When you or a loved one is faced with the struggles of addiction, there can be a lot of questions. Due to addiction’s complexity, and stereotypes and misconceptions that may impact your understanding of it, you may not fully understand what can be done. By understanding addiction, you can allow you or your loved one the chance to seek help and find a cure that works best for you.
What Is Addiction?
The definition of addiction is much simpler than addiction itself. Addiction is the frequent compulsion to seek pleasure in a behavior or group of behaviors that may have damaging consequences to a person on multiple levels.
The behavior is often out of the control of the person with the addiction, and they might even see it as normal. It is often chronic, with occasional relapses of use. The behaviors can begin with a voluntary action, but it does not remain as such once addiction sets in.
Many addicts present similar behaviors as a sign of addiction, no matter what it is that they are addicted to. Often, the addiction becomes a priority for the person. As a result, everything else in the person’s life—family, friends, work, other responsibilities—may be forgotten and seen as less important.
They may resort to dangerous tactics in order to continue their addiction, such as hurting others, stealing, and lying. The NIDA states that some individuals may develop further problems, like memory loss, or have difficulty with decision making and judgement.
Addiction is a non-discriminating condition; it can affect a person of any age, gender, social standing, or background. How a person is affected by their addiction can vary from person to person. According to the DEA, addictive substances like drugs and alcohol affect each person differently and the effect is often unpredictable.
A person’s chemistry can impact how addictive substances affect them, and those chemical reactions in their body and brain can even be changed through addiction.
How Can Addiction Be Cured?
Treatment for addiction can sometimes be as complex as the addiction itself. Due to the ways in which an addictive substance can affect a person, treatment is often customized for each person. There are three main goals for successful addiction treatment, according to the NIDA: stop using the addictive substance, remain free of its usage, and continue to live a productive live.
In order to treat a person for addiction, they are usually assessed first. There are usually several steps in the treatment process, beginning with detoxification or the withdrawal of the person from the addictive substance.
Treatment and Methodology
There is also counseling, medication in acceptable cases, and treatment for any other co-occurring mental issues that contribute to addiction or can impact recovery. As addiction is often a chronic condition that is prone to relapse, treatment does not usually come with an end date. Follow-up treatment usually occurs over the long term in order to prevent any relapses.
If you or a loved one is dealing with addiction, know there are options out there for help. Find addiction treatment resources in your state now.