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Copyright © 2017 Connexion Psychological Practice Ltd.

What is Addiction?

An addiction is a recurring brain condition that is characterized through compulsive seeking of drugs and other harmful substances despite the fact that they are indeed deemed harmful towards the body.  This highly affects the brain because of the fact that it changes its patterns immensely and also damages it.  Lasting addictions to different drugs can have long term effects on the brain, changing behaviors, lifestyle, and ultimately the users themselves.

 

Symptoms:

  • Feeling the urge to use the drug many times a day.

  • Over time, using more of the drug in one sitting.

  • Maintaining a steady supply of the drug.

  • Experiencing withdrawals from the drug when you stop taking it.

  • Focusing more time and energy on the drug.

 

Addictions can be easily diagnosed and can be easily inherited.  At younger ages, people can easily become addicted to various drugs with marijuana, alcohol, and tobacco being the most popular among them.  One of the most obvious symptoms of an addiction can be withdrawals which being where the user will reach anxiety over not being exposed to the drug for a certain period of time.  Thus withdrawals are the main reason why people become addicted to drugs as they constantly desire them to make themselves feel good.

 

Addictions are a very serious problem and must be instantly treated. Long term addictions can have very dangerous and negative effects on the user such as brain and liver damage.  In many cases, severe addictions can also cause overdoses which can be fatal.  There can also be many social issues created by addictions such as relationships with family and friends.  In many cases, users become so desperate for the drug that they reach poverty from spending all their savings on drugs.  These new introduced behaviors and lifestyle of the user may negatively affect the user’s social life.

 

Treatment

Treatment for addiction usually begins with the withdrawal method, where the patient will be advised to stay away from the drug for a period of time.  Although there are potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms, it is always medically supervised during treatment programs.  This supervision helps relieve the stress and pain of withdrawal.  Behavioral therapy is the next step of addiction treatment and asks the patient to motivate themselves into avoiding the drug and how to cope with the temptation of further using the drug.  Self motivation however is something that is very difficult to overcome.  Many drug users will find it very challenging to stay away from their addiction.  Patients are advised to change their entire thoughts, feelings and behaviors in order to get out of the loop.  Having better relationships in life such as choice of friends, or relationship to family are also very important steps to improving what influences the everyday choices you make.  These positive social elements combined with self motivation combine to create a positive effect on drug addicts and enable them to lose their old habits for good.