What is Addiction?
Addiction seems to be a disease of the modern times; before, it was viewed simply as overindulgence in something, but it has become so prevalent as to warrant it to be classified as a disease. What is it and what causes it? It is defined as the uncontrollable need for a drug, a substance or a habit. It becomes uncontrollable because over the course of taking the drug, substance or indulging in the habit, the brain becomes modified and demands more and more. It also loses the ability to think about the thing objectively.
There are many kinds of addictions; the most common are drug, alcohol, smoking, but also sugar, food, sex, pornography and even computer games are showing up more and more in modern society. Users or addicts feel that they are getting a certain high and they will not stop until they feel that they have achieved it.
The main problem with this is that most of the substances that people get addicted to are harmful to health. They may not be if taken in moderation, like alcohol, but once excessive, compulsive consumption starts to happen, the body is at risk.
It is a disease that will affect those around you just as if you were suffering from any other regular disease. You are no longer functional, your responsibilities are trumped and in many cases, violence will be a part of their daily lifestyle.
Symptoms of Dependency
There are common symptoms that run through people with addictions:
- Users become more tolerant of their cravings. If in the past just a few bottles of beer was enough, their capacity is now increased to the point where they can take 4 or 5 times that amount before they feel that they have the high that they were looking for.
- Some cravings cause people to withdraw for different reasons. Sometimes they feel that those close to them will judge them and want them to stop their bad habit. Sometimes the brain is altered to make users feel that they want to be alone; other times, they want to be alone simply so that they can indulge in their fixation.
- They get withdrawal symptoms when the substance that they abuse is withdrawn. One of the best treatments for dependence is to withdraw the abused substance. This usually leads to withdrawal symptoms sometimes so severe that they have to be treated medically .
- Relapses are also common. An addict will try to stop, in fact stop completely to use the substance but will find that they are drawn to it again. It takes willpower and discipline to stop this habitual action.
- Money problems are a common side effect especially of drug abuse. Drugs are an expensive habit and financing it will usually drain one’s finances.
Treatments for Cravings
Different cravings require different treatments. Usually, it will take the intervention of a doctor and professionals who are skilled in this type of treatment. Sometimes, a course of medications are recommended. These are backed up by counseling and group support.
Counseling usually deals with any underlying psychological issues that may exist. In many cases, addicts will have psychological issues with self-esteem. Sometimes, it could be abuse that triggered the problem – they believe that when they are high, they can cope better with the bad situation.
Group support is vital for people with these kind of problems. It helps them to see that they are not alone. Meeting other addicts and opening up and sharing their lives and their struggles with their dependencies seems to be of great help during treatment.
There are structured support groups, like Alcoholics Anonymous that give a step by step plan on how to get sober and stay sober. Their success rate is quite good and they come recommended by professionals who work to cure addiction.
If you are an addict, it is important that you accept it; it helps you to reach out for help. It is also vital that you exercise patience with your healing as well as discipline. Remember, an addiction is just as habit done more than is healthy for you – you can kick it by getting into the habit of staying clean.