Millions of people all over the world suffer from addictions. Many things can be addictive. People are addicted to caffeine, cigarettes, gambling, games like World of Warcraft, or even hard drugs like heroin or cocaine. The most common definition for addiction is Morse & Flavin’s which explains addiction as “a primary, progressive, chronic disease with genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations. The disease is often progressive and fatal. It is characterized by impaired control over use of the substance, preoccupation with the substance, use of the substance despite adverse consequences, and distortions in thinking.”
What causes Addiction?
When you do something good or enjoyable, your brain releases some dopamine to encourage you to repeat the activity. Most addictive things will replicate the same effect by causing your brain to release dopamine and other pleasure-causing substances, sometimes in larger doses than your brain would normally produce. The person starts using the addictive substance more frequently as an “easy” way to get that good feeling. Soon the body starts needing the person to keep doing it as it loses the ability to feel good on it’s own. By now the person’s life revolves around their addiction. They need help!
Getting rid of addictions
People with addictions almost never get better on their own. They will not help themselves and have a high chance of going back to their addiction as soon as anything goes wrong without help and support. Here are a few kinds of help and support you can help them get.
1. Medical support
Once the body is addicted to a substance, it may need help easing off of it. A doctor can help their body make the transition between addicted and not by easing the addicted person off the substance and by using medicines to help the body get back to normal.
Once the body is off the substance, it is important to keep the person from going back. Many medications are out there to make this easier. Their effects range from blocking the effects of harmful drugs (removing the reason to take them) all the way to serving as a temporary milder substitute to help ease the body off the addiction.
3. Therapy and counseling
Addiction is just as much a physical problem as it is a behavioral problem. Correcting the behaviors that led to the addiction decreases the chances of relapse.