There have never been so many options available to help those dealing with addiction, yet the problem seems to be getting worse every year. In fact, there are now other types of addictions that did not even exist a few years ago; for example, social media addiction. How could it possibly be that with so many advances the problem appears to be getting worse? Below are a few possible explanations why this is happening.
There is Less Shame in Admitting to an Addiction Problem
One of the reason there is a huge increase in the number of those with addiction problems is there is far less of a stigma associated with this condition. In the past, there would have been a great deal of shame and embarrassment connected with this condition and families and friends would be willing to cover it up; the shame of being discovered almost meant that many people became highly skilled at hiding their addictions. It is now more accepted that those addicted to alcohol or drugs are not morally bad people who deserve to be punished; they are sick people who deserve to be helped to get better.
The Definition of Addiction Has Changed
Up until a few decades ago the word ‘addiction’ was reserved mostly for those with alcohol and drug problems. These days it is used to refer to any behaviour that a person is engaged in a little more than normal. There are also times when members of the public will use the word addiction inappropriately to describe just doing something a lot.
The definition of addiction has needed to change to reflect the growing needs of individuals. It is now recognised that addiction to something like the internet can cause as much damage to an individual as an addiction to alcohol or drugs; for example, this type of behaviour can drive many to depression and suicide. There are also far more things to become addicted to these days that need to be recognised in the definition.
The Rising Cases of Addiction May be a Sign that Treatments are Effective
In the past, many addicted people just fell through the cracks. They were not really counted in the statistics; their deaths were often attributed to something other than alcohol or drugs. One of the reasons why so many more individuals seem to have addictions may be because so many of them are actually seeking out treatment. Rather than this being a sign that the problem is getting worse, it could be a definite sign that things are improving significantly.
More Attention is Being Paid to Helping Individuals Overcome Addiction Problems
There is now far more attention given to helping people break away from addiction and it is now understood that this is not only a problem for the individual but for society as a whole as well. Billions of pounds are spent each year in the UK on dealing with this problem, and a portion of this money is spent on educating the public about it.
The Internet is Highlighting the Extent of Addiction Problems
The internet has almost certainly played a part in making people more aware of addiction. It is common for individuals on social media sites to share stories related to addiction, which is increasing the level of public awareness about the issue. It might not be so much a case that addiction has become a bigger problem than it used to be, but more the fact that more people are talking about it than ever before.