Addiction experts say smoking is a habit more formidable than cocaine or heroin. Of the 46 million American adults who indulge, close to three-quarters of them say they want to quit, and nearly half of those hooked make at least one annual attempt to curb the habit. Yet even when their addiction confines them to tiny, dark rooms or takes them outside in sub-zero temperatures, dedicated smokers can’t seem to restrain their impulse to light up.
Cigarette smoking, once a symbol of glamour, sophistication and power, is now recognized as a harbinger of disease and death.
“What doesn’t make sense is how it works,” said Hannah Conway. “You can’t wrap your mind around how it works at all.”
Conway and others have a hard time putting to words the success of an unusual energy therapy — the Lenair Technique, designed to address the many faces of addiction. “I come from a big Irish Catholic family,” Conway said from her office in St. Paul, Minn. “I’m 41 now and went a long time drinking. I tried AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and it worked nearly five years.” Then Conway went back to drinking. “It was at least six beers a day, if not 12.”
It’s hard to reconcile the two lives of Nanoshka Hedgeman. In one scene, we see a magnificent physique framed by the beauty of the forest — a man depicting the picture of health, hope and vitality. In the next frame, we see a man clothed in orange prison gear, a cigarette in his mouth, standing behind the confines of prison walls. The two are indeed one in the same. The difference is time and the practice of Bikram Yoga.
Addictions come in all shapes and sizes. From the obvious struggles with drugs and alcohol, to the less recognized but often just as destructive bouts with gambling and shopping binges, addictions can hit anyone, from any walk of life.
Millions of people have suffered from their own or someone else’s addiction. I’m not talking about craving a few brownies. I’m talking about gambling, cocaine, the Internet, heroin, alcohol, nicotine, crack cocaine, marijuana, caffeine, pornography, food, sugar and prescription drug addiction. Addiction takes a huge emotional toll on everyone, has profound financial and legal consequences, and dashes the hopes and dreams of families everywhere.