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What is addiction?
Addiction is often misunderstood as simply a choice or a desire to get high, but it is much more complex than what meets the eye. Addiction is a disease and it can happen to anyone at any time. This misunderstanding has led to a long-standing stigma that pigeonholes addicts as individuals who lack morality or strength of character. Such wrongful stereotyping often leaves addicts to feel discouraged or ashamed to seek the professional help that they need.
In order to reverse such a damaging stigma, it is important to understand what addiction truly is. Addiction is a disease, and is classified as so, because of its chronic and relapsing nature that claims the user as its victim. It causes the addict to seek and use the substance of choice without concern of the consequences that will follow because their brains and bodies become so dependent on it. These consequences not only affect the user, but also their friends, family members, loved ones, and colleagues.
As mentioned, addicts are typically categorized by society as those who lack moral principles or the willpower to resist temptation. However, addiction is not something that can be easily controlled. Although addicts make the initial choice to use, whether it be for recreational purposes or to alleviate mental or physical pain, an addiction will take control of the individual over time.Drugs and alcohol are composed of harmful chemicals that alter and intensify natural chemicals that are already present in the brain and body. The high that an individual gets from these chemicals creates a false sense of euphoria and relief which keeps the user coming back for more. After a period of extended use, the brain will be accustomed to these chemical changes and eventually becomes reliant on them. Following long-term abuse, these chemicals can cause changes in other areas of the brain. Studies have shown that drug abuse alters important areas of the brain that control judgment, decision-making, and behavior. In a desperate attempt to compensate for the chemical change caused by drug use, the brain's cognitive functions are impaired, causing the user to abuse the drug without thinking of the consequences that may follow.
How do addictions work?
Drugs are made of harmful chemicals that alter or intensify natural chemicals that are already present in the brain. This creates an false sense of euphoria; it is this feeling that keeps the user coming back for more. After a period of extended abuse, the brain starts to become accustomed to these chemical changes and eventually becomes reliant on them.
Withdrawal also plays a heavy role in addiction. Even if an addict wants to stop using a substance, the withdrawal that they'll experience is enough for them to continue to buy and use. When the brain stops receiving the chemical changes brought on from substance abuse, it sends the body into withdrawal, bringing on painful and sometimes even deadly symptoms. The severity and types of symptoms will depend upon on the substance that is being used and the level of dependency that the addict is experiencing.
What happens during withdrawal?
Addiction is a disease that can be managed and treated with the help of highly-trained medical professionals. Treatment programs are available that to help addicts through the various stages of addiction recovery and teach them how to live a healthy, happy, and sober life. Due to the dependent nature of addiction, it is not uncommon for relapses to occur. The Treatment Helpline has the knowledge, skills, and resources to get you, or a loved one, into the proper treatment program to get you the help you need once and for all.
Can you or a loved one get the help that you need?
Many addicts are ashamed to admit that they are suffering from addiction while others may be in denial or are unaware that they have a problem. The Treatment Helpline is here to help you or a loved one understand that your life is worth more than hiding behind the walls of addiction. Help is out there, and we are here to get you there. Below is a link to a series of questions that are designed to get you thinking seriously about addiction and figure out whether or not you may have a problem that needs to be treated. We ask that you answer these questions with 100% honesty to ensure the proper results. No matter the outcome of this test, we urge you to call today and speak to one of our addiction counselors.
How do you know if you have a problem?
Addiction is a serious and dangerous manner, and without the proper help, it can cause great harm to the user and others in their life. It is your right to live a long, happy, and healthy life, and The Treatment Helpline wants to help you do so. Don't wait another day.
Below is a link to a series of questions that are designed to get you thinking seriously about addiction. We ask that you answer these questions with 100% honesty to ensure the proper results in order find you the help that need.
No matter the outcome of this test, we urge you to call today and speak to one our of an addiction counselors. Addiction is a serious matter, and without the proper help, it can cause great harm to the user and the ones they love. It is your right to live a long, and healthy life, and The Treatment Helpline wants to help you do so.