Mental health professionals agree that it’s frequently impossible to tell who will develop a dependence on drugs or alcohol. Even though there are some possible contributing factors, they don’t always result in addiction. So, what is addiction? More importantly, what should you do when you develop one?
What Addiction is Not
Would you be surprised to learn that the development of addiction isn’t a moral weakness? Far too often, society equates a chemical dependence with an absence of willpower. It’s true that getting started with drug or alcohol use is a personal choice. At the same time, remember that nobody wakes up one day and decides to become an addict.
So, What is Addiction?
Addiction is a chronic disease of the brain. It has psychological manifestations that include intense cravings for a substance and obsessing over getting it. Physical symptoms show a change in the brain’s functioning and subsequent side effects. Examples might be weight loss, development of paranoia, oral health problems, and organ failure.
Because addiction eliminates choice, you’ll continue using a substance even if it makes you sick. Over time, the drug causes the body to develop a tolerance to its chemicals. That’s when you increase the dose in the hope of regaining the high. In fact, you’re entering a vicious cycle that’ll continue for as long as there’s no change. Only substance abuse treatment will help.
How to Overcome Addiction
What is an addiction if not an opportunity for healing? It’s a common misconception that you have to continue with drug use no matter what. However, the opposite is the case. With the help of a great rehab, you have the opportunity to end drug use and gain control over the cravings.
Since addiction is a chronic disease, you’re always at risk for relapse. However, at a good-quality rehab facility, therapists work with you to provide tools for handling triggers. In fact, the therapeutic environment at these centers provides a suitable backdrop for such treatments. Modalities include:
- Disease education and an acceptance that helps you to gain a healthy perspective on your condition
- Psychotherapy that lets you tackle stress and triggers as well as dysfunctional patterns in new ways
- Group therapy, which encourages program participants to learn from each other and develop self-esteem
- Nutrition counseling to prepare you for independent living and a change to a healthy lifestyle
- Exercise in the form of ropes courses and different ways of working out for the support of a healthy lifestyle
- Workshops that focus on gender-specific issues many program participants typically deal with
- 12-Step program group attendance to encourage early relapse prevention strategy development
Getting Help Isn’t Difficult
Whether you need opioid addiction treatment or grapple with an alcohol use disorder, there’s hope. You don’t have to keep struggling by yourself to make the necessary changes. At Ocean Recovery, caring therapists work with people like you every day to overcome chemical dependency.
Now that you know what is addiction call 800-641-2388 today to schedule a meeting with an addiction specialist.