Addiction tears you apart.
Substance abuse and alcoholism are a huge issue in this country. As is addiction to pain medications. Even if you aren’t abusing pain medicine, you can still be physically dependent, and technically addicted to them.
Maybe it isn’t medication you, or your loved one, has a problem with. Maybe you partied a little too much and became dependent on street drugs, like heroin or meth. Drug addiction can involve many types of drugs, at many levels. Research chemicals are popular with people who think street drugs are too dangerous.
More than just substance abuse and alcoholism exist. You can be addicted to gambling, sex, food- pretty much anything. According to Psychology Today:
They go on further to discuss that addictive behaviors share key neurobiological features. They involve reward and reinforcement, which affects motivation, and involves the neurotransmitter, dopamine.
That means basically anything that makes you feel good can become addictive. Just about anything can become an addiction for the right person. We don’t often recognize that there are even people addicted to fitness/health/jogging, volunteering, or any of the other “good” things because people don’t call those addictions. But, what about the fitness addict that works themselves to injury? Or, the volunteer that has no other life than volunteering, or works themselves to exhaustion? I’m not saying that being into fitness is an addiction- I’m just showing how almost ANYthing can be.
That’s why it’s worse when you get involved with things that are known to be addictive. If even the healthy stuff can turn bad, think about how likely and easy it is for the known addictive substances to get you in their grasp. It can take hold of ANYONE, and for some, it will feel like an old friend wrapping their arms around them in a embrace because it’s already in their DNA because their parents or grandparents were addicts.
Why does that matter?
It matters because having a parent or grandparent who was/is addicted to something, DRASTICALLY increases the likelihood that YOU will be.come addicted much faster than someone who doesn’t have it in their bloodline. I have a piece I’m formatting now on this subject. I will link it here asap.
My Writings About Addiction
“Addiction: Why You Should Care” published on Vocal
Local Resources (WV, KY, OH tri-state area)– Resources for anyone in my local area.
- Facebook Support Group- Realistic Support for Chronic Illness, Addiction Recovery, & Mental Illness – A support group I started myself on Facebook for anyone wanting realistic support. We don’t sugarcoat things here.
- National Drug Helpline– If you need help, this is a good resource to use.
- Alcoholics Anonymous
- Narcotics Anonymous (NA)
- National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependence
- National Institute of Drug Abuse– Different Types of Treatment Programs- A good source to explain the most used options available in the recovery industry.
- National Institute of Drug Abuse– Drug Fact Sheet– A very informative general fact sheet about drug addiction.
- Shatterproof.org – national nonprofit organization dedicated to ending the devastation addiction causes families.
- American Society of Addiction Medicine
That’s the bottom line. Getting away from whatever you’re addicted to is the ONLY way to even have a chance of a decent life. As long as you’re still doing whatever it is you’re addicted to, it’s still influencing how you think, and can even do so for quite some time after you give it up. Eventually though, after awhile of being in recovery, you get YOUR mind back. Your real personality comes back. Maybe a little more grown-up, and having learned better coping mechanisms- but it’s still YOU, without something else making you do things you wouldn’t otherwise.
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You just have to put as much effort into it as you do into feeding your addiction. It’s not an easy thing to do. Relapse is always a concern. Pretending it isn’t gets you nowhere.Removing yourself from the situations and places where you used, and removing the people you used with from your life, are very important for most addicts. At least for the first several months, being around those places and things may lead you right back to using. Instead reach out for support from those who want you to get clean. Use distractions to help avoid cravings (read my article on why and suggestions of healthy distractions to use here: Using Distactions as Coping Mechanisms. I’ve made a couple of pages of games that you can find here-