Why is it that some people can give up so called “addictive substances” and some people can’t? If it’s the substance that’s addictive, how do people get addicted to gambling? In order to understand the answers to these questions we first need to understand the law of higher priority. It’s the sub-conscious mind’s job to protect us from everything, real or imagined. The sub-conscious mind will always give priority to that in the mind that gives the greatest protection.

Addictions Have a Secondary Benefit

When someone wants to stop using a harmful substance but isn’t able to, it’s usually because the substance is performing a valuable service to the sub-conscious mind. Its in some way helping the sub-conscious mind to protect the individual from some painful information in the individual’s consciousness. The substance is being used by the sub-conscious mind to suppress this information, and sometimes an activity can do the same thing, which is why it’s possible to become addicted to gambling or sex. This is referred to as a secondary benefit.

Addictions Change the Brain

Certain drugs and long-term addictions can cause structural changes in the brain. When drugs change how the brain works and inhibits certain functions, it can lead to changes in personality and furthermore have effects throughout the body. Once an addict stops their destructive behaviour, the brain needs time to change back to normal functioning and this can take up to two years, provided that the damage isn’t permanent.

Hypnosis is very effective in treating addictions because it firstly exposes the painful information the individual needs protection from. Once it’s exposed it’s possible to rapidly resolve this information in hypnosis. Once this information is resolved the sub-conscious dependence is broken. Once the sub-conscious dependence has been broken, the sub-conscious mind, which is there to protect will accept that the substances or activities are not helping anymore and will accept suggestions to stop using the substances or activities.

According to www.selfgrowth.com, Hypnosis may be an effective treatment for people with drug or alcohol problems. The main success factors are one, the extent to which the client is receivable for hypnosis and two, to what degree the client is willing to do what it takes to quit alcohol or drugs. An effective program will also involve a medical practitioner and perhaps even a rehab facility for extreme cases.


Researchers have neglected hypnosis in the past, but recently more and more studies have shown how effective hypnosis can be when dealing with addictions or destructive habits. The American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis from July 2004 refers to a study where 18 clients were followed over the last 7 years. It showed a success rate of 77%. They define success as living without drugs or alcohol for at least 1 year. Of the study group, 15 were classified as alcohol addicts or alcohol abusers, while the rest of them were addicted to other drugs.

Effectiveness of Hypnosis

The effectiveness of hypnosis depends on several factors, such as
– how long time the client has abused alcohol or drugs
– the seriousness of the alcoholism or drug addiction
– whether the client has been hypnotised before and how effective it was
– whether the client is suggestible or tends to be resistant and hard to cooperate with
– the amount of alcohol/drugs consumed
– whether the alcohol/drugs are consumed alone or in a social setting
– which specific beverage consumed (liquor, wine or beer) in relation to the amount, or the specific type of drug abused
– last, but not least: how committed the client is to stop drinking/using drugs

If a person really wants to quit drinking alcohol or using drugs, he or she has to find out
– why they drink/use or to put it another way; which positive functions does the drinking/drugs have for their everyday life, and
– how can they find other and more healthy ways to deal with these functions or cope with their problems.

Drinking alcohol or using drugs could very well be seen as a way to cope with your life and the emotional problems you face in your everyday life. You cannot just get rid of this without substituting it with something else. If you undergo hypnosis without finding alternatives to substitute your previous unhealthy behaviour, you will not gain anything but an empty hole in your life. The absence of alcohol/drugs must be replaced with the presence of new skills to handle the situations in your life that you previously handled by drinking/using.

Are You Willing to Change?

The most important question is, how big of an effort are you willing to give to get rid of your alcohol/drug problems? Don’t be tempted to think that hypnosis is an passive and painless shortcut to get rid of your problem. Some people think they can just lay down on a sofa a few times and passively get hypnotised and the cravings for alcohol or drugs will disappear. You are going to have to take charge of your life and actively implement the suggestions you receive under Hypnosis. In addition, you need to develop some new ways of thinking. For people who are receivable to Hypnosis and are willing to change their way of thinking and solve their everyday problems, this kind of therapy can be very effective. Some clients have reported a substantial relief after a few sessions. Normally you can expect that the therapy will involve eight sessions or more.

When you are ready to change, make an appointment.