black cats to shoot. He was horrified when he realized what he had done. The townspeople hung him as an example in order to make Albuquerque safe for their children. Judge Heacock, who prosecuted the case, was so upset when the man was hung he refused thereafter to serve except as a defense lawyer.

In an interview Mrs. Heacock said they used to do funny things in Albuquerque, many of them in the name of justice. She told of a well-dressed stranger coming to town from the East. He rode a “hack” to the hotel on First Street and was paying his fare when two big deputies arrested him for being a suspicious character. “He was too well-dressed and they needed money for the city that day,” recalled Mrs. Heacock. In another instance, Judge Heacock sent El Fago Baca to his own jail for a month. The judge was low on funds and dispatched his deputies to find a drunk for the night court. When they tried to arrest Jesus Romero, a friend of Elfego Baca’s, Mr. Baca objected and hit one of the policemen over the head with his huge silver watch. Coincidentally, the injured man was one of Albuquerque’s favorite policemen. When the crowd saw him lying unconscious, they assisted the other deputy in escorting Mr. Baca to night court. Deputy Romero was completely forgotten. “Drunken and disorderly conduct” was the charge against Baca, who vehemently denied the allegation. “You’re crazy,” said Elfego. “Silence,” bellowed the judge. The judge wanted to delay matters until a night sergeant could check Elfego’s pockets and find out how much money he had. “I know exactly how much I’ve got,” Elfego blared at the sergeant. “$18.19. If you count a nickel less you’ll get yours later and good and plenty.” “Shut up!” said the judge, trying to assume a judicial dignity. “Well, wait and see,” replied Elfego amiably. “Guilty or not guilty” asked the court. “Not guilty!” said Elfego, “and you all know it damn well!” “Thirty days or ten dollars and costs,” said the judge. “I suppose ten dollars and costs are $17.19,” said Elfego. “You ain’t going to pull that stuff on me. I’ll take the thirty days.” A deputy escorted him to the jail in Old Town, where, unbeknownst to the judge, Elfego had recently been appointed jailer. The name of E. Baca was signed into the record and Elfego Baca received the regular seventy-five cents a day for the feeding of the prisoner. At the end of the month, Elfego was $22.50 richer for his encounter with Judge Heacock’s night court.

Responsible Gaming and Addiction

Gaming is one of those fun activities that most Ugandans find appealing. This is especially true for online gaming and online casinos. The beauty is that gaming online is safe because the regulation bit has been taken care of the National Gaming Board Uganda which is a body corporate that was established to ensure responsible gaming in Uganda.

Despite the regulation that has been put in place, it is still your responsibility as a player to ensure that you play the right way and avoid any gambling issues that may arise. Many games have gotten addicted because they probably were not advised as to how best to play. Many have found themselves borrowing money to facilitate their gaming and losing jobs all because they do not exercise any form of restraint. The truth of the matter is that for you to reap anything out of gaming, you need to be extremely disciplined.

The commonest symptom of gambling is the inability to stop irrespective of how much money has been lost. Addicts are the gamers that you will find playing day or night and who often resort to pleading tactics when told to stop. They keep requesting for more time or one more game. Addiction is mostly intensified or fuelled by the use of substances like alcohol and drugs since these remove any inhibitions that one might have.

How to avoid the addiction – The Four Pointers

  1. Have a pre-set budget: Creating a budget will give you a discipline that you need while gaming. Given that people earn different incomes, it’s essential that you do not base your budget on that of others but rather create one that fits perfectly into your income. Remember that gaming money should not take priority over bills like rent, food and tuition. It should be taken from your supplementary budget after other essential expenses have been removed. Remember to stick to your budget and not divert from it irrespective of whether you are winning or losing. If you need to reinvest, rather invest with your winnings than with money that is not budgeted for.
  2. Do not accumulate unnecessary debts: Borrowing is not a good decision when it comes to gaming. Not only will it create unnecessary anxiety but will also put a lot of strain on your finances. Remember that gaming is not a necessity so if you have no money, you would rather postpone it than enter into debts.
  3. Follow a strict set of rules: Setting your personal rules will help you have a discipline when playing. Set a time frame within which to play so as to leave room for other activities. Also essential is that you do not raise the stakes when you lose. Count all losses as such as opposed to them being a ticket for further playing. It is also essential that you follow the rules that you have set and not deviate from them.
  4. Never rely on your luck: Luck is just odds and this might not guarantee a good gaming experience for you. It is important that you understand that at certain times you will win while other times you will lose. At some point you will hit a jackpot but this does not mean that you should continue playing thinking that it is your night. It is important that you have fun while playing and not take the game too seriously. So play for playing sake and have fun while at it.

The above are just a few pointers of how to avoid gambling. However, in the event that you find yourself an addict, there is still hope for you. You might need some professional help along the way and might even need to close your accounts for a while until you get things under control.

Overcome Weed Addiction With These Three Tips

To overcome any addiction you need a plan, a strategy that will allow you to deal with all the problems and cravings that will challenge you along the way. Without a proper plan most people succumb to their addiction once more and continue their habit making it even harder to quit the second time with the feeling of failure that comes with a failed attempt. To overcome weed addiction you must understand, plan and act to quit your habit for good!

Understand Your Addiction

If you do not understand your addiction in depth you will never learn to overcome it. Since marijuana has no chemicals that addict you like cigarettes have nicotine it means that smoking weed is a psychological addiction where you are addicted to getting the high, you want it and the cravings are a deep seated want not a physical need. This is just like alcohol addiction or a gambling addiction where the action becomes something you keep going back to again and again until it starts to take over your life. This is the end result though, the important thing is to understand the root cause and the triggers associated with your drug abuse. By understanding the root cause, why you started to smoke and why you continued you get beyond the simple “I like to get high” excuse, you also need to know what triggers your cravings, there are often events in your life that make you want to go have a smoke, isolating these incidents and knowing what causes them allow you a depth of knowledge you need to combat your addiction.

Have A Plan

Once you develop a good knowledge of your addiction you need to have a plan. You need to know what you need to do when a trigger event happens and how you can stop yourself giving in to the cravings, there may be many ways to do this but you must make this plan and stick to it whenever you are triggered. Only once you can avoid giving into cravings can you focus on overcoming your addiction fully.

Act On Your Knowledge

Only by acting on this knowledge and having a plan for countering triggers can you work to solve the root cause of your addiction, the seed of all your cravings and need for the drug will always be there luring you back unless you find some solution or peace with yourself that can allow you to truly be free.

While these tips are only a simple overview on how to overcome weed addiction they can still provide a structure for fighting back against the controlling forces of addiction that can dominate your life and lead it to ruin.

Porn Addiction – 7 Ways to Stay Addicted

Recovery from porn addiction is a simple but difficult process. The principles and directions suggested are not rocket science but they can be difficult to maintain. Unlike other chemical addictions, sex is something that you carry with you between your ears. At any moment, the sex or pornography addict can get a little high just by indulging in fantasy. With such an easy availability and an unending supply, is it any wonder that pornography addicts struggle with sobriety. The bottom line is that the porn addict must be willing to do whatever it takes to get sober and stay sober. He or she can either follow a process that works or they can do one of these top seven things to stay addicted.

1. Don’t take the risk of being Honest– You won’t be too vulnerable and you won’t stay sober either. Our addictions grow in the dark, so keep your secrets and keep your porn.

2. Only go to 12-step meetings when it is convenient. You are a busy person and it can be very difficult to juggle family, work, and recovery. Keep your meetings as a low priority and keep acting out.

3. Find a counselor that won’t hold you accountable – A good counselor that understands this problem will push you to do the things you need to do to stay sober. They will hold you accountable. That can be uncomfortable and awkward. Stick with a counselor who knows less than you do about porn addiction and stick with your addiction.

4. Masturbation– You can tell yourself that it’s okay to masturbate as long as you don’t use pornography just like the alcoholic can have a glass of wine with dinner, the gambling addict can still play cards, and the heroin junkie can do with a fix now and then. It’s what we call fantasy. Masturbate in early sobriety and get back to your pornography quicker.

5. Don’t get a 12-step sponsor – Asking someone to be your sponsor feels pretty weird, calling him is awkward, and having coffee and talking is stranger still. Sponsorship is a good idea that you will get to soon. Take your time and find the right person. Eventually you will find the right sponsor or maybe you will just act out again.

6. Don’t get an Internet filter– Take your time with this one. Set the passwords later when you get a chance. Just don’t go to the porn sites for now. An internet filter or block makes it much harder to access pornography and you don’t really need all that support. Be sure to keep your smart phone too.

7. Neglect good self care– Now is the time to work as many hours as you can, stay up late working or watching TV, or just eating whatever looks good. Exercise is optional. Burn the candle and watch your sexual sobriety melt away.

That’s the list. The top seven ways you can stay addicted to pornography. It’s your choice. Please choose wisely.

Beating The Odds – A New Approach to Betting on Boxing

Casino Visions and Caviar Dreams

Most of us have heard this before: “I’m going to get rich this weekend. I’m feeling lucky. I’m going to triple this money I have. It was set aside for the mortgage, but I know I’m going to win. I can feel it. I was so close last time.”

It’s beyond cliché. It’s a cultural phenomenon, with the optimistic playing the part of financial lemmings, eager to swim out in the ocean too far to swim back to shore (or in this case solvency).

The people who go to casino’s with such a “plan” usually end up leaving with their tail between their legs.

Casino towns are money siphons, an instant asset reallocation strategy for the hopeful. For every sensible vacationer who takes a preset allotment of discretionary income to a gaming community for some kicks and a show, there is a reckless gambling addict hurtling toward destitution. The trick, as the song said, is to never play the game too long.

So, according to the industry, you can rely on the lady luck long shot, the win some-lose more method long endorsed by the gaming community, or inflict upon yourself the relative tedium of card counting.

What other options are there for the gaming enthusiast looking for a sincere chance to beat the house advantage?

There is, some say, a formula.

The Formula

In today’s computer culture, advanced mathematical calculations are just an app away. Computation professionals are driving technology further, faster.

Is it really surprising that in an era where the numerics of card counting have tipped the scale in blackjack, to have another contender emerge and challenge the notion that the odds always favor the house?

This has indeed happened. It comes from France. It is called the Martingale method, and was considered high tech… by eighteenth century nobility.

The system revolves around the fundamental principal of doubling your bet each time you lose until you win.

The theory is that you are bound to get one right eventually, and you then will get the payoff you pursued in the initial wager.

One interesting point about this method is that at first glance the wagerer appears to be a gambling addict on a bender. Upon closer inspection, what looks like unstable behavior shows itself to be the execution of a discipline within the chaos of wagering. It can pay.

The method practitioner must have researched the technique and learnt the entire formula, which can be fully understood in hours armed with nothing more than elementary school math.

So far so good. The rub? One had better know their game. Losses get expensive quickly. A wagerer could be risking $16 to win the $1 they set out to win. If the first bet was large, the risks can be disproportionate.

Where does this lead the hopeful wagering enthusiast who is not a card counter in possession of a substantial bankroll? This is the dead end. Or is it?

Hiring A Ringer

One can try the internet sports pickers. Called “touts,” these people are willing to do the analyses (thinking) for you.

Touts study a sport or sports, and one pays them for their expertise. Upon swiping your card, the “expert” bestows upon you their predictions, ranging in time from a day to a year.

Touts do not gamble for you. They don’t make wagers: only predictions.

The tout business is competitive, and if you do more than peruse their adverts there are a few things of which you should be aware. First, it is rumored that some of these touts don’t exist as an actual person, but are instead marketing gimmicks.

As I investigated this book, a controversy was brewing about an invented tout with the last name Chan, whose character was allegedly created to appeal to a certain demographic. How could this happen? Touts are often organized into groups. Tout houses are arranged so prospective clients can elect a soothsayer that aligns with prospect preferences.

The more diversified the choices, the more likely a prospective client is to find kinship through familiarity with one of the choices.

Not having a matching demographic option, wouldn’t it make sense for the marketing arm of such an organization to develop as many choices as possible? What if the creation of such a character was the best available option? Is it lying or promotional enhancement?

In any event this forum, like every casino ville, may not be exactly what it seems.

When employing touts, another aspect/gimmick of which you should be aware is the star rating system. Touts diversify their picks between 1 and 5 stars (5 being preferred). The star ratings are meant to establish the confidence level a tout has on a prediction.

For example, say a tout believes one team should beat another, but hasn’t much confidence, that pick would be given one star. Should the tout feel assured about a selection, the pick would receive a rating of 5 stars. Two through 4 stars implies a marginal degree of confidence in the selection.

When one looks at an advert where a tout says they have won six 5 star picks in a row, that doesn’t mean they’ve done the same with their picks made from 1 to 4 stars.

I’m not saying this scenario happens often, but without monitoring, how does one keep track? Does this mean that touts can keep five lists, and advertise the one currently doing well? The answer is yes. Forewarned is forearmed.

In addition, its hard to determine what touts mean in terms of money amounts to place according to their recommendations. Touts use the term “units” instead of dollars or pounds or yen. Classifying currency as “units” is an insurance tactic often used to confuse and mislead the unwary.

The biggest rap on these touts is that most are said to make their money by selling picks and not by using their own product and investing their own money in their predictions.

By the way, this is a flourishing industry. The clientele is alert and attentive. In fairness, the market doesn’t sustain itself on newbies or suckers. Many touts have niche specialties that pay off for their patrons.

The lesson here is to learn the terms before you invest. Only a dupe would try to cheat this learning curve.

Counting Cards

Is there a game available at every casino where the players have the edge over the house? The rumor is that that blackjack, or 21, affords the players just that chance.

Our investigation began with the movie 21, about the M.I.T. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) blackjack team. The movie was based on a book called Bringing Down The House, and was, allegedly sponsored by the gaming industry itself.

How is it that the gambling machine would support a movie that has as premise that one of the casino’s primary moneymaking games can be outwitted and foiled by a counting approach that can be learned by the average player?

We found that even if blackjack card counting techniques do allow players a mathematical advantage over the house, there is at least one catch.

We spoke to Dennis, a blackjack card counter, who was plying his trade at the Red Garter hotel and casino in Wendover, Nevada. Dennis was willing to talk to us but refused to be photographed because he believes the picture could be formatted to use by industry facial recognition software, which could lead to his eviction by casinos.

Dennis also declined our using his last name, citing the player reward cards that track players through out their casino stay, and use the results to offer freebies and discounts. These cards are considered a substantial perk system linked to a name, making it monitored and tracked.

“The idea that you can beat the game of 21 is correct, but incomplete,” Dennis explained. The missing part of that statement seems to be the word “temporarily.”

How long does it take to become a successful card counter? Not long at all, according to Dennis, who says he has been applying “the system” for 5 years.

Dennis recounts his challenges in card counting: chief among them is not getting caught. “Card counting is 100% legal, AND if you are noticed by the casinos counting, there is a 100% chance you will be thrown out of the casino and blacklisted from ever returning.”

Dennis lowered his voice before continuing. “You are counting cards to get a small mathematical advantage. It might take over an hour to do it. Then, if you get the hand you want you still have to have your count straight and be ready to jump on it, make your money, then get out of the place before security can respond to the large increase in bet size you just made.”

“Upping the bet,” Dennis confided, “is the big giveaway in blackjack. The eye-in-the-sky (remote viewing system) will catch that every time.”

He finished with some advice and an admonition: “If you are having the free drinks the casinos offer, or are distracted by anything, you will miss your chance for profit. If you are smart, you’ll keep your winnings. Many blackjack players blow their profit on another casino game the very day they win big.”

I nodded, now understanding the casino corporation’s motivation in sponsoring a movie like 21, and being able to verify that there is indeed a table game where the player has the odds on advantage over the house, but not by much and not for very long.

The Alternative

We have, in this section, covered some of the approaches to making a profit in the casino world: the shot-in-the-dark, wager sequencing systems, counting cards and bringing in paid experts. Is there another option, one that can bring the best of the best together into a cohesive, reliable whole?

Some are claiming there is such an option. They believe results can be nearly standardized. The game is, surprisingly, the oldest known sport. Like it or not, professional fist-fighting may be the sound investment both the gambler and professional investor have been looking for.

Why boxing? According to believers, the reasons are elementary.

The first attribute seems most attractive to investors: reduction of variables. Anyone who has watched trading on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange tends to believe they are watching uncoordinated chaos, as companies allow complete strangers to monitor the funds of their clientele.

In boxing there are only four conclusions;

  1. One fighter prevails.
  2. The adversary is victorious.
  3. The result is even (called a “draw”). In such a case the investment is returned untouched as a break-even affair, or in sports investment parlance, a push.
  4. Lastly, this fourth conclusion is a biased result, usually assisting the local athlete or contestant with favorable promotional contacts.

One group benefiting from this new investment paradigm featuring boxing are called Boxing Bet Predictors. This lot contends that the above four results, these few component pieces, allow greater chance of victory on a consistent basis than their stock market counterparts.

They charge that contrary to the cultivated image of legitimacy for Wall Street, there are intentional steps taken to give the appearance of neutrality that do nothing more than assure gambling odds on par with the casino game roulette, as thorough investigation in sanctioned stock investments are called insider trading, which is illegal.

Boxing Bet Predictors contend that it is just this sort of investigative limitation in stocks that supply advantage to their own investment game. Boxing Bet Predictors can legally perform insider trading from numerous sources. Such sources include print, internet sites like blogs, forums and YouTube, as well as television options ranging from ESPN to HBO, Showtime and PPV.

Along with variable reduction and investigative liberty comes the skill development necessary to be a successful investor. To many, the science of knowing which prizefighter will best the other seems confusing and random. Boxing Bet Predictors insist it is neither.

First, one must learn when and where NOT to invest. After that, it is the relatively simple process of knowing on whom one should make their pick.

Sound complicated? Not according to the experts, in this case the boxing bet predictors, who maintain that the necessary knack is not in knowing the fighters, but the styles of the fighters, who’s elements seem to dovetail together very much like the children’s game “paper-rock-scissors.”

The learning curve for this strategy specialty doesn’t need to take years, just months. Like any new skill with a short-term learning curve, there is a key focus: upon recognizing how the few styles interrelate, accuracy rates of 75% should not just be considered obtainable, but expected.

The Conclusion

With an absence of trust in stock secured retirements, people are looking at options. This article has covered most of the credible options. Prudence and judgment must go together to benefit from any investment strategy.