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Physical and Psychological Addiction

Those who take drugs or drink alcohol are at risk of addiction. While not every drinker or drug taker will become addicted, the risk is there and it is greater when certain risk factors are present. For example, those with a family history of addiction have a greater chance of developing addiction themselves, as do those who have experienced trauma in their past.

Certain factors make a person more likely to become an addict but do not guarantee that this will happen. Obviously, the more a person drinks or the more drugs they take, the greater the risk of them becoming tolerant to the effects of the substance they are taking.

Tolerance in Addiction

When a person becomes tolerant to the effects of drugs or alcohol, he or she will either need to take higher doses to get the same initial effects or will need to increase the frequency of use. Tolerance to drugs or alcohol is typically considered to be physiological, but it is also possible to become psychologically tolerant to these substances as well. In a physiological sense, the body craves substances such as drugs and alcohol, but those who are addicted may also feel frustrated, agitated or desperate if they cannot get their fix, hence the psychological effect. Tolerance in addiction can be physical, psychological, or a combination of both.

Physiological Addiction

When a person takes drugs or alcohol, the body fights to counter the effects of the substance. It will either speed up or slow down as it tries to get back to normal. However, when that person continues to take the substance, the body starts to ‘expect’ it and, after a while, it will become tolerant to the effects. It will learn to balance the effects of the substance so that it becomes the norm. Those with a physiological addiction will feel a physical need when they do not get the substance. This may mean they experience withdrawal symptoms such as shaking, sweating, nausea or mood swings when they are not drinking or taking drugs.

Psychological Addiction

Those with a psychological addiction may feel the need to drink or take drugs at particular times. Some will smoke a joint as soon as they wake up in the morning, or will reach automatically for an alcoholic drink as soon as they arrive home from work in the evening. These addicts will usually believe they do not have a problem because they only take the specific substance at certain times of the day. Nevertheless, they feel that they need the drugs or alcohol to function at certain times or on certain occasions.

Psychological and Physiological Addiction

The addict with a combination of a psychological and physiological addiction will believe that he or she needs to take the substance in order to function, and will also experience withdrawal symptoms when they are not drinking or taking drugs.

Treating Addiction

Addiction to drugs and alcohol can be complicated because of the physical withdrawal symptoms. Most people will experience some kind of withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking drugs or drinking alcohol. For most, it is necessary to complete a programme of detoxification before rehabilitation can begin.

Here at Rehab Helper, we would encourage clients to consider a medically-supervised programme of detox if withdrawing from drugs or alcohol. The reason for this is that there is no way to know who will experience the most severe type of withdrawal symptoms until the process has begun. Also, in most cases, withdrawal symptoms can be prevented or eased with the help of medical professionals.

We can put you in touch with a suitable provider where you will be sure of a safe and comfortable detox programme. Call us today for more information on how we can help.

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