The Strength to Overcome Addiction
Addiction is a very common problem around the world. Not only is it common, but it is also a huge issue. According to the Casa Colombia research, one in seven people, ages 12 and older are addicted to nicotine, alcohol or some other kind of opiate drug (“What Is Addiction”). Drug dependency comes with many consequences like negative symptoms, depression, health and mental issues and death. Drug abuse does not only affect the addict, but also the people around one. Millions of people around the world are addicted to narcotics. Some believe that addiction to narcotics is a mental disease and can’t be overcome, but others say that if one is psychologically strong, one can overcome a drug dependency. Therefore, if one has the support, resources, and will, one can recover from drug addiction. Addiction is a bad habit that one performs more than desired, and still executes it in spite of all the negative results. There are different types of addiction, some may not make any sense, however, are a problem in many people’s lives. Smoking, sexual intercourse, gambling, alcohol and drugs are the most common addictions. Along with smoking and alcoholism, the use of drugs is on top of the usage list. Drugs are bought illegally or prescribed and used daily. It is a rising problem around the world that needs to stop. There are a few risk factors that make one more susceptible to becoming an addict. Antisocial and experimental attitudes are most seen in teenagers. Some teens like to rebel against society and try new things, and one of those things are drugs. Being close to drugs, like living in a big city, also is a peril because drugs are easier to get, and there’s a variety to choose from. Other causes include, family problems, gang membe... ... middle of paper ... ...drug dependent, one puts drugs on their “most important thing to do” list. This can cause one’s relationships to decay, along with family life. It may also destroy one’s education path and career. Which at the end leads to financial issues and puts them on the streets; or if they’re “lucky”, get caught by the cops and get put into jail, but its still debatable on which is better. These are all huge issues with addiction but it can also lead to death. When someone overdoses, it means the drug ingested, has entered the body too quickly that brings one to severe intoxication, which could lead to death. One would think, “Why don’t they just stop? Yeah they’ll suffer for a bit when they’re facing withdrawal, but so what? It’s better than ruining your whole life”. The thing they don’t know is that once one is dependent on drugs their minds change, their logic fades.
In this essay, the author
- Explains that addiction is a very common problem around the world. one in seven people, ages 12 and older are addicted to nicotine, alcohol or some other kind of opiate drug.
- Explains that addiction is a bad habit that one performs more than desired and still executes it in spite of all the negative results. smoking, sexual intercourse, gambling, alcohol and drugs are the most common addictions.
- Explains the risk factors that make one more susceptible to becoming an addict. antisocial and experimental attitudes are most seen in teenagers.
- Defines addiction as the recreational use of a substance that results in impairment, negative consequences, and decline. withdrawal is not as common with abuse, as it is with dependency.
- Explains that the symptoms of an addict can vary. some drugs don't affect one's mind body as much as other drugs. intoxication is when an individual is under the influence of a substance.
- Explains that narcotics are a highly addictive drug that eases pain, induces sleep, and can change mood and behavior.
- Explains that the human brain produces natural opiates called endorphins, which are produced when we experience stress. the constant use of narcotics causes the brain to reduce its production.
- Explains that withdrawal is the hardest part for people with drug dependency. they experience both mental and physical symptoms. addition affects the body and causes goosebumps, muscle soreness, abdominal cramping, diarrhea, and insomnia
- Explains that the white poppy plant produces opium, which was used to calm and relieve pain. the opioid receptors control the pain and reward system and turn them into a euphoric sensation.
- Explains that the limbic system in the cingulate gyrus is where emotions and pain are controlled and avoids negative consequences. dopamine has a variety of functions, like the effects and cognition, movement, attention, impulse, and reward.
- Explains that addiction can lead to mental, physical, and social issues, such as paranoia, depression, aggression and hallucinations. second-hand tobacco smoke is a hazard to human health.
- Explains that once one is dependent on drugs, their minds change and their logic fades.
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Understanding addiction is a complicated subject that inspires controversy and debate. Not only do people want to understand addiction because of the curiosity to understand human beings and human nature, but there are factors that go into the defining of addiction such as public policy and health care coverage. There are two theories that are on the opposite spectrum when it comes to addiction which include the “disease concept” and the “choice theory”. One defines addiction as a disease, something that is out of one’s control, while the other thinks of it as a choice or a moral deficiency that resides in a person. The consequence of this gap is the delay in gaining control over drug abuse. While the people who support the choice theory see
Substance Abuse: Compaing the Medical/Disease Model and the Social Model
Many people dislike the term ‘addiction’ in relation to drugs or other substances, particularly as it infers that a person is powerless over their use of a particular drug or in some circumstances, a number of substances. Whilst others maintain it is this powerlessness that is the foundation of diagnosis and treatment – that treatment is not possible without recognition of addiction itself as the ‘problem’ being addressed. The professional and public perception of addiction is complicated. There are many approaches and models to explain addiction, the role of the addict, and their environment. This essay will compare and contrast two of these approaches, the medical/disease and the social model. Initially this essay will describe the origins of each model, and follow by explaining their respective strengths and weaknesses, and finish with an overview of the key differences between them. This essay will conclude by demonstrating that a holistic approach, and a cross-pollination of these models is the most successful approach to treating addicts. As is the case for all diseases, there are multiple treatment options, and as ever person is different, the results in each individual cannot be predicted.
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According to President Barak Obama there are over 20 million Americans who struggle with substance abuse. (OBAMA, B. 2014). Although addiction is rampant in the United States there are intervention programs available for those who are seeking out recovery. Researchers explain that addiction is a
Addiction and Recovery
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Denial of an Addiction
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As reported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, our nation spends 700 billion dollars annually in relation to substance abuse. Substance abuse doesn’t just affect the individual involved, but as well as their family, and the society they live in. There is no single reason why a person chooses to abuse drugs and other substances. A person’s environment, like their socioeconomic status, and family can influence their abuse. Some factors in their environment include peer pressure, stress, sexual abuse, and parental involvement, which can all determine if someone is inclined to abuse any type of harmful substance.
Informative Speech Outline On Addiction
Main Point: The effects on a person after they become addicted to something can be small, or they can be great, depending on the length of time they are exposed to the addictive behavior or substance and what caused it. The addiction affects the addict’s health, career and relationships. I can tell you from personal experience with having family members who were addicts, that I was traumatized growing up. (Personal story about couple arguing here.) According to Roxanne Edwards of Medicine.net, “In terms of effects on the body, intoxication with a substance can cause physical effects that range from marked sleepiness and slowed breathing …to the rapid heart rate...” In addition, psychologically they can have suicidal thoughts or elation depending on the addictive substance or behavior. This is why it is important for the addict to seek help because they cannot get rid of the issue on their own. Most of the time, addicts go through some sort of rehab treatment and when they are released they are instructed to go to meetings that help with the aftermath of addiction. Just a few of these groups are places like Alcoholics/Narcotics Anonymous, or even Celebrate Recovery. Although some places believe that these programs do not work, it is well worth mentioning that the success rates depend on the want to of the person working them. They have to want to remain sober or free from the addiction or they will go right back to it. Alcohol Rehab.com puts it this way, “Failure to
Dopamine and Drug Addiction
Drug abuse is part of everyday life, most of us know someone who is or was abusing drug at some point. A way to simplify a difficult time in our life, we find an exit in a product that numbs our brain to the surrounding. People find addiction through drugs, activities and action that creates chemical reaction within our bodies. Whether you love jumping off the empire state building or inject yourself with a drug, you are looking for a high that your body enjoys. The body creates chemicals which stop our self-control. According to the CDC website, “Deaths from drug overdose have been rising steadily over the past two decades and have become the leading cause of injury death in the United States.” (Birnbaum HG, web).
Why Should Drugs Be Legalized?
One last reason is the drug users would hurt their family if they cannot have access to take the drugs for a long time. The drug users’ family is easy to occur loss of employment, the family the disintegration of family, domestic violence especially child abuse (NIH 2012). And the children are easy to addict the drugs if the parents are drug users, because the children gain genetic feature from parents (LIVESTRONG.COM
Drug Addiction as a Disease
It is important to consider how addiction to drugs begins. “Genetics accounts for approximately half of an individual’s vulnerability to addiction, including effects of the environment on gene function and expression” (Volkow). This basically means that once a person is exposed to drugs, they are more likely to become addicted to drugs after that exposure if their genes make them more vulnerable to addiction. Consequently, not every person who is exposed to drugs will develop an addiction because they do not have the genetic make-up that makes them an addictive person, meaning that: “…predisposing genes interact with [exposure to drugs] and other environmental factors to create vulnerability” (Volkow). People cannot change their genetic make-up to prevent themselves from becoming addicted to drugs. They can only limit their exposure to a drug filled...
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Abuse can cause countless medical problems to the body. A person who is addicted will continue to stimulate themselves regardless if they are aware of the negative chain reactions. Once addicted, it becomes difficult to stop due to how the body has become dependent. Health will be harmed the more a stimulant is used. Health effects include: cardiovascular disease, strokes, cancer, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, lung disease, mental disease, birth defects. Mental health is what keeps a person in the right mind to make better decisions and have better control in life. Drugs have the ability to change mood and behavior. If drugs have affected the brain already, the desire increases which changes mental health. Some may not realize that they have been affected their health negatively. “A person who abuses drugs may not realize they have a problem until pronounced effects of drug abuse are seen, often physically. While drug abuse effects on the body vary depending on the drug used, all drug abuse negatively impacts one 's health (Addictions Community). Since drugs create many health issues, treatment is not a simple task. Treatments are hard to obtain and addictions often go
Persuasive Essay On Drug Addiction
Addiction is a choice the first time they pick up. The addict is choosing to pick up the drug even if they know it is morally wrong or it something that could potentially kill them, they are still making that choice. Most of the time when choosing to pick up that drug they are influenced by friends, their environment or even coping with a feeling they are having.When a person makes a choice there are consequences, good and bad. Their lives have endless amounts of choices, from what food to eat, to what car to drive, to what to wear that day.”A person has to make a choice to use a substance, whether that choice is prompted by a medical need, or that choice is just a matter of wanting to have a good time.” Sometimes they do not always think about the choices they make, but the people that become addicted also don 't think about their consequences and how it affects them and those around
An Essay About Drug Addiction
In conclusion drug addiction is a very terrible and challenging problem. It affects individuals, families, and the people around them. It is important that drug addicts realize that they must want to stop and seek help for the problem. The drug addict needs the support of friends and family, so they can make it through this process. The process to recover from drug addiction can take a lifetime. There is hope for a drug addict who wants to change their life for the better.
More about The Strength to Overcome Addiction
Essay on Addiction for Students and Children
500 Words Essay on Addiction
As we all know that excess of anything can be very dangerous, the same way, addiction of any kind can hamper the life quality of an individual. The phrase states that addiction is a family disease as one person uses and the whole family suffers. The above statement stands true in all its essence as the addict does not merely suffer but the people around him suffer greatly too. However, that does not mean they can’t be helped. Addiction is curable and we must not give up on the person who is addicted, rather help them out for a better life.
Cost of Addiction
Addiction comes at a great cost and we need to be able to recognize its harmful consequences to not let ourselves or anyone become an addict. Firstly, addiction has major health hazards. Intake of anything is bad for our body , and it does not matter what type of addiction it is, it will always impact the mental and physical health of a person.
For instance, if you are addicted to drugs or food, you will get various diseases and illnesses. Similarly, if you are addicted to video games, your mental health will also suffer along with physical health.
Moreover, people who are addicts usually face monetary issues. As they use that thing in excess, they spend loads of money on it. People become obsessed with spending all their fortunes on that one thing to satisfy their addiction. Thus, all these addictions of drugs , alcohol , gambling, and more drain the finances of a person and they usually end up in debt or even worse.
Furthermore, the personal and professional relationships of addicts suffer the most. They end up doing things or making decisions that do not work in their favor. This constraint the relationships of people and they drift apart.
Moreover, it also hampers their studies or work life. When you are spending all your money and time on your addiction, naturally your concentration levels in other things will drop. However, all this is not impossible to beat. There are many ways through which one can beat their addiction.
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Beat Your Addiction
It is best to work towards beating your addiction rather than getting beat by it. One can try many ways to do so. Firstly, recognize and identify that you have an addiction problem. That is the first step to getting cured. You need to take some time and understand the symptoms in order to treat them. Motivate yourself to do better.
After that, understand that the journey will be long but worthwhile. Identify the triggers in your life and try to stay away from them as far as possible. There is no shame in asking for professional help. Always remember that professionals can always help you get better. Enroll yourself in rehabilitation programs and try to make the most out of them.
Most importantly, do not be hesitant in talking to your loved ones. Approach them and talk it out as they care most about you. They will surely help you get on the right path and help you in beating addiction for better health and life.
Q.1 What are the consequences of addiction?
A.1 Addiction has very severe consequences. Some of them are health hazards, monetary issues, relationship problems, adverse problems on studies and work of a person. It seriously hampers the quality of life of a person.
Q.2 How can one get rid of addiction?
A.2 A little help can go a long way. One can get rid of addiction by enrolling in rehabilitation programs and opening up about their struggle. Try to take professional help and talk with your close ones to become better.
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How to Overcome Addiction
Sober living home research paper.
It is estimated that 40 to 60 percent of people relapse after receiving drug addiction treatment. The vast majority of relapses occur within the first 30 to 60 days after treatment. Additionally, it is estimated that half of people who receive treatment for drugs and alcohol will be re-admitted into a treatment facility within five
Living Recovery From Addictions 10 Essay
Drug Teen’s are Most Likely to use the First Time Trying or Using a Drug in 2008: In 2008, of the 2.9 million persons aged 12 or older who used illicit drugs for the first time, within the past 12 months, a majority reported that their first drug was marijuana (56.6 percent). Nearly one third initiated with psychotherapeutics (29.6 percent, including 22.5 percent with pain relievers (PERCOCET, OXYCONTIN), 3.2 percent with tranquilizers (XANAX), 3.0 percent with stimulants, and 0.8 percent with sedatives). A sizable proportion reported inhalants (9.7 percent) (HUFFING) as their first drug, and a small proportion used hallucinogens as their first illicit drug (3.2 percent). http://www.inspirationsyouth.com/statistics-teen-drug-use-abuse-addiction/
Overdose Research Paper
Once someone picks up drugs it affects everything around them. Being close to family members that had an addiction is hard because they turned from loving you to only caring about themselves. They just want things that benefit them, they yell and they threaten people. It's even more frightening to live a life where your parents were addicted to opioids. Once they pick it up they can't stop, they put there kids in danger and don't even realize because all they want is to feel that rush over and over again. They stop wanting to do fun things with them, they lose interest in things they once loved to do with their family and friends. Their kids just want their loving family back they want their mom and dad to get help, but sometimes it's too late. And only one of them make it, only one of them is there for you, only one of them survived their addiction. Sometimes when people take along time to recover and mess up multiple times, their family and friends aren't there for them any more. So was it worth picking up drugs multiple times after going to rehab programs? Was it worth losing all your friends and family? Was it worth letting go of everything you had before drugs took over your life?
Addiction And Recovery
Addiction has a way of pulling your attention away from your basic needs and making it harder for you to succeed in life. It's a sad truth that I've seen happen to so many people over the years. These are good people, with good brains and real potential, but addiction takes over and they can only focus on that aspect of their life.
Cycle Of Addiction
The cycle of addiction is like running on a treadmill suspended in air where there's seemingly no way to get off. Fortunately, there is always a way off if you are willing to admit you are suffering from the disease of addiction. There's the rub. The healing process from addiction has to start with you. When you are ready and able to receive help, you will find that a quality addition treatment center like (name) in (location) will be awaiting your call.
How Does Atticus Show Courage
According to National Institute On Drug Abuse, treating the addiction takes a lot more than simply stopping. Some people try to quit on their own but usually their efforts are meaningless and they go back to doing drugs. Here is the complete article with all the information about why it is hard to quit a drug addiction. The hard part of a drug addiction isn't quitting it but rather how to live without it ("Why Is It So Hard to Quit Drugs"). There are so many things that can cause a relapse but Mrs. Dubose would never relapse.
How To Relapse Recovery
Individualized treatment may take into account your medical history, family history, history of abuse, and whether you are seeking treatment for the first time or after relapse. Services that match your individual needs will be most effective at helping you to fight addiction. If you are married or have children, you should strongly consider a program that involves your family in the treatment process. Also, consult with your physician to figure out how long you need to spend in treatment based on the severity of your addiction. Information from the National Institute on Drug Abuse states that at least 3 months of treatment is required to have a significant impact on stopping addiction. Keep in mind, however, that better outcomes occur through longer treatment durations.
Holistic Therapies For Addiction
Addiction to drugs and alcohol devastates every aspect of life, for the addict and those around them. Fortunately, there are holistic addiction treatment programs available today that provide a healing experience from the spiritual, emotional and physical wreckage caused by addiction. If you or a loved one seek freedom from the cycle of addiction, an inpatient treatment center that provides holistic therapies is the ideal way to break the destructive path of addiction.
Long-Term Recovery: The Causes Of Relapse
Recovery is a process and not something that happens overnight. Relapse still remains a challenge in and during the recovery process Relapse can happen at any time, even after years of sobriety. When addicted to something the brain is altered, this sets a person up for relapse and leaves them vulnerable to their addiction. Long-term recovery is attainable, as long as the right form of treatment is used, and as long as the treatment plan is intended for the specific needs of the individual. Addiction causes many changes and (it’s not enough [to] simply get a person off drugs…[the] physical, social, [and] psychological [needs] must also be addressed to help people to stay off drugs for good.) Relapse takes a toll on everyone who is invested in
Struggle With Addiction: Lion's Gate Recovery
struggle with addiction don't like or want to continue using drugs and alcohol, but feel helpless to fend off the demons that drive them to these vices in the first place. It can be difficult to take that first step and admit that you need help, but we can and will help you through the worst parts of withdrawal and recovery, and bring you back into the embrace of God's grace and forgiveness and your family's loving arms.
Overcoming any type of addiction can be quite overwhelming. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, people with addiction to drugs can get quick and sufficient help if they enroll for inpatient rehabilitation programs at drug rehab centers. At any addiction treatment center, patients get supervised detox programs in more structured environments to manage any withdrawal symptoms.
Relapse Of Sustainable Rehabilitation
These compulsions or addictive urges are still there long after drug use or addiction has ceased. This may explain why drug abusers are at risk for relapse even after long periods of abstinence. Unfortunately, there is no single treatment that is effective for everyone. To achieve effective treatment, we need to attend to the multiple needs of the individual, not just his or her drug abuse. The treatment must address the addict’s medical, psychological, social, vocational, and legal problems. Other advice is to look ahead and not backwards. Suggestions of doing activities or projects that you have always wanted to do and starting them, seems to help recovery on track. By spending so much time with drugs and alcohol and then putting so much effort into getting them out of your life, you may have forgotten how the simple things in life can sometimes make such a big difference. This is a mantra commonly heard in support centers like The Living Miracles
Alcohol Treatment Center Research Paper
The first thing you should know is that there will be no locks on any doors in any of the rehab centers. Staying in a center is a voluntary decision and you can leave whenever you want to. This is because no treatment however good it might be, will not work if you are not a willing participant. Unless you decide to participate willingly, the whole endeavor is a waste of time, money and effort for everyone involved.
Inpatient Drug Rehab Rates
Address different issues. On the off chance that you have any psychological wellness issues that have added to your addiction, right now is an ideal opportunity to see a specialist and get to the base of your issues. Treatment is another part of inpatient drug rehab that might appear to be senseless at to start with, however stay with it and it truly will offer
Thesis on drugs and addiction
The real key to stopping addiction and abusive behavior in our coming generations is prevention. If we can work together in society to better educate the actual physical effects that drugs have on an individual and step away from the typical drugs are bad we might be able to educate enough youth to make them not want to except drugs even for that first time before you realize that that’s all you needed to lose control. Life is a choice however some choices come with irrevocable consequences and drug abuse and addiction is truly one of these choices. The question you can ask yourself is where will you fall in this choice? It can be the best decision you make in your life or the worst.
- Drug addiction
Why Addiction Develops and How a Person Can Overcome It Essay
Describing the interviewee.
The interviewee is a 27 years old female who works as a DJ and a musician. She has a history of mental health struggles, including self-harm, and she was recently diagnosed with a mental health disorder. Recently, she entered a rehabilitation facility and enrolled in the 12 steps program. This female is a good example of why addiction develops and ways in which a person can overcome it, including professional help and social support.
Describing the Interview Process
The interview was conducted via Skype call on November 20th. I contacted the interviewee through social media since she has publicly talked about her addiction and recovery process in one of her Instagram posts. The purpose of her post was to show support to others who struggle with addiction, and I asked her to discuss her recovery process. I wrote her a message asking them to take part in a short interview about addiction and recovery, which would be recorded for the purposes of my class. I prepared several questions, including the ones included in this assignment. The interview process was good; I called the interviewee at a scheduled time and asked her the questions from the list.
The interviewee discussed the onset of her addiction, which began after she turned 18. She argued that the social acceptance of substances such as alcohol and even heavy drugs among her peers has led to her using them on a regular basis. Moreover, she cited mental health struggles and social stigma as important factors that led to the worsening of her symptoms. She recommended raising awareness about the struggles of the people addicted to drugs among the general population as a way of encouraging them to get professional help. Additionally, she highlighted the importance of paying attention to policies that allow individuals to get professional mental health help.
To start, please tell me a little bit about yourself.
The interviewee is a DJ and has been working since she turned 18, “Well, I am a professional DJ, I have been working as a DJ in nightclubs and at parties.” Apart from that, she recently began to write her own music and produce songs. “I am really excited about my upcoming album that I am working on right now.”
As I understand, you recently entered a rehabilitation facility because of drug addiction, can you tell me more about that?
The interviewee states that she has been using drugs on and off since she was 18, when she started DJing. However, she states that she “cannot say that I had a serious addiction at that time; I used it from time to time.” But she used to drink a lot of alcohol at parties, which was her main concern. She entered a rehab facility six months ago because she had a lot of stress, she was in a bad relationship, and she had troubles at work. She started to use cocaine regularly, and began to drink every evening. At that time, this was a way to cope with problems and “get my mind off of things.” When she was drinking and using, she began to self-harm, which “was a real problem for me because when I would get sober, I would be terrified at the things I have done.”
What substances did you use?
Cocaine, weed occasionally, and alcohol were the substances she used initially. Over time, when she had to DJ in front of large crowds, she began to use tranquilizers to feel calm before her performances, “which is probably an uncommon drug for most.”
How long have you been in recovery?
The interviewee has made several attempts at rehabilitating from her drug addiction, including a treatment at a rehabilitation clinic. “I entered the 12 steps program three months ago, but before I have been in a rehab clinic, so in total about six months.”
How did you quit using?
The interviewee describes the following situation, which made her rethink her addiction issues: “I hit rock bottom one night after celebrating my boyfriend’s birthday. We had a great time; we spent the evening together, I made dinner, and we chatted. But after he left, I took an enormous among of tranquilizers, drank a bottle of tequila, and I started to cut myself. After I woke up the next morning, I realized that I could no longer continue like this; it was horrible. I needed to do something, especially because there was no apparent reason for using drugs or self-harming; it was life self-sabotage.”
What led you to take drugs in the first place?
For her, drug use and addiction were not something terrible; they were a normal part of life. Her friends and colleagues and my social circle had that acceptance towards drugs. “I think it was normal in the environment where I worked, people could take drugs every evening, and they were drinking alcohol all the time.”
What do you consider to be the most significant drug problems in your region/city/area? Why?
She states that she knows that there are also issues with opioids and that people overuse the medications that were prescribed to them. She faced that problem too with her addiction to tranquilizers, which she tried for the first time after a physician’s prescription. Also, “I see a lot of young people, below the age of 21, who come to nightclubs and drink alcohol. I think it is a real problem because, from my experience, I know how easy it is to become addicted to it.”
If you had to select three psychoactive drugs that you consider to be the most problematic and harmful, what would they be and why?
The society talks a lot about heavy drugs and how dangerous they are, but they barely mention that alcohol is just as addictive and can cause harm to one’s physical and mental health. “For me, I’d say it’s alcohol because it is the most accessible. I feel like all of my friends or people I know drink alcohol or have some sort of addiction to it right now, and it’s a real problem.” The next one would be cocaine; “I know many people in the entertainment industry who regularly use it,” and they do not recognize that it is a problem and that this substance harms their health. The final one would have to be an opioid, such as oxycontin. “I do not know much about how these substances work, but I know that opioids are probably among the most addiction-causing ones.”
What are the most important factors that help people recover from addiction?
She notes that she actually entered therapy recently, and she realized how important social support is because it helps get over the stigma. For her, with therapy, she was able to tell her family about my drug addiction and explain to them that she needed support and their understanding. “Social support was the most important for me because, for a long time, I was scared to even mention my problems. And I think that my addiction has gotten worse over time because I was ashamed of it, and I did not talk about my problems.” Apart from that, she received professional help in a rehabilitation facility, and with the 12 steps program, she finds it helpful because “especially the 12 steps targeted many mental health struggles that I had. Hence, I was able to accept that I am an addict and that it has caused harm to my life.”
What policies, services, and prevention/intervention programs are needed to help reduce drug use problems in your region/city/area or state?
“Since my drug abuse issues began when I had mental health struggles, I think that raising awareness about that is the most important. For many people, drugs may be a source of relief when they struggle and feel ashamed of their mental health problems.” As opposed to that, normalizing reaching for professional help and getting social support would help eliminate that. And also, making mental health more accessible is an important policy issue because many people, especially young people, cannot afford to go to therapy; it is too expensive.
In this interview, it is of particular interest that the interviewee had an addiction both to tranquilizers and alcohol. Despite the public opinion and acceptance of alcohol as a substance one can freely purchase in any store, it is a highly addictive drug. The interviewee mentioned that she entered the “12 steps program” to overcome her addiction to alcohol. This program is a well-renounced way of addressing alcohol addiction. This includes support groups and work on the 12 steps, each of which should help an addict overcome the shame and other negative emotions they experience due to their addiction and learn how to cope with their problems.
According to the American Addiction Centers (2021a), “first developed and used by Alcoholics Anonymous, is a 12-step plan in order to overcome addictions and compulsions” (para. 1). Additionally, this program is built on the idea of social support and participants helping one another, which is an important factor, considering that the interviewee mentioned the importance of social support in her recovery process.
The addiction to tranquilizers is a problem that is not talked about enough in professional circles and by the general public. According to the American Addiction Centers (2021b), approximately 60 million people in the United States have a prescription for tranquilizers. Not all medications that fall into this category are addictive; for example, major tranquilizers, such as antipsychotics, are not habit-forming and do not lead to addiction. However, minor tranquilizers that are prescribed for the treatment of anxiety or sleep problems often cause an addiction (American Addiction Centers, 2021b). Moreover, some types of tranquilizers, such as barbiturates, require professional treatment for addiction in rehabilitation because withdrawal symptoms caused by these drugs are very strong.
Another important thing that the interviewer talked about was the mental health struggles and how they affected their addiction. Mental health problems indeed may be a strong predictor of drug abuse, and addressing these issues could be a good prevention strategy. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (2020), many people who have an addiction are diagnosed with a mental health condition. Moreover, data collected by this institute shows a connection between anxiety disorders and drug abuse. Some substances may lead the person with mental health problems to experience severe symptoms (“Mental health and substance use disorders,” 2019).
Both issues are a result of genetic factors, exposure to trauma, and brain composition variations, which explains the correlation between the two. Hence, the experience of the interviewee is common as she, similarly to many other individuals with different types of mental health struggles, uses drugs as a way of coping with these issues. Moreover, it becomes essential to address the mental health issues when treating addiction due to the connection between the two.
From the perspective of mental health and addiction, policies that would address the accessibility of mental health support services become a vital prevention strategy. This is because they can help individuals learn how to cope with their struggles without the use of psychoactive substances.
For example, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) offers a wide range of methods targeting thoughts that help develop a healthier way of thinking; according to Addiction Center (n.d.), “CBT teaches those in treatment for a substance use disorder (SUD) to find connections between their thoughts, feelings, and actions and increase awareness of how these things impact recovery” (para. 3). The premise is that by teaching individuals about how their thinking affects their actions, including the harmful ones linked to addiction, one can provide them with a tool to control their behaviors better.
In summary, this interview has shown two valid methods for overcoming the addiction, as opposed to the traditional rehabilitation in a professional facility, which is CBT and the “12 steps program.” The interviewee shared her experience of using different types of drugs, such as tranquilizers, cocaine, and alcohol. Additionally, she has discussed the policy issues and legislation that can aid people who have already developed an addiction. She recommended expanding the provision of mental health services to people with addictions as a way of combating this problem.
Addiction Center. (2019). Cognitive-behavioral therapy. Web.
American Addiction Centers. (2021a). Tranquilizer addiction. Web.
American Addiction Centers. (2021b). 12 step programs: 12 steps to recovery for drug & alcohol treatment. Web.
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2020). Common comorbidities with substance use disorders research report. Web.
Mental health and substance use disorders. (2019). Web.
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- The Use of Psychoactive Substances by LGBT Youth
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- History and Social Side of Drug Addiction
- Teenage Drug Abuse in the United States
- About Project
Business Management Ideas
- Essay on Addiction
Essay on drug addiction in youth, essay on solutions to drug addiction, essay on internet addiction, essay on tv addiction, essay on computer addiction, essay on addiction to social networking sites, essay on addiction to video games, essay on addiction to facebook, essay on addiction to pornography, essay on addiction to gambling, essay on addiction to smartphones, essay in addiction to video games.
Addiction to Social Networking Sites
There are several factors leading to addiction. Some of the most common ones are, if one has a genetic predisposition, then there is a high possibility of falling for substance abuse. Another reason is trying to escape a tragic experience or stress. An easy access to cheap and commonly available drugs or cues like going to bar with friends also contribute to forming an addictive behavior. Nonetheless, if a person sees someone in the family history, like mother, father, or uncle taking drugs, alcohol, or going for compulsive behaviors like gambling, or betting sort of things, he/she is most likely to inherit that addiction.
Research has proved that addiction to any form, especially to physical substances, have effects on the wiring of certain neural patterns in the brain, specifically those related to reward, pleasure, motivation, impulse control, and decision-making. Due to this, the situation keeps getting worse and the addiction becomes more severe. The effects and consequences are a disturbed family life, social isolation, financial troubles, affected work life, serious health problems. All these things add to the embarrassment, shame, repentance, and even depression in that person. To counter and overcome these negative feelings, the addict may further take help of the drugs, that are causing the problem in the first place.
Usually, in treating the addiction, preventive measures involve therapy and use of medications. But, taking these measures is only possible when there is acceptance of problem instead of denial. Family support plays a crucial role because the addict may need a lot of emotional and psychological support during the withdrawal stage. It is important to create a clean and drug-free surrounding and this may happen by hospitalizing the patient, confining him to a therapy center for some time. Various support groups help a lot in overcoming the addiction. The therapists also explain to the concerned person, the reasons and special situations which trigger his impulse for drugs. This helps the person in observing and curbing his behavior in future.
Addiction is an involuntary process. It may not be fair to associate a person’s addictive behavior with his moral standards or character. The brain response to an addict changes in such a way that he continues to live with the bad habits and addictions in spite of understanding its dangerous implications. Apart from therapy and medicines, the person requires a lot of love, affection, support, and motivation to get over with the addiction.
The drug addiction in youth today is a world-wide problem and more common than one can imagine. Teens are trying alcohol, marijuana, cigarettes, and heroin etc. even before they have turned 15. Just like any adult addict, the brain-working and neuron patterns of young drug addicts also show the same changes. Once the drugs and substance abuse take over their mind, their personality gradually begins to deform in a very strange way. Teens constitute an important part of our society. Imagining them to fall into the trap of substance abuse at such young age only points towards the seriousness of this issue.
The most common causes of drug addiction in youth are mainly an urge to experiment and experience something new. Then, there is peer pressure, lack of communication between parents and teens, low self-esteem, and a tendency towards seeking pleasure. Genetics and family history of substance abuse also contributed to drug addiction in teenagers. After trying the drugs once, the cycle goes on. It becomes an involuntary process and giving in to the harmful urges becomes a natural habit. The biggest reason behind the inability of our young ones to get out the drug addiction is denial and secrecy amongst both teens and their parents.
Talking about the effects of drug addiction in youth, the list goes on to a great length. A long exposure to habit-forming substance abuse gives birth to poor memory, low self-confidence, serious health troubles, and even violent behaviors. The addicted teenagers are also more prone to having accidents, mood swings, poor sleep, and developing psychological disorders like schizophrenia and bipolar syndrome. The drug abuse may happen at a crucial time of their career-making and ruin the future despite having brilliant talents. The regret, however, may not always be reversible, leading to mental breakdown and suicidal tendencies in the teenagers.
The first and foremost step towards dealing with drug addiction in youth is recognizing the denial mode and getting it out of the way. A healthy and supportive atmosphere of trust and love is a must between the parents and their young ones. For parents, blaming themselves or their kids is of no help. Instead, opting to meet a therapist, taking their teens and visiting a self-help center along with effective medicines may really do wonders. Parents also need to be vigilant of any such friends or relatives who themselves are suffering from addiction, as they may act as triggers and damage all the efforts being made. Maintaining a distance with such persons and unhealthy surroundings is equally essential during the whole process.
Our young ones are the future of our society. Watching them fall into this dark pit of drug addiction is the last thing that we need. With the help of open communication, observation, and positive mindset, we as adults can prevent such cases. Nonetheless, in case of drug abuse, there should not be any need to feel ashamed and helpless. Delaying the treatment worsens the case. That is why, once the drug abuse in the youth is confirmed, it is better to take prompt steps and receive help from self-help groups and therapists.
In such times, when drug addiction is emerging as one of the most common and harmful problems in our youth, searching for proper and effective solutions to drug addiction is the need of the hour. Drug addiction cannot be get ridden of overnight. It is a long process and requires the support of the addict’s family and friends at various levels like emotionally, physically, mentally, and psychologically. Through step by step treatments and therapies, one can successfully get out of the dark traps of drug abuse and eventually start a fresh and healthy life.
The solutions to drug addiction can only be found when the reasons have been discovered. Especially among teens, the basic and usual reasons behind substance abuse are seen to be a mere curiosity, experiments, peer pressure. However, the most substantial cause is having a genetic predisposition to drug abuse. That means, if the person has a family history of drug addiction then the teenager can easily fall for the same addiction. The other reasons include stress, lack of communication, inability to cope up with other kinds of pressures, etc. Only after understanding the cause, we could begin the effective treatment of the concerned person.
Needless to say, the effects of drug addiction are disastrous. A long-term exposure to substance abuse initiates a chain of other severe problems. The first thing that happens is feeling guilt and shame all the time. The drug addiction plays with the wiring of the nervous system. It can cause more stress and lead to serious depression. Apart from social isolation, it never stops to just one addiction. In fact, there are high chances of one substance abuse leading to newer ones. Both mental and physical health of the person is severely affected and more delay in getting the treatment may mean lesser effectiveness of the treatment.
It has been observed that creating a healthy and safe environment for the young people is important. This may mean staying away from even those family members, friends, or relatives who themselves are stuck into the addiction. Open communication between parents and young ones plays a crucial role. It is important to not judge the teenagers who are into drug addiction. An intelligent way to curb this issue is to create a movement in the society by conducting awareness sessions at schools, colleges, and social institutions, which would explain the harmful effects of drugs and other narcotics.
Medicines are necessary to make the treatment effective. Psychological therapies work well in the minds of the drug addict and gradually helps in creating more self-confidence in the youth. Parents of those youth who are into drug addiction should be well-aware of the withdrawal symptoms so that they are prepared from before itself and know how to handle such situations. For a young and healthy society, strict steps should be taken in order to control and eliminate the supply and transactions of such harmful elements. Special measures need to be taken to prevent the young ones to have any kind of access to these drugs.
Unfortunately, we as a world, are living in an era of internet addiction. And the compulsion to stay stuck to the mobile screens, laptops, and desktops has become so much a part of our lives, that now it doesn’t even count as an addiction for most of us. The truth is if one is unable to voluntarily stop himself from checking the phone or going online all the time, then he is suffering from internet addiction. Internet addiction has many other names such as Internet Addiction Disorder, Problematic Internet Disorder, or Compulsive Internet Use.
The causes of internet addiction are both obvious and subtle. First of all, the pleasures one receives from browsing the internet, logging on social media etc are quite similar to any other kind of addiction like substance abuse, gambling, alcohol etc. This pleasure/reward-seeking creates a loop and the addict cannot help but look at the screen time and again. Another major reason is that every single thing or service is available on the internet, regardless of what time of the day it is, which includes shopping online, playing games, watching movies, making friends, learning something, booking tickets and many other important and unimportant things.
Internet addiction has serious effects on our body, mind, and personal lives. Surprisingly, the internet addiction disorder does the same to the wiring of our neurons as is caused by any other addiction to drug or alcohol. Our thought process becomes blurred, decision-making and priorities are hampered. Nothing seems important when compared to staying online. The social damages caused include confinement of virtual relationships with friends and family. Faceless conversations are taking over our lives. Going out for a walk to the nearby local grocery stores has become a thing of past. This means sticking to the chair for a longer time, with no physical activity and no fresh air, leading to weight gain and depression. Other physical and mental troubles consist of a headache, insomnia, spinal problems, boredom, dry eyes, and mood swings.
Denial is the biggest hurdle in treating any disorder. So, being honest about internet addiction may be a nice start. Planning physical workouts in groups, spending more time in the real world, meeting friends, or planning a small trip or outing with family are some of the small yet effective steps that one can take. In severe cases, therapy groups and cognitive behavior therapy may help a lot. Keeping a track of limited online time and being accountable for it to a loved one works great in order to curb the internet addiction. If one is self-aware and willing to get out of this disorder, then sometimes the problem dissolves on its own.
Dealing with internet addiction is challenging because it is available to us all the time. However, limiting the online hours, being self-aware, including a daily work out in the routine, using apps that warn you when you have exceeded the daily limit of internet usage would really help in creating an internet-free atmosphere around you and bring the life on a healthy and positive track.
Gone are the days, when television was treated as a special event. It used to be played for particular shows and specific hours. With time, the number of channels has been growing tremendously and with them, countless programmes have been flourishing like mushrooms. The result is in front of us in the form of TV addiction. To our dismay, not only adults are affected by it. In fact, TV addiction starts at a very early age, especially the kids. It is painful to imagine the horror and imagine our kids going through the same craving as any other drug addict.
TV has become a 24*7 form of entertainment and this is actually a tragedy. In case of adults, the ideal time and lack of creative activities are the main reasons for TV addiction. The spicy nature of serials, reality shows, or even game shows makes it quite difficult to switch off the TV and continue with other departments of life. The innocent and tender minds of kids are continuously being served with ample cartoon channels. To make it worse, they are topped up with advertisements of chocolates, snacks, and many unhealthy products, which are specially tailored for kids.
The harmless-looking TV addiction comes at a very high cost. It is stealing away from kids, their rights to play outside, to experience physical activities, and spend time with nature. Both kids and adults are glued to their chairs all the time. The consequences are poor eyesight, lack of concentration, headache, irritation, mood swings. Due to lack of activity and binge-eating as a result of TV addiction, weight gain is being observed in both kids and adults. The creative side of the minds are left unused and people behave like zombies, doing and eating whatever is being presented on the TV as the latest trend.
Hours should be fixed for watching TV, whether it is for adults or for children. Another alternative is to select one or two favorite programmes that one wants to watch and then simply turn the TV off. Use of timer or alarm is also very effective in limiting the screen time. Strict rules should be made and followed in the family. Apart from these, positive reinforcements like indulging in more creative activities like exercising, joining a dance class, or a gym, prioritizing the daily chores can really help in getting rid of the TV addiction. Kids should be encouraged to play and interact with their friends in natural surroundings like parks or go for family picnics. Books and colors are great ways to keep them occupied for long happy hours.
The first thing in order to get out of TV addiction loop is to take a step back and observe in what ways TV is harming the old and new generation. Substituting the addiction time for something creative and fun makes the whole process easy and doable. It is important to understand and remember that we should use the TV as just a form of entertainment and must not allow it to govern our everyday life.
Computer addiction is basically found to be of two types. The compulsive disorder can make one stick to the computer either offline or online. The offline addiction may happen due to keeping busy with the downloaded versions of games or watching movies continuously. Online computer addiction is more common than offline and there are multiple kinds of options that keep people glued to the screen. The examples of online computer addiction are playing games, uncontrollable email checking, watching videos and movies on the loop, checking notifications of every other social media accounts, unnecessary shopping, or simple random browsing on the internet.
Computer addiction has mainly been observed in males. Depression and anxiety are the prime reasons for any person to suffer from computer addiction, regardless of age and gender. The games, TV series, and videos are crafted in such a way that all of these things prime the person’s mind to watch more and more. Switching the computer may ultimately give a feeling of missing out something important. The adrenalin rush running through one’s body and mind after watching a game or a super-exciting episode turns the situation into a highly addictive one. The taste of instant gratification and freeness of interacting in the virtual world are other reasons working behind the computer addiction.
Those who are suffering from anxiety and depression in an unknown way are more prone to become addicted to the computer. Nonetheless, looking for a relieving solace in the wrong place like online or offline computer world actually worsens the case, leading to even more severe forms of depression. Longer hours of screen time have harmful effects on the health of eyes, poor brain activities, sleep disorders, feeling lonely, lost, and irritated. Once the computer is shut down, life would seem dull to an addict as there is no drama or rush of such levels in the real life. Urgent and important issues of personal life such as health, spending time with family, work-life etc look mundane and one might lose interest in all these aspects of life.
The best measure to reduce and eliminate computer addiction from the life is using outside helps like behavioral therapy, joining self-help groups. One can also take stronger actions like restricting the computer use to purely important purposes, like work, bill-payments etc. Noting down the logged hours may also help in tracking and limiting the computer use. Participating more in real-life activities, accepting help and support from friends and family are some of the other wonderful ideas that actually work. Instead of keeping the computer in the sleep mode, it is safer to shut it down after the necessary work has been done. Starting the computer would require much effort and act as a good reminder to not use it for trivial purposes.
For a better mental, physical, and social health, it is very crucial to recognize the computer addiction which is spreading like a sweet poison in the society. There is no shame in seeking help from others. Addiction to the computer should be taken seriously as it does the same damages as alcohol, drug or any other form of addiction.
The craze for going hit on various social media is enough to point towards the addiction to social networking sites in every age group. Whether an adult or a kid, social media has blessed everyone with a (false) celebrity-like status. The mindset has become such that people can’t keep away from their social media updates for more than a few minutes. An addiction that has reached from our dining room to the bedroom and instead of its potential dangers, it is being welcomed in every house. It couldn’t get worse as for the solution to occur, the problem needs to exist according to the people, which is obviously not the case with today’s world.
There are many strong reasons and rewards working behind such blind addiction to social networking sites. One that tops the list is gaining fame. Hundreds of likes and followers give a false impression of feeling like a celebrity. Instant notification facility has made the situation even more pathetic. There are light app versions of almost every social networking site, which allows for a quick access anytime anywhere. It has become a huge market for showing off along with hollow and made-up compliments, where the phrase, ‘you scratch my back and I would scratch yours’ has become quite true.
The addiction to social networking sites breathes in the houses and bedrooms of the people. As a result, it is one of the leading causes of relationship break-ups and privacy disruption. The trend for gaining attention is making people more self-obsessed. Their mental and physical health is suffering. People have less time for members living in the same house than they have for somebody they have never even met for once in real life. Faceless communication also paves the path for infidelity, stalking, online abuse, and many privacy-related cyber crimes, let alone the physical health problems like a headache, mood swings, depression, guilt etc.
Strong will-power and proper planning are needed if one truly wishes to get rid of the addiction to social networking sites. For those who really mean to do this, there are options like deactivating the account completely. Certain apps record your log in time and send a warning signal as a reminder when one has exceeded the set weekly or daily limits. Searching the same satisfaction in more productive things like taking care of yourself, working on the diet, taking kids out for a picnic, indulging in various recreational activities are effective means to detoxify the mind and body and bring the addiction to an end.
We will have to understand that social media is there for a particular reason. It is good for networking and interacting with long-distance friends and business relations. Beyond that, a compulsive need to be online all the time, inability to find meaning in real life without staying active online are certainly issues that are red flags. In the end, addiction to social networking sites only ruins the time and opportunities that come along in real life and hence it is important to keep a check on our online presence, so that, we could really focus on things that really matter for us.
There is an official term for the addiction to video games, it is IGD (Internet Gaming Disorder). The world of video games is not a child’s play anymore. As we can see, it is not just the kids but even adults are so badly into the spell of online games that ruining their lives and important aspects of it doesn’t concern them anymore. Almost three percent of the world’s population has lost the track of time and life due to addiction to online games. They are installed and available everywhere, including the home computers, to cyber cafes, malls, and other gaming spaces, which makes it further difficult to get out of the trap.
The programmers design everything in such a way that people cannot help but fall into the bottomless pit of addiction to video games. There are stages, rules, rewards, a particular degree of challenges so that the game is neither too easy to lose interest nor too difficult that one would want to quit. People who are facing a tough time in their lives are more likely to develop anxiety, depression, and an escaping tendency from the real world problems, which pushes them into the virtual world of gaming. Internet gaming has become a trend and many youngsters feel the peer pressure to follow what their friends are doing. The chain goes on and there seems no limit to it.
Addiction to video games is not hard to track. If it is affecting your life, preventing you from thinking about the serious departments of life, and leaving you with no time and energy to tend to your own needs and that of your family, then, it is the case of IGD. Sadly, the minds of kids and teenagers are easier to manipulate and drag them into the instant reward loop, which endangers their health and future as well. Longer hours spent playing and watching the computer screen almost withers the mind and body. Kids lose interest in the study, their career is affected, and they hardly want to go out. Adults are becoming more immune to emotional needs of their loved ones, and getting more used to the virtual sphere.
In case of addiction to video games, prevention is possible only by acknowledging the harmful effects of it. Understanding how the consistent hours of sitting ideal and playing an unproductive game are eating up all the precious time and digging a large hole into their real lives is key to curb the addiction. Kids too need to be talked about the toxic nature of this mania. They need to be explained how it is ruining their career. Spending more time away from computers and in nature’s embrace is healing and detoxifies the mind and body. Severe cases of IGD may seek the help of therapies, where CBT has been seen to work very effectively.
For the sake of our health, it is important that we don’t give the remote control of our lives into the hands of the virtual world of machines. The prices are high and too much is at stake. The young ones learn from our actions. If they see us becoming enslaved to such addiction to video games, chances are high that they would follow the same path. One should seek help as early as possible so that not much damage is done.
And here comes the talk we have always wanted to avoid, our addiction to Facebook. Facebook addiction has crossed its tipping point long time back. After all, this particular social networking platform has made updating pictures, thoughts, and flaunting the happy moments of our lives a piece of cake. A large number of likes and notifications give us an adrenaline rush like nothing else. The features of tagging, poking, finding an old friend, chatting make Facebook a highly tempting place that has succeeded in luring users from all kinds of age groups. And the number is growing every day.
Research has shown that addiction to Facebook is not that plain and simple. There are various reasons which intensify our constant need to check the updates on Facebook. Trying hard to get many likes by posting pictures, sharing updates, or tagging multiple people just shows a person’s attention-seeking nature. Sharing every little sad thing that is going on in the life, ranting in the status updates, or scrolling down aimlessly is indicative of lower self-esteem and a negative mindset. One also gets an opportunity to silently peek into others’ lives which instantly satiates their appetite for drama but also gives rise to comparisons.
Effects of addiction to Facebook are disastrous. First of all, it has promoted stalking to a very great level. Getting involved in useless conflicts and arguments over social media updates related to religious or political views has done no less harm. It not only consumes the time and energy but does nothing to solve the issues in reality. People really have begun to behave like drug addicts, unable to spend a day without logging in to their account. Facebook addiction disturbs the sleep cycle, and also causes backaches, dry eyes, sabotages the concentration power, along with mood swings, desire for more isolation leading to the distance from the loved ones.
The best and most effective method to deal with an addiction to Facebook is to immediately and abruptly deactivate the account. The milder steps that can be taken are self-observation, restricting and tracking the number of hours logged in to Facebook account. One should look for the reasons why he/she feels the need to check the account every other minute. Is it for popularity, for attention, for stalking, or wandering there with no apparent reason, just to kill the time. Without understanding the basic factors behind the addiction, it would be quite hard to stop oneself from going back there time and again.
Once the reasons responsible for the addiction to Facebook come into the limelight, one should try to work and resolve those issues in a healthy way. Facebook addiction is only a reflection of other deeper and hidden issues of our minds that need to be taken care of. Taking care of one’s mental and physical health should be the top priority for all of us. And getting out of the addiction to Facebook would be a big milestone in that journey.
Sex is one of the most primitive and basic natural instincts of human beings, thus making the addiction to pornography an obvious one in comparison to other ones. In a way, people have always been keen to learn more about sex, but indulgence in pornography is a not a healthy way to do that. The luring nature of pornography makes it quite seamless to get a hold on the person’s mind. The compulsive appetite for watching porn destroys the family, relationships, and health of the addict.
Youngsters are more vulnerable and feel excited to gain uninhibited access to porns. The rush is new to them, expectancy and curiosity make it quite irresistible to them. Adults are equally prone to have this disorder. A significant reason responsible for the addiction to porn is boredom and eagerness to experience something that is less likely to happen in the real life. Loneliness, lack of interesting activities in the life, isolation from other family members, depression and anxiety are some of the most common factors which result in spending a heavy amount of time on watching porn.
The leading problems associated with addiction to porn are erectile dysfunction, loss of intimacy between the partners, irritability in case of not getting access to pornography. The addicts also develop a tendency to compulsively lie in order to hide their addiction. Porn addicts are more likely to cheat and behave dishonestly with their partners. For them, everything else takes a back seat. Even those parts of their life which need attention become secondary to them. This creates an atmosphere of distrust and frustration in the family. An attitude of carelessness creeps into the person towards his work. Moreover, porn gives rise to many sexual fantasies which have elements of violence, aggression leading to more and more sexual assault cases.
Out of many steps that can be taken to deal with the addiction to porns, one of the most effective has been seen to be CBT. The cognitive behavior therapy helps the person get comfortable with his own addictions and fantasies. One can express the guilt and weakness in front of the therapist without the fear of being judged. Apart from getting outside help, realizing that the addiction exists and will-power to get out of it, is an essential step towards solving the issue. For the family members, it is necessary to understand that the problem would not dissolve in few days. A healthy support of love and affection from the family members means a lot to the person struggling with the porn addiction.
A society where most of the adults and teenagers are getting into the trap of addiction to porns, a concern for their health becomes obvious. Watching pornography not only kills time in a very destructive manner, it also desensitizes the mass and pulls them into sexually aggressive and violent actions, which may threaten the other genders or even kids. Addiction to pornography is a prevalent problem and needs our attention. Dealing with it in a non-judgmental way and with patience is the only way out.
Addiction to gambling is not new. Even in historical times, it used to be a passion of many royal families. We have also read about the disasters it caused to their rulings and damages that came along with it. Centuries later, the situation is still the same, even worse than before. Due to the appearance of internet, virtual gambling has become a part of many lives and the detriments are not limited to just financial aspects now. Addiction to gambling has been considered of the same nature as any other addiction to drugs, alcohol, etc.
The basic cause that drives one to fall for addiction to gambling is the need for perpetual excitement. The zest for making quick and easy money is the main pull for investing in gambling. People fall for the cycle of winning, losing, and then the possibility of winning some more, which keeps the cycle on. Even after they have lost a large sum of money, they would still want to give it multiple tries just in the hope of making up the losses. Research has proved that addiction to gambling is also a common way to deal with anxiety, depression, sadness, and the need to work for survival.
To the addict, there is an endless chain of realizing the problem, then deciding to quit, and again start gambling after a while. In case of addiction to gambling, it becomes very hard for one to quit it even after suffering great personal and financial losses. The normal life looks dull to the person and the entire family is affected. This may give birth to guilt, shame, and even anger in the addict. The work life of the person gets troubled. There is a possibility of going into the debts that may continue forever. Even after understanding the serious nature of such consequences, it might not be possible for one to get over the addiction.
Facing the truth is important for both the addict and the family members of him/her. And the reality is, addiction to gambling cannot be dealt with overnight. The temptations and impulses of gambling may reappear time and again. Thus, it requires a great deal of patience, affection, and care to handle the long-term problem. Ignoring, taunting, or making loose comments about the addict tends to worsen the situation and push him away. Therapy should be considered keeping in mind that things won’t change the next day.
A healthy way of living needs to be pursued. If one is in some kind of financial crisis, then, keeping the expenditures in control may reduce the pressure. Talking to friends and family members and sharing about the addiction to gambling is helpful in curbing the spell. Gambling has wide nature of negative consequences. It not only ruins the bank balance, but also makes the kids, partners, and parents go through a lot. With a combined support and help, addiction to gambling can be minimized gradually and one might be able to live a normal and healthy life.
We cannot imagine our daily routine without our phones, we have such kind of addiction to smartphones. It has completely taken the control over our lives. The irony is we don’t see it as a problem. Most of the people would justify their phone usage by using excuses like work, networking, business needs, or for fun. But there is a difference between using a device and depending so much on it that one begins to feel anxious without it. In most of the cases, latter is the story. We feel desperate and anxious if we are made to stay away from the smartphone for more than a while. This compulsive habit is simply indicative of an addiction to smartphones.
Many psychological disorders like depression, anxiety, self-obsession, low self-esteem work behind the addiction to smartphones. The constant need to stay surrounded by updates, triggers, notifications, and approvals are also some of the major factors responsible for the condition. People trying to avoid some long-term stressful situations in their lives or those with attention-seeking tendencies are also very likely to suffer the same problem. Those living a life of loneliness, or having difficulty in a face-to-face interaction also feel the need to use phones more in comparison to others. The fear of missing out and feeling left-out is another reason for the phone addiction.
The biggest damage that addiction to smartphones has caused is dissolving the culture of personal meetings and interactions. Kids, youngsters, or adults prefer to talk over text or chat instead of going out and sitting together at some place. Adults are more locked with their smartphones due to consistent nagging by work emails and messages. Basically, the phones have hypnotized people into doing one thing or the other on a continuous basis, whether it is essential or not. The physical and mental symptoms include the ringing of ears, numb mind, further anxiety and depression, insomnia, and lower emotional states.
Prevention is better than cure. In order to prevent the development of addiction to smartphones in kids, phones should strictly be prohibited for them at least up to a certain age. Even for teenagers, there should be an accountability for how much phone usage is allowed to them on a daily basis. For adults as well, a time should be fixed after which they would put the phone on silent mode and look at it only the next day. A good idea is to follow some fun rules, like not using the phone while eating, not letting the phone disturb you while you are asleep or having quality time with your family.
Apart from ruining one’s social, mental, and physical health, the addiction to smartphones has been responsible for many fatal accidents too. A habit which looks so harmless conceals within many serious troubles. Smartphones are even hampering the relationships and bonding between two people. More usage also results in lack of warmth, indifference, and anxiety. For regaining the healthier version of society, it is important to limit the use of phones.
Addiction to video games is considered a behavioral addiction that can be characterized by an excessive use of video games (in the computer, tablet or smartphone), interfering with everyday activities. People who suffer from this addiction are compulsive gamers, then to isolate themselves from social activities, have frequent mood swings, less imagination, they are obsessed with the game achievements and then to underestimate events in their own life’s.
Video game addiction has different causes, the main reason might be the fact that the games are designed to be like that, making people want to play more. The video game industry is worried about their profits and are constantly trying to improve the games to make more people to play them and keep playing constantly. The idea is to make challenging games that take time and effort to get to the achievements, but there is also a worry to not make the game so difficult that the gamer would easily give up on playing. Addicted gamers never feel accomplished and are always searching for playing more and reaching new objectives, similar behavior in other addictions (like gambling addiction).
Being addicted to video games affect people’s life in many ways and depend on people’s age. There are 5 main problems associated with video games addiction like emotional problems (usually addicted gamers struggle with depression, social anxiety, loneliness, anger and sometimes shame for spending so much time playing games), financial problems (more common in adults and adolescents, that spend enormous amounts of money in video games and specific equipment’s to play), health problems (people addicted to video games develop poor sleeping habits, can neglect personal hygiene, don’t get physical activity and make poor choices eating) and social problems (as the addiction develops, most addicts spend less time with family, friends and significant others, prejudicing the relationships).
The first step to prevent an addiction is to avoid being exposed to the agent that leads to it. When the addiction is already installed treatment is the best way to get rid of those unhealthy habits, there are 4 main options to treat video games addiction, they are one-to-one counselling with a professional (specialist can have a better approach to treat each case differently), family therapy (by modifying the family systems, interactions and dynamics can help to treat video games addiction but it is necessary commitment from the family member in the entire process), attend video games addiction centers (in these centers there are various programs defined by mental health professionals, although they are extremely expensive), wilderness therapy (by removing the individual from environments were they can play video games, it is commonly used to treat various types of child and adolescent behavioral problems and has been showing to have good results against this addiction),
Video games addiction is not considered (yet) a diagnosable disorder, although it is a real disorder with increasing expansion. Specialists consider that early interventions are necessary to control this disorder and it should be treated has many other.
Addiction to social networking site is a growing problem in nowadays society. Social networking sites started on 1997, but their popularity has been increasing every year, with millions of people active on websites and apps like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter. Every addiction is a compulsive behavior with negative consequences, for example, most people feel so compelled to anything that it starts taking over the productivity at work or school and let them affect their everyday life.
Being addicted to social media is these terms corresponds with a compulsion to use excessively social networks; the need to check for any news frequently, the need to always be online to be the first one to know about the gossiping, posting everything about their days and life’s or even stalking people’s profiles for hours.
There are many types of social networking addiction. It can be manifested using instant messaging with apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or even Skype. Microblogging can also be other type of social network addiction, people tend to tell about their day and thoughts in apps/sites like Twitter (the most successful platform of this kind. Gaming is another type of social networking addiction since it involves connecting with other people in game-inherent channels, popular games like World of Warcraft or League of Legends provide gamers various channels for gamers to interact. Also, online dating is a form of social network addiction since most users of apps like Tinder are looking for quick gratification (short relationships) and the ease to meet other people online.
The excessive using of social networking resulting in addiction is a huge problem between teenagers, studies performed on six countries in Europe has shown that when kids use social network more than 2 hours a day they start internalizing problems and decrease their academical performance and activity.
Addiction to social networking sites have been studied for psychologists and sociologists all over the world and they have found that the excessive use of social networks can lead to the same symptoms observed in people with substance addictions. The most common symptoms are salience, mood modification, tolerance, withdrawal, relapse and conflict to behavioral addictions. For some people (mostly shy, isolated or even too self-focused) using social networking, sharing their life’s or even stalking others is the most important activity they do during the day, making the addiction more severe. To prevent social networking addiction people should try to not engage excessively in any form of social network, remembering there is a offline world. Social networking addiction is a problem that affects people’s everyday life, if you know someone you think that suffers from this problem you should try to convince them to get help.
The manifestation of social networking is usually associated with people with maladaptive cognitions and exacerbation with external issues, that lead to an excessive use. Most of these people (who are addicted) claim that they have a tough time when comes to talk to people face to face, and feel the need of self-rewarding and satisfaction by getting the online attention they think they need. This can result in a vicious cycle where people neglect their relationships and their work to be online and feel better about themselves, then when they face the outside world they don’t feel happy or rewarded the same way they are online.
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The first step to overcoming drug abuse and addiction
Explore your addiction treatment options, find support for your addiction recovery, learn healthy ways to cope with stress, keep drug triggers and cravings in check, build a meaningful drug-free life, don't let relapse keep you down, overcoming drug addiction.
Ready to deal with your drug abuse problem? This step-by-step guide can help you cope with cravings, deal with relapse, and overcome your substance use disorder.
Developing an addiction to drugs isn’t a character flaw or a sign of weakness, and it takes more than willpower to overcome the problem. Abusing illegal or certain prescription drugs can create changes in the brain, causing powerful cravings and a compulsion to use that makes sobriety seem like an impossible goal. But recovery is never out of reach, no matter how hopeless your situation seems or how many times you’ve tried and failed before. With the right treatment and support, change is always possible.
For many people struggling with addiction, the toughest step toward recovery is the very first one: recognizing that you have a problem and deciding to make a change. It’s normal to feel uncertain about whether you’re ready to start recovery, or if you have what it takes to quit. If you’re addicted to a prescription drug, you may be concerned about how you’re going to find an alternate way to treat a medical condition. It’s okay to feel torn. Committing to sobriety involves changing many things, including:
- The way you deal with stress.
- Who you allow in your life.
- What you do in your free time.
- How you think about yourself.
- The prescription and over-the-counter medications you take.
It's also normal to feel conflicted about giving up your drug of choice, even when you know it's causing problems in your life. Recovery requires time, motivation, and support, but by making a commitment to change, you can overcome your addiction and regain control of your life.
Think about change
- Keep track of your drug use, including when and how much you use. This will give you a better sense of the role the addiction is playing in your life.
- List the pros and cons of quitting, as well as the costs and benefits of continuing your drug use.
- Consider the things that are important to you, such as your partner, your kids, your pets, your career, or your health. How does your drug use affect those things?
- Ask someone you trust about their feelings on your drug use.
- Ask yourself if there's anything preventing you from changing. What could help you make the change?
Preparing for change: 5 keys to addiction recovery
- Remind yourself of the reasons you want to change.
- Think about your past attempts at recovery, if any. What worked? What didn't?
- Set specific, measurable goals, such as a start date or limits on your drug use.
- Remove reminders of your addiction from your home, workplace, and other places you frequent.
- Tell friends and family that you're committing to recovery, and ask for their support.
Once you've committed to recovery, it's time to explore your treatment choices. While addiction treatment can vary according to the specific drug, a successful program often includes different elements, such as:
Detoxification . Usually the first step is to purge your body of drugs and manage withdrawal symptoms.
Behavioral counseling . Individual, group, and/or family therapy can help you identify the root causes of your drug use, repair your relationships, and learn healthier coping skills.
Medication may be used to manage withdrawal symptoms, prevent relapse, or treat any co-occurring mental health condition such as depression or anxiety.
Long-term follow-up can help to prevent relapse and maintain sobriety. This may include attending regular in-person support groups or online meetings to help keep your recovery on track.
Speak to a Licensed Therapist
BetterHelp is an online therapy service that matches you to licensed, accredited therapists who can help with depression, anxiety, relationships, and more. Take the assessment and get matched with a therapist in as little as 48 hours.
Types of drug treatment programs
- Intensive inpatient treatment . This is a short-term clinical treatment for people who have developed a physiological dependence on a drug and need help with withdrawal symptoms.
- Residential treatment . Residential treatment involves living at a facility and getting away from work, school, family, friends, and addiction triggers while undergoing intensive treatment. Residential treatment usually lasts from 30 days to several months.
- Day treatment/Partial hospitalization programs (PHP) . Partial hospitalization is for people who require ongoing medical monitoring but wish to still live at home and have a stable living environment. These treatment programs usually meet at a treatment center for at least 20 hours a week, but you return home at the end of each day.
- Intensive outpatient programs (IOP) . Similar to PHPs, IOPs don’t require you to live at a treatment center. However, they differ from PHPs in that they only require between 9 and 19 hours of treatment each week, so you can schedule treatments around school and work.
- Therapy . One-on-one or group therapy sessions can be useful in developing coping skills, identifying triggers, and exploring the roots of your addiction.
Remember that everyone's needs are different. For example, not everybody requires medically supervised detox or an extended stint in rehab. Whether you have a problem with illegal or prescription drugs, addiction treatment should be customized to your unique situation. It's also important to find a program that feels right for you. Read Choosing Drug Rehab and Addiction Treatment to learn more.
Tips for finding the best drug addiction treatment for you
Remember that no treatment works for everyone. Everyone's needs are different. Whether you have a problem with illegal or prescription drugs, addiction treatment should be customized to your unique situation. It's important that you find a program that feels right.
Treatment should address more than just your drug abuse. Addiction affects your whole life, including your relationships, career, health, and psychological well-being. Treatment success depends on developing a new way of living and addressing the reasons why you turned to drugs in the first place. For example, your drug dependency may have developed from a desire to manage pain or to cope with stress, in which case you'll need to find a healthier way to relieve pain or to handle stressful situations.
Commitment and follow-through are key. Drug addiction treatment is not a quick and easy process. In general, the longer and more intense the drug use, the longer and more intense the treatment you'll need. And in all cases, long-term follow-up care is crucial to recovery.
There are many places to turn for help. Not everybody requires medically supervised detox or an extended stint in rehab. The care you need depends on a variety of factors, including your age, drug-use history, medical or psychiatric conditions. In addition to doctors and psychologists, many clergy members, social workers, and counselors offer addiction treatment services.
Seek treatment for any mental health problems simultaneously . As you seek help for drug addiction, it’s also important to get treatment for any other medical or psychological issues you’re experiencing. Your best chance of recovery is by getting combined mental health and addiction treatment from the same treatment provider or team.
Don't try to go it alone—reach out for support. Whatever treatment approach you choose, having positive influences and a solid support system is essential. The more people you can turn to for encouragement, guidance, and a listening ear, the better your chances for recovery.
Lean on close friends and family. Having the support of friends and family members is an invaluable asset in recovery. If you're reluctant to turn to your loved ones because you've let them down before, consider going to relationship counseling or family therapy.
Build a sober social network. If your previous social life revolved around drugs, you may need to make some new connections . It's important to have sober friends who will support your recovery. Try taking a class, joining a church or a civic group, volunteering , or attending events in your community.
Consider moving into a sober living home. Sober living homes provide a safe, supportive place to live while you're recovering from drug addiction. They are a good option if you don't have a stable home or a drug-free living environment.
Make meetings a priority. Join a 12-step recovery support group, such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA) , and attend meetings regularly. Spending time with people who understand exactly what you're going through can be very healing. You can also benefit from the shared experiences of the group members and learn what others have done to stay sober.
[Read: NA and Other Peer Support Groups for Drug Addiction]
After addressing your immediate problems with addiction and starting treatment, you'll still have to face the problems that led to your drug abuse. Did you start using to numb painful emotions, calm yourself after an argument, unwind after a bad day, or forget about your problems?
Once you're sober, the negative feelings that you dampened with drugs will resurface. For treatment to be successful, you'll first need to resolve your underlying issues.
Once you have resolved your underlying issues, you will, at times, continue to experience stress, loneliness, frustration, anger, shame, anxiety, and hopelessness. These emotions are all a normal part of life. Finding ways to address these feelings as they arise is an essential component to your treatment and recovery.
There are healthier ways to keep your stress level in check. You can learn to manage your problems without falling back on your addiction. When you're confident in your ability to quickly de-stress, facing strong feelings isn't as intimidating or overwhelming.
Quickly relieve stress without drugs
Different quick stress relief strategies work better for some people than others. The key is to find the one that works best for you.
Movement . A brisk walk around the block can be enough to relieve stress. Yoga and meditation are also excellent ways to bust stress and find balance.
Step outside and savor the warm sun and fresh air. Enjoy a beautiful view or landscape.
Play with your dog or cat. Enjoy the relaxing touch of your pet's fur.
Experiment with your sense of smell. Breathe in the scent of fresh flowers or coffee beans, or savor a scent that reminds you of a favorite vacation, such as sunscreen or a seashell.
Close your eyes and picture a peaceful place. Think of a sandy beach, or a fond memory, such as your child's first steps or time spent with friends.
Pamper yourself. Make yourself a steaming cup of tea, give yourself a neck or shoulder massage. Soak in a hot bath or shower.
Your recovery doesn't end at getting sober. Your brain still needs time to recover and rebuild connections that changed while you were addicted. During this rebuild, drug cravings can be intense. You can support your continued recovery by avoiding people, places, and situations that trigger your urge to use:
Step away from your friends who use. Don't hang out with friends who are still doing drugs. Surround yourself with people who support your sobriety, not those who tempt you to slip back into old, destructive habits.
Avoid bars and clubs. Even if you don't have a problem with alcohol, drinking lowers inhibitions and impairs judgment, which can easily lead to a relapse. Drugs are often readily available and the temptation to use can be overpowering. Also avoid any other environments and situations that you associate with drug use.
Be upfront about your history of drug use when seeking medical treatment. If you need a medical or dental procedure done, be upfront and find a provider who will work with you in either prescribing alternatives or the absolute minimum medication necessary. You should never feel ashamed or humiliated about previous drug use or be denied medication for pain; if that happens, find another provider.
Use caution with prescription drugs. If you were addicted to a prescription drug, such as an opioid painkiller, you may need to talk to your doctor about finding alternate ways to manage pain. Regardless of the drug you experienced problems with, it's important to stay away from prescription drugs with the potential for abuse or use only when necessary and with extreme caution. Drugs with a high abuse potential include painkillers, sleeping pills, and anti-anxiety medication.
Coping with drug cravings
Sometimes craving cannot be avoided, and it is necessary to find a way to cope:
Get involved in a distracting activity. Read, see friends, go to a movie, immerse yourself in a hobby, hike, or exercise. Once you're interested in something else, you'll find the urges go away.
Talk it through. Talk to friends or family members about craving when it occurs. Talking can be very helpful in pinpointing the source of the craving. Also, talking about craving often helps to discharge and relieve the feeling and will help restore honesty in your relationship. Craving is nothing to feel bad about.
Challenge and change your thoughts. When experiencing a craving, many people have a tendency to remember only the positive effects of the drug and forget the negative consequences. Therefore, you may find it helpful to remind yourself that you really won't feel better if you use and that you stand to lose a lot. Sometimes it is helpful to have these consequences listed on a small card that you keep with you.
Urge surf. Many people try to cope with their urges by toughing it out. But some cravings are too strong to ignore. When this happens, it can be useful to stay with the urge until it passes. This technique is called urge surfing. Imagine yourself as a surfer who will ride the wave of your drug craving, staying on top of it until it crests, breaks, and turns into less powerful, foamy surf. When you ride out the craving, without trying to battle, judge, or ignore it, you'll see that it passes more quickly than you'd think.
The three basic steps of urge surfing:
- Notice how you’re experience the craving. Sit in a comfortable chair with your feet flat on the floor and your hands in a relaxed position. Take a few deep breaths and focus your attention on your body. Notice where in your body you experience the craving or urge and what the sensations feel like. Verbalize what you’re experiencing. For example, you could tell yourself: “My craving is in my mouth and nose and in my stomach.”
- Focus on one area where you’re experiencing the craving. What are the sensations in that area? Describe them to yourself. For example, perhaps you feel hot, cold, tingly, or numb? Maybe your muscles are tense? How large an area is involved? Notice if the sensations change as you focus on them. “My mouth feels dry. There is a numbness in my lips. When I swallow, I can imagine the feeling of using.”
- Repeat by focusing on each part of your body that experiences the urge. Describe to yourself how the sensations change, how the urge comes and goes. Many people notice that after a few minutes of urge surfing, their craving has disappeared. The purpose of this exercise, however, is not to make the urge go away but to experience it in a new way. If you regularly practice urge surfing, you’ll become more familiar with your cravings and find it easier to ride them out until they go away naturally.
You can support your drug treatment and protect yourself from relapse by having activities and interests that provide meaning to your life. It's important to be involved in things that you enjoy, that make you feel needed, and add meaning to your life. When your life is filled with rewarding activities and a sense of purpose, your addiction will lose its appeal.
Pick up an old hobby or try a new one. Do things that challenge your creativity and spark your imagination—something you've always wanted to try. Learn a musical instrument, a foreign language, or try a new sport.
Adopt a pet. Yes, pets are a responsibility, but caring for an animal makes you feel loved and needed . Pets can also get you out of the house for exercise.
Spend time in nature. Take a scenic hike, go fishing or camping, or enjoy regular walks in a park.
Enjoy the arts . Visit a museum, go to a concert or a play, take an art class or write a memoir.
Get involved in your community. Replace your addiction with drug-free groups and activities. Volunteer , become active in your church or faith community, or join a local club or neighborhood group.
Set meaningful goals. Having goals to work toward and something to look forward to can be powerful antidotes to drug addiction. It doesn't matter what the goals are, just that they are important to you.
Look after your health. Regular exercise , adequate sleep , and healthy eating habits help you keep your energy levels up and your stress levels down. The more you can stay healthy and feel good, the easier it will be to stay sober.
Relapse is a common part of the recovery process from drug addiction. While relapse is frustrating and discouraging, it can be an opportunity to learn from your mistakes, identify additional triggers, and correct your treatment course.
What causes relapse?
Different “triggers” can put you at risk of relapsing into old patterns of substance use. While specific causes of relapse differ from person to person, some common triggers include:
- Negative emotional state (such as stress, sadness, anger, or trauma)
- Positive emotional state (feeling happy and wanting to feel even better, such as having a good time with friends)
- Physical discomfort (such as pain or withdrawal symptoms)
- Trying to test your personal control (“I can use just once” or “have just one pill”)
- Strong temptation or urge (craving to use)
- Conflict (such as an argument with your spouse or partner)
- Social pressure (being in a situation where it seems everyone else is using)
The important thing to remember is that relapse doesn't mean drug treatment failure. Don't give up. Call your sponsor, talk to your therapist, go to a meeting, or schedule an appointment with your doctor. When you're sober again and out of danger, look at what triggered the relapse, what went wrong, and what you could have done differently. You can choose to get back on the path to recovery and use the experience to strengthen your commitment.
Most of these 12-step programs have worldwide chapters:
Crystal Meth Anonymous
Read: NA and Other Peer Support Groups for Drug Addiction
Professional help for drug treatment and recovery
Use the Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator , call the SAMHSA helpline at 1-800-662-4357, Get One-on-One Help to Address Your Child’s Substance Use , or call the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids helpline at 1-855-378-4373.
Find NHS drug addictions support services or call the Frank helpline at 0800 776600.
Finding Quality Addiction Care (Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction)
Find drug and alcohol services in your State/Territory (Department of Health & Aging).
- Step by Step Guides to Finding Treatment for Drug Use Disorders - Guides for adults, teens, or those helping someone addicted to drugs. (National Institute on Drug Abuse)
- Effective Treatments for Opioid Addiction - Medications used in the treatment of opioid addiction. (National Institute on Drug Abuse)
- What is Substance Abuse Treatment? A Booklet for Families - Learn about treatment options and what you can do. (SAMHSA)
- Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment - Effective treatment of substance abuse and addiction. (National Institute on Drug Abuse)
- How can prescription drug addiction be treated? - Treatment options for prescription drug addiction including addiction to opioid painkillers. (National Institute on Drug Abuse)
- Darkness Before Dawn - Collection of writings that offer guidance and perspective on depression from a HelpGuide affiliate . (Sounds True)
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- Kelly, Thomas M., and Dennis C. Daley. “Integrated Treatment of Substance Use and Psychiatric Disorders.” Social Work in Public Health 28, no. 3–4 (2013): 388–406. Link
- Magill, Molly, and Lara A. Ray. “Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment with Adult Alcohol and Illicit Drug Users: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.” Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs 70, no. 4 (July 2009): 516–27. Link
- Grant, Bridget F., Frederick S. Stinson, Deborah A. Dawson, S. Patricia Chou, Mary C. Dufour, Wilson Compton, Roger P. Pickering, and Kenneth Kaplan. “Prevalence and Co-Occurrence of Substance Use Disorders and Independent Mood and Anxiety Disorders: Results from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions.” Archives of General Psychiatry 61, no. 8 (August 2004): 807–16. Link
- Substance-Related and Addictive Disorders. (2013). In Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders . American Psychiatric Association. Link
- About the ASAM Criteria . (n.d.). Retrieved October 11, 2023, from Link
- ASAM – All Documents . (n.d.). Retrieved October 11, 2023, from Link
- Mutschler, C., Junaid, S., Tellez, C., Franco, G., Gryspeerdt, C., & Bushe, J. (2022). Community‐based residential treatment for alcohol and substance use problems: A realist review. Health & Social Care in the Community , 30 (2). Link
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Overcoming the Stigma of Addiction
Problem overview, overcoming the stigma, works cited.
Addiction is a disease that is recognized as a major public health concern but is generally regarded by society as the result of an individual’s personal choice or a moral failure. In the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of drug overdoses has significantly increased (Mendell). Having responded to the crisis by changing prescribing practices and increasing funding for treatment, the government has overlooked the most important cause of the problem — the stigma (Mendell). To provide a long-term solution for the crisis, public perceptions of addiction need to be changed for it to be regarded as a disease that requires medical and psychological treatment.
Drug addiction is perceived as a complex sociological threat, whose social, behavioral, and biological aspects present an ongoing public health challenge and affect the lives of communities, families, and individuals. According to the World Health Organization, drug use is “the habitual use of psychoactive substances in dangerous amounts of even methods that may bring harm to the user” (6). Addiction is a disease that is treatable with appropriate medical interventions that include medication, behavioral therapy, fitness regimens, vitamin treatment, and support groups (“Stigma of Addiction”). However, people suffering from addiction are often confronted with a negative attitude of society, which perceives addiction not as a disease but a character flaw or a weakness.
Society tends to stigmatize behaviors that are seen as different from the acceptable norm. The most common stereotypes related to substance use include the assumptions about the lifestyle associated with drugs and alcohol. Drug users are perceived as deviants who are alienated from society, are often unemployed, and engage in risky and criminal behavior (“Stigma of Addiction”). They are believed to be dangerous and unpredictable, unable to make decisions about treatment and finances, and are to be blamed for their own condition (Yang at el. 384). Stereotyping leads to discrimination and negative attitudes, reduces the willingness to deal with substance abuse issues on all levels of society, and discourages individuals with addiction problems from seeking treatment.
The main issue regarding the stigma of addiction is that it is perceived in society as a moral failing, character flaw, personal choice, or a lack of willpower. However, contrary to common perceptions, it is a disease, recognized by most medical associations. Substance use disorders (SUDs) are defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fifth Edition as the presence of pathological behaviors associated with the use of substances (Carapanzano 2). These behaviors include impaired control over use, impaired social behavior, and risky use practices (Carapanzano 2). Pharmacological effects such as tolerance and withdrawal are also criteria of diagnosis. Addiction is a complex disease of the brain and body caused by a combination of behavioral, psychological, environmental, and biological factors, including genetics (“Is Addiction a Disease?”). While the initial and early decisions to use substances are based in large part on a person’s conscious choice, one the brain has been affected, that choice becomes impaired (“Is Addiction a Disease?”). Addicts lose control over substance use and are no longer able to regain it despite severe consequences. In order to stop using, addicts need professional help and medical treatment, which they cannot get unless addiction is recognized and treated as a disease.
Stigmatization of addicts leads to severe behavioral, medical, and social consequences. Unlike mental illnesses, which are also stigmatized but perceived as diseases that people cannot control, stigma against people with addiction is more complicated. A person’s addiction is often used as an insult against them, and addicts tend to hide their problems for fear of being discriminated (“Stigma of Addiction”). Addicts are often blamed for their condition, which leads to the loss of self-respect and self-esteem (Crapanzano 3). Qualitative studies confirm that stigma experiences negatively impact feelings and beliefs about treatment, affecting the likelihood that a person will seek treatment, complete it, or achieve recovery (Crapanzano 2). A person often chooses to struggle with their problem on their own, without getting help, because they perceive the consequences of coming out as too severe. Overcoming stigma is required for addicts not to feel guilty about their disease and become willing to seek professional help that they need.
Stigmatization occurs at all levels of society through policies and practices, preventing addicts from getting equal medical treatment and social support. It is rooted in the historical separation of addiction treatment from mainstream healthcare and is amplified by the current barriers to accessing medications for substance use disorders (Atkins et al.). Health care policies do not address addiction as a chronic disease and set restrictive requirements limiting access, coverage, and reimbursement for addiction treatment (Atkins et al.). Individual-level stigma held by healthcare providers results in negative attitudes, fear, lack of awareness of the health condition, and uncertainty as to how to treat it (Atkins et al.). Consequently, addicts who seek professional help often find themselves unable to have access to quality care. Addressing the issue of stigmatization on the healthcare level is required for addicts to be able to receive equal and adequate treatment.
Treating addiction as a disease and providing proper medical care also means acknowledging that addicts require support just like other people with long-term illnesses. Studies show that the likelihood of relapse goes down when individuals have access to psychotherapy and peer group support, and get help from their families (“Is Addiction a Disease?”). If families treat a person recovering from addiction with love and respect, it helps them to stay clean and sober and return into society. Overcoming stigma means not blaming an addict for their condition, maintaining a sober living home, and encouraging them to continue seeking treatment and attend support groups.
In the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, dealing with the stigma around addiction is especially important. The pandemic has a dramatic impact on people who have substance abuse problems. Overdose deaths have spiked, illegal drugs have become toxic and unpredictable, and the unintended consequences of some COVID-19 safety products have led to a tragic increase in deaths (“Using Compassion to Tackle the Stigma of Addiction”). In order to deal with the crisis, the stress experienced by people struggling with addiction needs to be reduced by collaborative efforts. Dr Nel Wieman, a representative of the First Nations Healthy Authority, claims that “the key to responding to the current overdose crisis is a sense of compassion towards people who are experiencing addiction” (“Using Compassion to Tackle the Stigma of Addiction”). Understanding that every life matters is essential for overcoming the stigma and reducing the harms of substance use.
Despite its negative consequences, stigma is sometimes regarded as a protective and motivating factor that prevents people from trying drugs and stimulates the process of recovery in addicts. Some studies suggest that the feeling of shame associated with excessive drug use motivates the healing process, leading to treatment-seeking and even recovery (Matthews et al. 280). Being a protective factor, it also deters non-users from experimenting with substance use (Carpanzano 5). However, multiple studies prove that, paradoxically, it promotes continued use once an individual has entered the drug culture and may prevent access to treatment services (Crapanzano 5). The positive effects of treatment motivated by shame have not been proven to outweigh the negative effects of public stigma (Matthews et al. 280). According to Matthews et al. (280), “public stigmatization is long-lasting, pervasive, and often inescapable; it interferes with a person’s life goals and quality of life.” The feeling of shame only increases the desire to escape from reality and undermines the motivation needed to start treatment.
The stigma of addiction needs to be addressed on all levels of society to deal with the current addiction epidemic and provide adequate support and treatment for addicts and their families. It needs to be acknowledged that addiction is not a personal choice but a mental disease that can be treated. Currently, many addicts do not seek treatment because they fear discrimination, and those who do may not be able to have access to quality care. People suffering from addiction need support both from the community and their families in order to seek and maintain their recovery. Addiction can happen to anyone, and nobody is safe, it does not make one a bad person, only a good person with a bad disease.
Crapanzano, Kathleen, et al. “The Association Between Perceived Stigma and Substance Use Disorder Treatment Outcomes: A Review.” Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation, vol. 10, 2019, pp. 1–12.
“ Is Addiction a Disease? ” Partnership to End Addiction, n.d., 2020. Web.
Matthews, Steve, et al. “Stigma and Self-Stigma in Addiction.” Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, vol. 24, no. 2, 2017, pp. 275–286.
Mendell, Gary. “ COVID-19 Has Led to Surge in Opioid Overdoses. Here’s How We Can Confront the Stigma .” USA Today Opinion, 2020, Web.
“Stigma of Addiction.” American Addiction Centers , 2020, Web.
“ Using Compassion to Tackle the Stigma of Addiction .” FNHA, 2020, Web.
Yang, Lawrence, et al. “Stigma and Substance Use Disorders: An International Phenomenon.” Current Opinion in Psychiatry, vol. 30, no. 5, 2017, pp. 378–388.
World Health Organization. International standards for drug use prevention. 2016, Web.
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There is a general agreement on how university life influences the lives of young people. According to Maher and Page (2015), the friendships and opportunities afforded by college life enable many students to adopt different mannerisms. For my case, college life only added to the challenges I had already developed. Even though I kept my drug addiction a secret from many people, the effects were always evident. I discovered that cocaine pills would make me happy and engaged most of the time. As a result, I became so addicted to the drug that it controlled my life. Once I took a cocaine tablet, I would party the whole night without feeling tired. Afterward, I would spend two days exhausted and affected by the withdrawal. My addiction grew strong and it became difficult to manage my life without the drug. My weight dropped, and my academic grades drastically plummeted. From the outside, my life looked manageable, yet I personally felt I was beyond control. The cocaine took complete control over me and everything else seemed less important. [“ Write my essay for me ?” Get help here.]
Many people do not understand how a drug addict operates their life. For many people, drug addicts are simply irresponsible individuals who waste their lives when they should be focused on bettering themselves. People do not realize that many addicts would want to have better lives devoid of drugs, but they simply cannot manage. Towards the end of my college education, my cocaine use skyrocketed. I developed a kind of paranoia on many issues. I kept wondering what other people felt and talked about me. I wondered what would happen if the police knew about my drug usage. These thoughts and worries made me plunge myself into more cocaine to feel better. Somehow, I felt that my life could still be rescued. I had a feeling that I belonged to academia. After college, I began looking at my life in great retrospect. I read books about drug addiction and how to overcome it. I got a daytime job and enrolled for a master’s degree in political theory. Although I was still using cocaine, I became a bit conscious of myself and my situation. It was during that time when I met Javier, a tall, lanky guy with a Spanish accent. Although he was also a cocaine user, he was striving to find a means of ditching the drug addiction. Javier gave me the inspiration that drug addiction is a disease that could be managed and overcome. I, therefore, became confident on the possibility that my situation could be addressed.
I spend the next few months making amends and trying to connect with good friends and family members. Everyone seemed to understand and accept me and forget about the past. I feel sad that some of my friends who were unable to overcome addiction have since died. Many people believe that cocaine addiction is a result of many bad choices. However, it must be understood that occasionally it happens due to situations beyond personal control. Today, I spend some time doing voluntary work in rehab facilities and encouraging victims.
Gruenert, S. (2010). Addiction: A Disorder of Choice. Drug and Alcohol Review , 29 (2), 227-228.
Harrison, C. (2010). Drug addiction: Blocking cocaine-seeking behavior. Nature Reviews Drug Discovery , 9 (10), 764-765.
Maher, L., & Page, K. (2015). Reducing bias in prospective observational studies of drug users: the need for upstream and downstream approaches. Addiction , 110 (8), 1259-1261
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