Do you struggle with…
- Controlling how much you drink, smoke, go on social media, etc.?
- Feeling out of control?
- Cravings; or an increased “hunger” for drugs, alcohol, or rewarding experiences;
- Are you able to recognize your addiction as causing significant problems with your behaviors and relationships; and
- Do you feel defensive when others talk to you about your use?
Is Addiction Therapy Right for You?
When thinking about addiction it is important to know that it is not simply a search for pleasure. It has nothing to do with your morality or strength of character. These are only a couple of myths about addiction. Have any of these Five Myths prevented you from getting the help you need?
What is Addiction?
Addiction is a condition that results when a person ingests a substance (for example, alcohol, cocaine, nicotine) or engages in an activity (such as gambling, sex, shopping) that can be pleasurable. However, the continuation of the activity becomes compulsive. Thus, it interferes with ordinary responsibilities and concerns, such as work, relationships, and quality of life. Does your life feel out of control? Do your actions often cause problems for yourself and your friends and loved ones?
One definition of addiction describes physical dependency. This is a state in which the body adapts to the presence of a drug so that drug no longer has the same effect. Another form of physical addiction is the phenomenon of craving by the brain to substances. This craving will cause an alcoholic walking into a bar to feel an extra pull to have a drink.
Often times addictive behavior is not related to physical dependency. Do you use drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, or shopping in response to stress.? Since these behaviors are not based on dependency or craving, they can explain why people can switch from one drug to a completely different kind of drug, or even to a non-drug behavior. The substance or compulsive habit of choice isn’t what matters. The underlying cause of stress that leads to compulsive behavior is what matters. Therefore, effective treatment requires an understanding of how to reduce the impact of stress in a healthy manner.