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Aug 23

America is facing higher addiction rates today than any other time in history. Whether it’s drugs or alcohol, addiction is ruining lives and tearing apart homes all across the land, with youths becoming increasingly affected. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than two million people between the ages of 12 and 20 are heavy drinkers. If this statistic wasn’t startling enough, the number of drug-related deaths has increased by 540 percent since 1980. Today, there are over six million children that have at least one parent battling drug addiction. If you or a loved one are a part of any of these statistics, it’s important to seek help immediately because the addiction will not go away if left untreated.

What is Addiction?

AddictionAddiction has long been defined as an uncontrollable habit of using drugs or alcohol. Due to the physical effects that these harmful substances have on the body, especially the brain, people have traditionally believed that people can only be addicts if they use drugs or alcohol in large quantities. However, recently, people have been recognized as being behavioral addicts as well. In both types of addiction, the afflicted person finds pleasure in their addiction and feels an uncontrollable need to satisfy it.

The exact symptoms of addiction may vary, but there are two common aspects of every addiction. Firstly, the addiction is counter-productive to the afflicted person. Rather than helping the individual adapt and overcome problems, it strips the person of these abilities. For example, a heavy drinker will often resort to alcohol to lift their spirits, but alcohol is what is contributing to his or her depression. Secondly, a person addicted to drugs or alcohol will continue drinking or taking drugs, despite the problems it may be causing in their lives.

So, a weekend of indulgence from time to time is not an addiction, although it may cause problems as well. Addiction involves the frequent use of drugs and alcohol which negatively impact a person’s life.

If a Person Still Enjoys It, Can It Still Be Considered an Addiction?

Absolutely, a person can be addicted to drugs or alcohol and still enjoy using the substances. The media consistently portrays addicts as unhappy and hopeless people whose lives are in a wreck. Thanks to this constant false portrayal, many addicts don’t believe they’re addicted as long as they still have a stable job or partner and are capable of enjoying themselves.

All too often, an addiction becomes ingrained in a person’s lifestyle, and they never truly feel any symptoms of withdrawal. Other times, they may recognize symptoms, but attribute them to not being a morning person, aging, or being overworked. People can be addicts for years and not realize their dependence on drugs or alcohol.

When people are addicted to drugs and alcohol, their enjoyment becomes increasingly focused on satisfying their addiction and relieving any symptoms of withdrawal, rather than the myriad of daily experiences that can allow them to fully witness happiness. People that are finally able to overcome their addiction often come to the realization that much of their life has passed them by, and that they have missed countless opportunities to enjoy other aspects of their life.

The Harmful Effects of Addiction

Addictions harm both the person afflicted by the addiction and the people in their lives. Unfortunately, most people suffering from addiction are unable to recognize the harm that their addiction is doing to themselves and the people around them. Often, they are in a state of denial about the negative toll their addiction is having on them and others, choosing to completely ignore the effects the addiction is having on their health and their relationships. Other times, they deflect the cause of their problems by blaming others for their current situation instead of their addiction.

The harmful effects of addiction are particularly difficult to identify when someone uses their addiction as a primary way of coping with the other problems in their life. Some people who become addicted to drugs and alcohol are aware of their addictions and the harm that it has caused, but continue their addictive behavior. This is often because they feel as if they can no longer cope without drugs or alcohol. Usually, their addictions distract them from focusing on trauma they have experienced in their life, or they simply no longer know how to enjoy life without drugs and alcohol.

Harmful side effects may only be identified when a crisis occurs as a result of their addiction. This can either happen when a person is left trying to cope with the withdrawal symptoms of their addiction or as a consequence of their addiction, such as losing their job, becoming ill, or a partner leaving.

Symptoms of Addiction

Regardless of the drug of choice, every addiction involves psychological and physical processes. Every person has a slightly different experience, but they’re addiction usually involves some of the following symptoms:

  • An increased tolerance level for a drug or alcohol. An addicted person must drink more and more or take more drugs to receive the desired effect.
  • Withdrawal occurs when the person doesn’t have drugs or alcohol, and they experience unpleasant symptoms such as depression, vomiting, sweating, fever, and shaking.
  • A person will find it difficult to cut back their consumption of drugs or alcohol or control their addictive behavior.
  • Their recreational, occupational, and social activities become increasingly centered around drinking or taking drugs. This often jeopardizes their social and occupational lives.
  • A person becomes more and more preoccupied with planning, engaging, and recovering from their drinking or drug use.

It’s important to note that a person can still be addicted to drugs and alcohol and not experience all of these symptoms.

Help is Available

Substance abuse is a growing problem that has a damaging effect on countless individuals and their families in a number of ways. An addict often becomes isolated and withdrawn, increasingly becoming incapable of focusing on his or her personal and professional life. Thankfully, drug and alcohol rehab centers provide professional guidance and support to help restore their lives. These professional facilities provide people coping with addiction with a renewed sense of enthusiasm and hope, allowing them to once again become an active participant in their lives and the lives of others.

If you or a loved one have lost control of life due to drug or alcohol abuse, it’s important to seek the assistance of trained professionals. Most drug and alcohol specialists have also had similar traumatic experiences with addiction, which has led to their desire to help others overcome their addictive behavior. So, don’t hesitate to talk to them about the challenges you may be facing.

There are many options that can be discussed with these professional advisors. Simply take the initial step in the right direction of recovery and you will be surprised at the simplicity of the solutions. At a well-respected drug and alcohol treatment center, you will find peaceful rooms, personalized medical care from caring specialists, personalized therapy programs, and a bevy of other special services that are specifically designed to fulfill the needs of each patient. Finding and contacting a reputable drug and alcohol addiction treatment center is the first step in the direction of a more fruitful and enjoyable life.

One comment

  1. Myra
    September 9th, 2016 15:33

    If you have an addiction there is help available for you. You would need to search around and find the rehab that offers the programs that you think would help stop your addiction.


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