Addiction is not something that happens to weak or bad people. It is not something that happens because an individual is a failure or has no willpower. It is an illness just like other illnesses such as heart disease or diabetes.
Those who use drugs or drink alcohol make the choice to do so, but they do not choose to become addicted. Addiction is an illness that occurs gradually, affecting the persons brain as it does. The more an individual drinks or uses drugs, the more his or her brain function changes and the ability to make good choices diminishes. Those who become addicted find that they have no control over their actions, and the strong compulsions they feel can spiral out of control.
Addicts will continue to drink or take drugs even though they know that by doing so there could be devastating results. The reason they do this is because they cannot control their urges. They may be aware that by continuing to drink or take drugs they could lose their family, job, home, or even risk illness, but they simply cannot stop.
When Drinking or Drug Taking Becomes a Problem
In the beginning, people have the option of whether to take drugs or drink alcohol. They make the choice. However, over time, the option is no longer available. Those who have developed addiction get stronger cravings and often find that once they start, they cannot stop. They may also find that when they are not drinking or taking drugs, they are suffering from withdrawal symptoms that can include shaking or sweating. This signifies that they have now become physically dependent on alcohol or drugs, and it has become a serious problem.
Do You Have an Addiction?
Unlike some other illnesses, it is impossible to diagnose addiction with a blood test. It is not always recognisable by just looking at someones appearance either. Nevertheless, doctors may be able to spot certain signs, especially in those that have developed liver damage.
Nonetheless, addiction is most commonly recognised by family members and friends who become worried about the affected individuals behaviour. The problem is that most addicts are in denial and will probably have brushed off any concerns their loved ones have had. Irrespective of this, though, if you are worried that you might have an addiction, you should ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you often drink more than you had planned to?
- Do you find that once you start drinking, you cannot stop?
- Have you taken illegal drugs such as heroin or cocaine recently?
- Are you taking prescription medication that was prescribed for someone else?
- Are you taking more than the recommended dose of medication that was prescribed for you?
- Have you bought prescription medication online or on the street?
- Have you been to work while under the influence of alcohol or drugs?
- Do you promise to stop drinking or take drugs but find that you cannot stop?
- Do you ever wake up in the morning with no recollection of the night before?
- Have you thought to yourself that maybe you need to cut down on the amount of drugs or alcohol you use?
- Do you need to drink more or take more drugs to get the same effects you used to get?
- Have you stopped certain activities because they interfere with drinking or drug taking?
- Do you continue to drink or take drugs even though it is damaging your relationships with loved ones?
If you have answered yes to at least four of the above questions, you may have a serious problem and it is advisable to get help as soon as possible. Rehab Helper can provide information and advice to those with addiction. We can tell you about treatments that are available and can put you in touch with suitable providers. Call our helpful advisors today anything you tell them will be dealt with in the strictest confidence.