What Is an Addiction?
An addiction is a powerful craving that goes beyond the normal craving for substances, and is out of a subject’s ability to control with willpower. Addiction, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, is actually a powerful combination of genetic, biochemical, and social factors that make it difficult for some people to quit taking abusing substances on their own.
Symptoms of Addiction or Substance Abuse Disorders
- Use substances to relax, wake up, or otherwise change moods on a regular basis.
- Being unable to moderate or stop how much alcohol or drugs you use.
- Lying about your drug or alcohol use to friends and family.
- Taking substances when you know it’s dangerous to do so, like before driving a car, operating machinery, or going to work.
- Drinking alone, taking drugs by yourself.
- Taking drugs or drinking alcohol first thing in the morning in order to feel normal again.
- Continuing to use substances even when your doctor has advised you to stop.
- Stealing money to pay for your habit.
- More time spent abusing substances than engaging in things you love, like hobbies, sports, or family time.
- Acting recklessly or dangerously due to substance use.
- Growing tolerance, which means that you need more of a substance to feel the same effects.
Addiction may happen suddenly or slowly. Each person responds differently to the effects of drugs and alcohol. What’s important to remember is that substance abuse is not a lack of willpower. Often people addicted to drugs and alcohol have a great deal of willpower when it comes to other areas of their lives. Substances such as alcohol and drugs actually change the chemical balance in the brain and throughout the body to set up a cycle of craving, use, and withdrawal if the substance isn’t continued. Addiction is a disease that affects mind, body, and spirit.
If you recognize these signs in yourself or in a loved one, get help today. Call .
Recovery from Addiction
Recovery from drug and alcohol addiction begins by admitting you have a problem. Once you realize that you can no longer control your drug or alcohol use, it’s time to get help.
There are many ways to get help. An addiction treatment center is a healthcare facility that specializes in helping people recover from drug and alcohol abuse. Some centers provide outpatient care, which means that you attend classes, meetings, and other activities at the center to learn how to live without drugs and alcohol while you return home each night. Other centers are inpatient facilities. You live there until you’ve safely withdrawn and detoxed from the substance you abused, and then you begin a program of recovery to learn how to live substance-free, one day at a time.
It can be frightening to realize you have an addiction, but once you acknowledge it, you can do something about it.
Call to learn more about drug and alcohol abuse treatment and addiction recovery.