Addiction is a condition which involves doing things that can be pleasurable persistently or repetitively despite their consequences. Continued use or an act of compulsive behaviour can interfere with ordinary responsibilities such as work responsibilities, family, health and relationships. Sometimes people get addicted just after a few times of exposure or act.
Something to think about is how your drug use makes you feel. Do you only do drugs when you are with your friends or has your use of drugs become a habit? Ask yourselves the following questions:
- Are you fearful of what might happen after you stop using?
- Have you ever felt you needed to cut down on your drinking or drug use?
- Do you spend most of your times thinking about how or when you going to use drugs or drink alcohol?
- Have you ever felt you needed a drink first thing in the morning (Eye-opener) to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover?
- Do you use drugs to escape negative feelings?
- Have you ever been in trouble with the law as a result of your use of drugs or alcohol?
- Are you uncomfortable about your drug or alcohol use?
- Have you ever experienced withdrawal symptoms (felt sick) when you stopped taking drugs or stopped drinking?
- Do you have blackouts or can’t remember what happened after consuming alcohol or drugs?
- Do you steal from loved ones to buy drugs or alcohol?
- Have you had medical problems as a result of your drug use (e.g., memory loss, hepatitis, convulsions, bleeding etc…)?
- Do you spend large amounts of money on drugs or alcohol?
If you answered yes to most of the questions, then you are likely to have drug/alcohol addiction problems. Drugs and alcohol change how the body works. For other people drugs serve as a way to escape reality, life problems, and relief from stress, depression or other uncomfortable feelings.
Cravings may also indicate Addiction. When you get addicted, the addiction develops strong and powerful mental cravings when the drug/ alcohol is not in your system. According to Leshner A (Addiction is a brain disease, and it matters.) Science (1997) “Addiction generates changes in the reward pathway of the brain, which creates compulsive need to find and use drugs.” This makes it difficult to quit using or taking drugs once your habit has developed to addiction.
Addiction is scary and it may lead to thinking that there is no hope of recovering. The truth is that recovery from addiction is possible. It can be managed with treatment in an inpatient rehabilitation, counselling and outpatient treatment centre depending on the level of addiction. Support and positive attitudes also play a significant role in the recovery process.
If you are actually an addict or headed the direction of addiction, seek professional help.