Facts About Addiction
Addiction is a chronic disease that affects the normal functions of the body and the central nervous system. An individual who becomes a victim of substance abuse often experience changes in their body such as loss in concentration, dilated pupils, extreme tolerance, and withdrawal when they stop using. An individual also becomes so dependent on substances that they can’t control their cravings. In this article, we will be discussing some prominent facts about addiction that are important for people to know.
It affects the psychological and physical aspects of a person. However, addiction does not necessarily imply substance abuse, it also involves doing behaviors/activities such as shopping, eating, gambling, and other things done in excess. This is called behavioral addiction.
Substance abuse can affect the brain
Substance abuse can affect the circuits of the brain that are responsible for memory, decision-making, critical thinking, and other important functions. An individual will start to experience problems with controlling their substance usage and may even relapse if they try to quit regular use. Substance abuse completely alters the way a person thinks and feels.
Substance abuse affects the brain like this: The substance triggers the reward system in the brain, the reward system releases dopamine which gives the person a sense of rewards, then they experience a sense of happiness/euphoria. This feeling is desirable and can quickly become addictive. When the brain experiences this euphoria, it becomes more desirable with continual substance use.
Quitting cold-turkey is tough
Though every substance abuser’s goal is to stop their addiction, quitting all at once is tough. It is advisable to consult with a medical professional to guide you with the proper treatment and help so you can properly deal with withdrawal and avoid relapse. Your brain will do everything it can to tell you you need a substance to feel whole again, but this is not desirable for people in recovery.
This happens because the chemicals from substances are still prominent in a person’s body. Withdrawal is an extremely difficult thing to deal with without proper medical treatment, it can even result in fatal consequences if left untreated.
Denying that you have an addiction is probably the biggest reason why some people never want to stop. Accepting that you have a serious problem is the first step in starting a life free from substance abuse. It is nearly impossible to treat an individual who denies that they do not have a problem.
Wrong misconception about addiction
Just like people who think that they would not experience cancer because it does not run in their family, victims of substance abuse also have a misunderstanding about drug abuse. Yes, addiction can be a genetic disease, but anyone can develop an addiction regardless of their family history.
Facts About Gender Addiction
Gender does not equate to whether someone is more likely to develop an addiction. They are equally susceptible to this disorder, gender does not matter no matter what gender they belong to. There is no one demographic that is more susceptible to addiction than the others. Gender, race, social status, etc. can play a role in addiction development, but for the most part virtually anyone can develop an addiction.
Most of the victims of addiction also suffer from co-occurring disorders. People who struggle with addiction may also struggle with mental health disorders.
Some of the co-occurring disorders include:
- Bipolar disorder
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
- Panic Disorders
Addiction is a treatable disease
For most addicts, they feel as though they are unable to rid themselves of their addiction because they see it as a bad habit. However, addiction is more a disease that can be treated. Just like we mentioned earlier, addiction is a behavioral disorder, making it curable with the right treatment. There are plenty of treatment centers to choose from and treatment processes that are available for individuals to use for recovery.
It is best to talk to a doctor regarding your treatment process to fully understand your situation. You may encounter shortcomings throughout the recovery process, and that’s normal. It is very normal for any recovering addict to deal with uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, but that is what treatment processes are for. They help an addict navigate through this new lifestyle so they can live a successful sober life.
More mind-boggling facts about addiction are:
- The average age for a person to try drugs is 13 years old
- The most commonly abused substance is alcohol and it is the 3rd highest cause of death in the United States. Causes such as drunk driving are number one on the list of alcohol-related deaths.
- Most cases of suicide and related violent crimes are influenced by alcohol and/or drugs.
- Most of the reports connected to domestic violence are influenced by drugs and/or other substances.
- Most of the people who experience poor performance in school and at the workplace are caused by addiction.
- 29 out of 30 alcohol-related addictions have never received treatments, and are doubtful about getting one. They have never given a chance to understand their situation.
- Some of the college student’s decisions to drop-out are influenced by alcohol and other substances abuse.
- Three of the most abused prescription drugs are pain killers (opioid drugs), tranquilizers, and stimulants. Students and young adults are often victims of prescription abuse since they get results quickly for their stressful situations.
- The most common illicit drugs abused are marijuana, cocaine, and hallucinogens.
- Most people with addiction problems suffer from financial problems and often lose connections to people close to them (friends, family members, loved ones, etc.)
It is best for a person who suffers from an addiction to acknowledge that they need help. Better to take action as soon as you notice signs because it is easier to treat when it is still new. If you have people telling you you have a problem, they are probably right. Bottom line is that everyone is a target and it is up to you to make the right decisions and seek help if you have developed an addiction.