What is Addiction?
Addiction is when you become dependent on a particular substance, thing, or activity. This can be dangerous and even life threatening if that substance is drugs or alcohol. When you compulsively seek out alcohol or drugs, despite experiencing negative consequences, you most likely have a drug addiction or alcoholism.
Addiction affects up to 10% of the population and crosses all socioeconomic boundaries. It is a disease that does not discriminate. 10% of teachers, doctors, and CEO’s all experience addiction. The vast majority of people who need treatment never receive it. Millions of people each year damage their lives, lose jobs, destroy their health, and even alienate family and friends due to drugs or alcohol.
Is My Addiction Bad Enough? When You Should Seek Treatment
If you or someone you love shows a few or all of these signs, you should consider treatment:
Drug Addiction Signs
- You don’t use medications in the way they are prescribed. For example, you take a higher dosage than prescribed or crush your pills
- You go to more than one doctor to get prescriptions for the same drug or problem
- You avoid telling the doctor about the drugs you are taking
- You continue to take a drug after it is no longer needed for a health problem
- You take prescribed medicines for someone else
- You look through other’s medicine cabinets for drugs to steal
Alcohol Addiction Signs
- Work, school, or other activities are interfered because you are too hungover or sick, from alcohol consumption
- You drink despite knowing you will be driving
- You experience blackouts or memory losses
- You experience accidents or injuries after drinking
- You drink even though it worsens other physical conditions or drink while sick
Rehab is the Solution
Professional treatment is your best option. With addiction, you experience a physical and emotional or psychological dependency on the substance.
To eliminate physical dependency, you need to eliminate the drugs or alcohol from your system through detoxing. Withdrawal symptoms can be life threatening. You need to detox in a medical environment where professionals can help you manage these symptoms.
Due to the effects that drugs and alcohol have on your dopamine, or pleasure pathway, your emotions literally depend upon your ability to get more of the substance into your brain. You experience a perceived need or compulsion to use the substance. After the physical detox is complete, a clinic will work with you through education, relapse prevention plans, and coping techniques to manage the compulsion to use you will feel again after detoxing. You need to stop using and learn to manage the temptations in order to live a sober life.
Addiction is a chronic disease that lasts a lifetime. The most important thing, a rehab clinic can provide you is a lifelong support network to assist in the battle for years to come. Getting the proper treatment is your best bet at a successful and long term recovery.