What is Addiction?

Addiction is a psychological or physical need or compulsive desire to use or do something to the point where it is harmful to you and to those around you. It may be drugs, alcohol, nicotine etc. Substance abuse can range in severity from severe to moderate to mild. There are many people who experience mild drug or alcohol abuse problem, but may be able to control the usage or stop using without developing to addiction.

People who generally abuse alcohol or drugs can suffer consequences like overdoses, accidents, crime, violence, and even suicide. Addiction is a chronic disease which severely impairs the functioning of the body and brain. The ability of the addicted person to function normally in families, schools, workplaces or society is also seriously affected. Some of the common symptoms that a person is addicted are, continued use in spite of prior severe consequences, absolute loss of control, being preoccupied with the substance, unable to quit despite many attempts etc.

Why do people get addicted?

Addictions can develop due to many reasons. Addiction can be a way out in an attempt to avoid or block difficult life situations. Poverty and unemployment can be triggers, along with emotional and professional stress.

Drugs, alcohol, and nicotine are substances which affect the way a person feels, both mentally as well as physically. These feelings can be exhilarating or enjoyable and might create a strong urge to seek its continued use to try and recreate the same feeling again. This can lead to developing a habit which becomes hard to stop.

Once the person is severely addicted to the substance, not getting it can cause withdrawal symptoms, which can get very unpleasant. Hence it is easier to continue the use as per the craving and thus the cycle goes on. Another serious danger occurs when the person needs more and more quantity and frequency to gratify the cravings and to achieve a ‘high’ as before.

Dangers of Addiction

The most serious type of addiction is when physical symptoms develop which most often need long-term and intensive treatment. Also, people with a severe form of addiction get repeatedly sick over time and develop various other illnesses too due to the disease, which can even lead to death.

Managing the addiction can cause serious damage to a person’s relationships, work performance as well as social life. It has serious physical and psychological effects as well. Children being brought up by an addict also stand the risk of developing an addiction.

Types of Treatment

Effective treatment, management, and prevention of addiction can be provided by healthcare professionals along with peer support and cooperation of the family. The psychotherapeutic or medical treatment provided to reduce or control dependence on alcohol, drugs etc. is called Drug Rehabilitation. The substance dependence of the patient is confronted and help is provided to completely cease the abuse. You can find rehab centers where the treatment also includes counseling by experts, medication for any other related disorders, including depression, as well as meeting other previous addicts and sharing their experiences.