If you do something that is enjoyable, you will probably want to do it again. If you like it, you might do it a lot and develop a habit.
Habits are typically harmless. However, some habits can turn into significant problems. If the problem is big enough, it is an addiction.
Addiction is where you have a psychological and physical need to indulge your addiction. It is where you are dependent on a particular substance, thing, or activity.
With any addiction tolerance levels are a factor. Tolerance issues are where you need more and more of whatever it is you are addicted to in order to achieve the same high or satisfaction.
The behavior of someone who has an active addiction can be frustrating, sad, frightening, and baffling. The power of addiction is so strong that people are often overwhelmed by it. Their words and actions are dictated by their addiction.
Here are some behavioral patterns that are associated with addiction:
Alternatively, you might be enabling your loved one’s addiction. Here are some signs that you are enabling addict behavior:
Addiction and dependency are not interchangeable terms. They each mean something different. Dependence indicates there is a psychical need to engage in addictive activities.
Addiction is when behavioural changes take place and indulging the addiction becomes the priority, despite any harm it might cause the addict or their family and friends.
Typically people with an active addiction tend to act irrationally when they are not indulging their addiction.
Psychological and environmental factors appear to be influential in determining if someone is at risk for abusing substances or indulging in other addiction problems.
Genetic factors also play a big role in determining if someone is more likely to develop an addiction problem or not.
There are some drugs, like nicotine and heroin, which experts believe are so addictive that using them excessively can cause anyone to become addicted to them.
Some risk factors that make addiction more likely include:
Just because you have some of these risk factors, it does not mean you will instantly become addicted. What it means is that the odds are higher.
The more risk factors you have, the greater chance you will have addiction problems.
Types of Addiction
From substance abuse to gambling to stealing, addiction comes in many shapes, sizes, and colors.
Some addictions are straightforward, like substance abuse. Others are more controversial, like smartphone addiction or kleptomania.
The euphoria that is experienced when someone indulges in his or her addiction is rooted in an increase in dopamine activity in the brain.
This reward system, better known as the mesolimbic pathway starts in the midbrain and extends out to the frontal lobes.
If we did not experience pleasure, the human race would not exist.
Eating, happiness, and sex are things that feel good, and because of this, we look for them. Dopamine is a brain chemical that is associated with pleasure along with Endorphins.
Everything that makes you feel good comes from these two brain chemicals. Addictive substances and activities affect the dopamine release in the brain’s reward pathway.
In turn, you will continue to seek out your addiction to activate the brain’s reward pathway by causing an increased release of dopamine in your system.
Addiction is considered a brain disease because after that first exposure addiction is not a choice. It is a dependency and compulsion. Addiction is a chronic condition. It is long lasting and cannot be cured.
Addiction is only controlled or managed with the use of long-term monitoring and treatment for support and recovery.
While early on it is a person’s choice to use a substance or indulge in an addictive activity, over time the brain becomes chemically altered, and that choice diminishes, free will is lost, and an addiction remains.
The most defining symptom of addiction is the loss of control over it.
Addiction is considered a disease by the healthcare industry. Associations like the American Medical Association and American Society of Addiction Medicine recognize addiction as a disease.
Just like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease, addiction occurs because of environmental, biological, and behavioral factors.
Genetic risk also plays a role in the likelihood of developing an active addiction. Addiction causes changes in the brain and body. Addiction can be severe, disabling and even life-threatening.
It isn’t always easy to recognize when an addict requires help. This is especially true when it comes to behavioral addictions because everyone engages in those activities at some level.
You will want to get help when:
Usually, there is no single reason why an addiction has developed. It is typically a combination of issues such as a genetic predisposition, trauma, and poor coping mechanisms for stress.
It doesn’t matter if you’re dealing with an addiction to a substance or behavior. Admitting you have a problem is the first and most important step you can take to overcome it.
After successfully admitting you have a problem, it is time to make a plan for recovery.
It is difficult and sometimes emotionally painful to recognize how your addiction is harming you, but seeing it on paper is one way you can resolve to fix the problem.
You can start by creating a list of the adverse effects of your addiction.
These are all good questions to ask and answer.
Next, you will want to make a list of everything you want to change for the better in your life. Think about the freedom you will have once you kick your addiction. Create a picture in your mind of what post-addiction life looks like.
What do you have more time for? Who are you spending your time with now? Are there any physical benefits? Or how do you expect to feel after you’ve kicked your habit? Will you be proud of yourself?
Finally, make a written commitment to quit. No one can make you quit. You have to want to quit for it to be successful. This means you need to set a solid date as to when you want to quit, and you will want to record why you want to quit.
Making a written commitment to yourself to quit can be the best gift you ever give yourself.
After you’ve committed to quitting here are some things you can do to ensure success:
When it comes to beating an addiction problem, it is essential to take notice of things that go well. Celebrate your accomplishments.
Tracking your successes in sobriety is crucial because it decreases the chance of relapsing.
Some find that counting the number of days they’ve stayed sober to be rewarding.
Noting benchmarks in recovery such as the first week, month, 60 days, 90 days & year is important because it proves you’ve can resist the temptation for so many days and can maintain sobriety for another day.
Sobriety is something worth cheering for, and it is something you can do right now to grow and healthily better yourself.
Addiction is something we need to understand and be able to identify.
Serious addiction is dangerous to the addict and the family and friends. Immediate action is recommended for the safety and security of the addict and all other affected parties.
If you suspect that a friend, or a loved one has addiction problems, or if you think that you might have a problem, then you can get in touch with the Hotline at a trusted Recovery Center and discuss the problem and possible solutions.
The staff at Chateau Recovery is always available to help you with your questions regarding addiction recovery and treatment. Call anytime.
Please call our toll-free helpline which is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is staffed by experienced and caring professionals who can answer your questions and help you navigate through the process of evaluating and securing a treatment program.
If you or someone you love has questions concerning the rehabilitation process, call our free helpline Phone: +1 888-971-2986 for more information. Calls are always confidential, private, and secure.
We need to stop blaming addicts and start treating them. Right now, our treatment options are severely limited and often misguided. In this talk, Ed Stevenson passionately describes why we desperately need more treatment centers and better treatment options if we are to help our friends and family who struggle with addictions.