Alcohol and Drug Addiction
What is addiction, substance misuse or dependency?
It was once widely thought that a person was addicted only if he needed to use daily. Some others thought he was an addict if he went through withdrawal symptoms when he abruptly stopped using. Alcoholics and drug addicts were also perceived as poor, unemployed, and living in the slums or on the street.
Misconception and Stigmas Surrounding Addiction
There is a wide array of misconceptions surrounding drug addiction or alcoholism. Some drug addicts do not use drugs or consume alcohol daily and do not necessarily experience physical withdrawal symptoms when they stop using.
A more significant part of addicted individuals are employed and seem to function normally. However, they do struggle with alcohol or drug use problems. Despite their substance use’s adverse effects, they still cannot have sufficient control to say NO.
Drug or Alcohol Addiction Devastation
Drug addiction and alcoholism are undoubtedly serious subjects and affect all areas and sectors of life and society. Substance abuse has shattered families, caused companies to spend enormous amounts of money, not to mention the cost to our social services. Drugs and alcohol do not discriminate according to age, sex, race, religion, or financial status.
No one ever starts using drugs to become hooked and develop a drug addiction problem. Young people don’t experiment with drugs so that they can purposely ruin their lives and the lives of all those around them.
Boredom is often a significant factor in experimental use. This premise, coupled with the individual’s perception that certain substances are not dangerous or toxic, makes for a potentially disastrous adventure. Also, movies, songs and our favourite actors often glorify drugs to entertain us.
A Definition for Addiction
Medical News Today defines addiction as “an inability to stop using a substance or engaging in a behaviour even though it is causing psychological and physical harm.” It is engaging and not being able to stop a behaviour or using a substance despite adverse consequences. Alcohol and addictive drugs chemically kill physical or emotional pain and alter the mind’s perception of reality. They literally make people numb.
Predisposition or No Predisposition
There has been some talk about genetic or environmental predisposition for drug addiction or alcoholism. Many consider addiction a disease—the individual is ill for a lifetime, even after many years of sobriety. Some others will view it as something that can be surmountable and not a disease. For decades now, the scientific and research communities have debated this one aspect of addiction. Nonetheless, drug addiction treatment is needed no matter how or why the substance abuse started.
But what is Drug Addiction?
It would be silly to say that no one at a young age dream of becoming an addict. So why does drug addiction or alcoholism happen?
Drug addiction treatment counsellors have found that addiction comes from physical or emotional pain or environmental hopelessness in many instances. At first, the individual feels better under the influence; it’s easier to relax, it’s easier to have fun, and unwind. Life is more enjoyable. Problems seem not to have the same weight. But after some time, drugs take on another aspect.
The Frequency of Consumption
Remember that no matter what frequency the individual uses is secondary to the consequences it provokes. He feels he needs the substance and can’t stop himself, even when his wife (or husband) gets angry. It doesn’t matter if a more significant percentage of his pay goes on drugs (alcohol). Addiction is present, even though he might not experience any withdrawal symptoms.
Difficulty in breaking using patterns is also a sign of addiction.
Let’s say he uses every weekend or once at the beginning of the month. He will be upset if it can’t occur.
Drug and alcohol addiction treatment centers abound. Many different programs cater to drug addiction and alcohol abuse. Choosing the proper drug rehabilitation program is essential. But, how does addiction start?