Wednesday, September 23, 2009

One Way To Break An Addiction

After smoking two packs of cigarettes a day for nearly forty years, my mother-in-law quit cold turkey, after only one session of hypnosis.

Hypnosis!

She began smoking in the early 1950s and kept right on going, undeterred by the 1964 Surgeon General report. The possibility of serious consequences from a behavior counts for little, if anything, when the continuation of the behavior is due to an addiction.

(In the criminal justice context, this is why harsh penalties, particularly for drug crimes, so often have so little effect. When addiction gets in the way, deterence is a non-starter.)

By 1991, Wynne knew it was time for a change. A work colleague gave her a referral to a hypnotist, who was able to help cure her nicotine addiction in one fell swoop.

Amazing!

Addictions are not usually broken in single, scales-from-the-eyes sessions. But, thankfully, this one was. Wynne is still with us, at age 76, doing the crossword every day, patronizing the public library, singing in her church choir − and much else besides.

She surely wouldn’t be doing these things if hypnosis hadn’t enabled her to stop smoking.

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