Researchers Learn More about Addiction
Over the years, science has learned more about addiction which provides a different approach in how to deal with it.
While there are various “schools of thought,” particular advancements show that drug and alcohol addiction can very well be a chronic disease. The extended use of alcohol and drugs may cause an effect on one’s brain and may explain the reason for the disease’s compulsive behavior.
This “compulsive behavior” may give the abuser and their loved ones a better understanding as to why fighting an addiction is so difficult. However, with the right treatment and support network, it can be done.
Addiction, as many who are close to it know, can be incredibly hard to break. The reason for this is that the brain fuels the dependence. Addiction is revealed in a few ways, such as:
- Continue to “use” regardless of the harm
- Work and personal life suffers from “using”
- Craving the substance
- Lying about the substance abuse
- Suffering from withdrawal symptoms
The above examples don’t only apply to street drugs, prescription drugs, and alcohol. Addiction comes in a variety of forms such as gambling, cybersex, and more.
Recent numbers are showing that roughly 23 million in United States of America are addicted to drugs and alcohol. In the drug category, findings show that Americans are addicted to marijuana, narcotic pain medications, and cocaine.
Among the 23 million, about two-thirds are dealing with alcoholism.
The old addiction thought that someone who was unable to break the habit lacked determination or self-control, has now been tossed to the side. And science has made sure of that.
Addiction is now being seen as a chronic disease which alters not only the brain function, but also the brain makeup.
Researchers have made an interesting comparison. Like a heart is affected by cardiovascular disease, the same holds true with how addiction negatively affects the brain.
In cases of addiction, the brain gets charged when it acknowledges the pleasure it is getting from drugs or alcohol. After this sensation wears off, the brain recharges itself once again with a compulsive behavior to get that “using pleasure” once again.
As the addiction continues, users begin to develop a tolerance to the amount then were once taking. In other words, the brain becomes accustomed to the “use” and the activity that was once delivering such pleasure begins to lessen in its effect.
Once this happens, the craving begins in search for regaining the pleasure the user once had. And as time goes on, the craving becomes more magnified.
The brain spurs the user to restore that memorable pleasure, but after a user reaches their tolerance point, they are unable to do so.
No one consciously starts drinking or taking drugs thinking that an addiction to it may become a threat one day. Yet, 1 in 10 Americans are addicts.
Addiction has the ability to make someone feel helpless. But with the right education, support network and rehabilitation treatments, addicts can get their lives back in control once again.
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