What is your favorite pastime? Are you into reading? Or how about knitting? Gardening? Watching a movie? Surfing the internet? Whatever it is it must have drawn you to do something productive, or maybe not, especially during days when you have nothing to do aside from eating, defecating, and sleeping just like a baby. There are points in life when we completely succumb to doing things in our life that lead us to neglect some of our priorities. An example of this is when you are reading a very interesting book to the point that you forgot to eat your breakfast, lunch, and eventually your dinner.
As psychologists put it into words, addiction is a state that results when an individual takes a substance (such as alcohol, nicotine, cocaine) or engages in an activity (such as gambling, shopping, sex) that he or she finds pleasurable and decides to continue the activity thus leading it to become compulsive, interfering with his or her responsibilities at home and in the workplace. Let us go back to our example in the first paragraph. The act of reading is not bad but when you do it to an extent where you completely prioritize reading instead of your daily functions is a problem.
There are several definitions of addiction used by experts. Here are some definitions that describe addiction:
Physical addiction, as quoted from Psychology Today, is the “biological state in which the body adapts to the presence of a drug so that drug no longer has the same effect, otherwise known as a tolerance. Because of tolerance, the biological reaction of withdrawal occurs the drug is discontinued.”
To put it in simpler terms, this definition of addiction points out the continuous pleasurable ingestion of substances or engagement to activities to the point that it no longer has the same thrill or effect during the first times one uses or engages oneself into. This can lead to the individual doubling the amount taken to have a more pleasurable experience and this circumstance is called tolerance.
Exposure to cues “is the phenomenon of overreaction by the brain to drugs (or to cues associated with the drugs).” (www.psychologytoday.com) These cues tempt an individual to eventually succumb to his or her pleasure just by the sight of a thing, a place, or a person related to his or her addiction. Take into consideration that you are a person with an internet addiction disorder. The mere sight of a computer pulls you to using the machine to address and satisfy your compulsions.
One type of addiction that changes the lives of people from across the globe is drug addiction. A drug dependent compulsively seeks and uses drugs as like there is no tomorrow. That user will continue to take these harmful substances without even realizing the consequences that will befall the person himself and his family members. This type of addiction is considered a brain disease due to the fact that it changes the brain from its structure to its function. These changes can be long-lasting and can be very self-destructive.
Even though an individual knows the harmful effects of drugs, they still continue using the substance. What makes them ingest these substances? The saying once tasted, always wanted may not just be a slogan for food service or the like. It can also describe the experiences and pleasures of a first-time drug user. If he or she finds pleasure in indulging in taking the substance into his or her system, the user eventually turns into an addict where he or she compulsively feels the urge of taking in the substance like it is already a part of his or her routine.
Can this addiction be treated?
Taking substances such as these harmful drugs is never good for the body let alone taking them in big amounts. Questions on the treatment of this addiction begin to surface. Can this addiction be treated? The answer is yes. Just as any other addiction, drug addiction can be treated through a mixture of therapy and medication. The treatment must be tailored in a way that is specially planned for the unique needs of the drug dependent. Of course, treatment is encouraged in the earliest stage before everything may be too late to be treated.
Drug recovery is a process used when a drug-dependent experiences change by the means of abstinence towards drugs thus improving his or her quality of life. Users eventually submit to treatment due to the fact that his or her excessive use of the harmful substance has caused a drift of his or her relationship towards the people he or she loves dearly to the society he or she belongs. At first, the user usually thinks that the process is impossible but when taken one step at a time, the steps to drug recovery can be attainable.
Basic steps in drug recovery:
- Acceptance of the fact that you are an addict and that you want to make a change.
- Be informed and embrace the reality that changing can be difficult but this piece of information should not hinder you to back out from the recovery process.
- Explore options where you can be treated.
- Find support in friends and family members.
- Learn to distract yourself from taking harmful drugs by learning a new hobby or habits.
- Control triggers and avoid cravings. This is the most challenging part but this is the main step in your road to drug recovery.
- Building a meaningful life without depending on drugs.
- Never lose hope.
Your journey towards drug recovery varies greatly from other addicts. Physicians, therapists, and counselors recognize the fact that you are unique therefore you should ask for their expert advice on how to start your recovery. Always remember that you are doing what is best for your body thus your road to recovery is a noble decision. Above all, seek inspiration from someone, whether they may be a divine being or the people around you whom you love and cherish the most.