What Is Addiction?
Addiction affects all types of people and doesn’t discriminate based on income, occupation, culture, race, or even strength of personal willpower – anyone is capable of developing an addiction. When a person has developed a compulsive behavior of drug- seeking regardless of the consequences it is most likely that an addiction has formed. Most addictions are marked by tolerance while using and needing more to get the desired effect, and withdrawal symptoms when trying to stop. Addiction treatment is seen by most as a person experiencing withdrawal symptoms like chills, sweats, seizures, and hallucinations, triggered by alcohol, opiates, and benzodiazepine withdrawal. However, other substances have less obvious side effects when quitting and often psychological effects experienced are much harder to overcome than physical ones.
If you have trouble with any of the following you may have a problem with addiction:
- Controlling how much is taken
- Controlling how often it is taken
- Controlling how long the substance has been taken (even on prescription)
While the initial decision to take a substance is usually voluntary, when the need to use the substance becomes uncontrollable the user has become addicted. Repeated drug abuse causes the chemistry of the brain to change so that addicts will continue using a substance even though they understand that their actions may cause harm to themselves or others. Even users with strong willpower and an intense desire to stop are incapable of quitting on their own because addictions are hard to beat.