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Addiction Defined

What is the exact definition of addiction? Addiction is known as a physiological dependence on something and its effects are both psychological and physical. An addicted person truly needs to constantly feed their addiction. Most people who are addicted to something don’t realize they have a problem. The addiction has snuck up on them and caught them unawares. They think the problem lies with everyone else.

Addiction and abuse are two different things. A person can abuse a substance such as alcohol, but never be addicted to it. The two determining factors of addiction are tolerance and physical dependence. Any addiction is highly destructive, both to the person who has the addiction and also those around them. Addictions to substances are difficult to overcome. However, once the addict actually sees and admits to a problem, there are many avenues of treatment for both alcohol and drug addictions.

The glorified picture many teenagers see in movies and on television involve other teenagers drinking and taking drugs to add to the fun they are apparently already having. It makes it look like just the thing to do to have fun. Hollywood does do a little to attempt to show the other side of addiction with certain movies and shows. But the addicted character is still glamorized in the end which overshadows the very dark side of drug and alcohol addiction. Movies are made to entertain us, so we must look at the whole picture with a critical view. The harsh reality of addiction is not entertaining on any level whatsoever. Addiction itself is a nightmare and the ensuing rehab is no picnic either.

Regardless of what you may hear or read, alcohol and illegal drugs are addictive. In fact, the younger a person starts experimenting with these things, the more likely they are to become addicted to them later in life. Many times, addictions affect multiple family members. While trying out any drugs or alcohol is dangerous, it is much more of a gamble if you know you have close family members who have battled the same things. What you stand to lose in this bet is your personality, your future, maybe even your life.

Most people addicted to alcohol will attempt to hide their drinking and will openly deny any problem. If friends or those around you on a daily basis show concern, you probably have a problem. If you get irritated at their comments and suggestions, you probably have a problem. Likewise, if you feel guilty about the amount of alcohol you consume or think maybe you should control it but can’t, or if you find yourself drinking in the morning to stop shaking or help alleviate a hangover, these are huge red flags.

Drug addiction very often starts off as abuse of prescription drugs or inhalants. Inhalants are legal substances that are used illegally to cause a person to get high. Inhalants include aerosol cleaners, gasoline, cleaning fluids, butane and acetone. You can buy or sell these things legally. They are not considered controlled substances and are much cheaper to purchase than illegal or even prescription drugs.

Having the support of family and loved ones is essential to the addict’s recovery. Some people can stop their addictions on their own with such support. Willpower is generally not enough, however. Most true addicts will need the assistance of a drug or alcohol rehabilitation program. These programs offer medically supervised and assisted methods of detoxification in order to avoid potentially life-threatening symptoms such as seizures or convulsions while withdrawing from the substance. After the person’s physical well-being is established, they will still need further moral support in realizing and resolving the psychological issues related with their addictions.

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