A mother of two who used to be addicted to heroin has opened up about how hypnotherapy helped her to kick the habit.
Czech mum Zuzana Nott first became addicted to the narcotic at the age of 19, and soon spiralled into total dependence. After witnessing many of her friends die from overdoses, Zuzana checked herself into rehab in 2008 and managed to get clean. Despite this, she would still often be overcome with cravings for the dangerous class-A drug and felt as though she was still hooked, despite staying sober for 10 years.
However, in 2018 Zuzana decided to take things into her own hands.
At a therapist's seminar in Prague, Zuzana met hypnotherapist and psychotherapist Nick Davies, mastermind of BLAST, a psychotherapy technique designed to treat PTSD and other traumas.
In June 2018, Zuzana flew to Coventry, England to try it herself. The effects were so dramatic, that she has overcome her heroin cravings and even quit her 20-year smoking habit.
Commenting on her experiences in a recent interview, Zuzana stated: "I left rehab in 2008, but even 10 years on, I still had cravings. It wasn’t every day, but during emotionally challenging times, I would remember how it felt to take drugs.
"I thought it was part of the deal, that the saying ‘once a junkie, always a junkie’ was true, so I tried my best to live with them. But after just one BLAST session, I felt a huge shift. Now, while I remember the feeling of taking the drug, the yearning and emotion isn’t there."
She added: "I saw heroin as the holy grail of drugs and was intrigued to see why everybody was trying it. I was doing well in my day-to-day life. I’d finished school with good grades, got a place at university and a full-time job. I thought that meant I was handling my drug-taking well, and so had this false sense of confidence.
"In that session, I recovered all sorts of repressed memories – like the panic attacks I’d had as a teenager. It helped me realise that I wasn’t broken, I was just unhappy. After healing myself, I found a passion for helping other people like me and decided to use what I have learned and become a therapist myself.
"I have the power of knowing nothing in the human psyche is unhealable. It may take time, it may take work, but you can get better."
Commenting on how BLAST works, psychotherapist Nick Davies said:
"PTSD and trauma over-activate the right, emotional hemisphere of the brain, and lack sufficient stimulation in the left, logical side. To be able to process the experience/s properly, the bilateral movements help reprocess the memory in real time to store it correctly.
"I met Zuzana when, at a workshop in Prague, she told me of her addiction and how other treatments hadn’t worked for her. We began to work together shortly after to remove her heroin addiction and the traumas surrounding it, and managed to resolve this and remove her cravings after one session."
If you or anyone else you know has been affected by the issues raised in this article, please don't hesitate to visit Action on Addiction for help and further advice.