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THE BASIC CONCEPT OF ADDICTION

When an individual is caught up in the web of addiction, it is usually very difficult to break free, especially if they are making such attempts on their own. When you have a good grasp on how substance abuse works, you would then have the full understanding why it is usually so difficult to overcome.

Addiction can be defined as a brain disease- a chronic one, which is exhibited by the psychological and physical reliance on drugs, alcohol or sometimes a behaviour. When the addictive disorder has been created, the individual would be totally dependent on their habits, and they would not mind if there are adverse effects which are attached to it.

Addiction is very powerful, as it has the capacity to greatly affect the way a person feels, acts and thinks as well. A good number of people have addictive disorders, and they are aware of its presence. However, they find it very hard to stop all by themselves.

An addict would tell you that, at first, it was very tempting to try out those addictive substances or carry out the addictive act, with the intention of doing it just for the first time. However, there is a high tendency for things not to work out as planned, as they would find themselves doing those things, or using those substances over and over again.

When substances are consumed on a regular basis, or some specific acts are committed, the person begins to develop what is known as tolerance. This tolerance takes place when there is a need for you to make use of more amounts of alcohol, drug to get the same effects, similar to when you commenced. The same thing applies to addictive acts, as there is usually the urge to carry out the same act, probably for a longer duration or in a more intense manner.

Being addicted for a while could result in a vicious cycle of addiction, whereby the individual would continually use alcohol or drugs, in order to avert the awkward symptoms which comes with withdrawal. When the person comes to realize that there is a serious problem, it would be difficult to stop.

Process Addiction

process addictionProcess addictions are largely misunderstood. Many people are under a false impression that an addiction has to be to a substance, such as alcohol or drugs, and that any other compulsive behaviors must simply be a bad habit. This is not the case. Addiction can apply to a process, or a behavior, just as easily as it can to a physical substance. The addiction may be to gambling, to sex, to internet browsing or to any number of other activities. What is difficult for people to grasp is that the addictive activity actually gives the addict the same high that an addictive substance would to a substance addict.

The way that process addictions work is as follows. When the addict discovers that a certain action or series of actions that they take gives them immense pleasure, their brains make a particular note of how that pleasure was achieved so that they can return to the process repeatedly. The scientific explanation of their pleasure feeling is the brain chemical dopamine. This chemical is released in the brain every time a person experiences pleasure. The interesting part is there is very little difference between the dopamine release achieved through substance use and the dopamine release achieved through acting on a process. Though people’s addictions are diverse, what they are addicted to on a chemical level is dopamine, and there is equal potential for addiction to substances and to processes.

Process addictions, like substance addictions, are more harmless when they begin than they are when they have really taken a hold of a person’s life. A severe process addiction can jeopardize a person’s finances, health, relationships and┬ávocations. For instance, say someone is addicted to shopping online – the combination of an internet addiction and a shopping addiction. They are going to wreck their finances with their inability to control their spending. They are going to isolate themselves from their relationships due to their undependable nature. They are going to damage their posture and their muscles sitting in front of a computer screen constantly. And they are going to lose respect of their colleagues because of their mental unhealthiness.

Drug Addiction

drug addictionDrug addiction does not discriminate based on class, gender or age. It can be found in every demographic and can strike individuals from any social or cultural group. But can similarities be found between drug addicts? Is there any way to qualify the factors that lead a person to succumb to drug addiction? While the quanitfying of addiction’s contributing factors is not an exact science, medical research would suggest that there are common, observable factors that increase a person’s likelihood of becoming addicted to drugs.

The most frequently observed contributors to drug addiction are a person’s environmental factors and genetics. When a person’s support system tolerates or encourages drug use, they are more likely to become addicted at some point in their life, and genetic predipositions to drug addiction have regularly been observed, especially in the case of drug abuse being multigenerational.

More often than not, when a person is succeptible to drug addiction, they have other psychological disorders as well, such as Attention Deficit Disorder, depression or anxiety, and the drug use becomes a way of self medicating. The point in an addict’s life when they discover the drug plays a part in their addiction, as certain life phases are more prone to addiction than others.

Other factors that influence an addict’s struggle with drug abuse may be gender (men are twice as likely as women to become addicted to drugs), peer pressure to try any number of substances, and absent family members who provide weak support and guidance.

Drug addiction treatment centers are available to individuals who feel they may need drug rehabilitation, and it is highly recommended that anyone who feels they may have a drug addiction to reach out for help.

Inpatient Rehab

inpatient rehab

The purpose of an inpatient addiction treatment facility is to put an addicted person into a protected environment where they cannot access the substance they are addicted to. A recovering addict will live on-site in the rehabilitation center to undergo treatment. This allows the individual to focus completely on their recovery in a safe, supervised environment with the help of mental health and medical professionals. The program’s length, methods and resources all have a bearing on how successful the inpatient rehabilitation is.

Statistics indicate that the inpatient residential model of rehabilitation is the most successful treatment for addiction available, and most private rehab centers are similar. The detoxification process comes first for substance abusers to restore the individuals body back to a healthy state. Often the person’s body will be so reliant on the substance that withdrawal symptoms may come with severe health risks. Licensed inpatient rehabs should have a medical professional available to monitor the individual, or be able to refer them to a medical facility for the duration of their detoxification process.

The substance abuse treatment program that follows is typically focused on the psychological problems that influence the person’s addictive behavior. Programs vary depending on the philosophies of the particular rehab, but the standard inpatient rehab will incorporate counseling, group activities, therapeutic activities and life coaching. The program will often be tailored to the patient’s needs and will include material that addresses the person’s individual biochemical and psychological problems.

Residential rehabs can vary in their approach to recovery through the institution’s philosophies. For a recovering addict who is interested in organic living, natural remedy inpatient programs are available. Religious inpatient programs are common and combine the benefits of a spiritual lifestyle with the psychological foundations of recovery. There are also programs designed specifically for certain age and gender groups, as well as income brackets and lifestyles.

Addiction