Addiction is a damaging disease that affects millions of lives across the United States. While innovative technologies and medical advancements have shed light on addiction, there is still a stigma that surrounds this disease. Without treatment, addiction can lead to dangerous and even life threatening effects. Recognizing how this disease affects the mind and body can help to eliminate this potentially powerful stigma. If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction, you deserve the help you need in order to lead a happier and healthier life.
What Is Addiction?
When drugs and alcohol enter your system, they affect the mind and body abnormally. This can cause physical and chemical changes. One of the primary organs affected by drug and alcohol use is the brain. This delicate, yet powerful organ, is the control center for how your mind and body operate. While affecting your mood, coordination, and memory, drug and alcohol use also affects your brain’s reward pathway.
Addiction is regarded as a chronic relapsing brain disease. Normally, your brain will recognize something as positive and release dopamine in the reward pathway. This tells your brain that something good has just happened and to repeat this in the future. Drugs and alcohol make this reward pathway act abnormally, causing a surge of dopamine to be released. These levels are higher than what would be released due to anything occurring naturally in your environment.
This can cause rewiring of the brain’s natural reward system. Thus, intense cravings and compulsive behavior will result as your brain seeks more of the substance. The thought of the substance will completely take over their brain, causing irritability, mood changes, and impulsive tendencies. Even when negative consequences ensue, the person will not be able to stop as their brain has gone through a change.
When Will Someone Become Addicted?
There is no timeline for when an addiction will develop. It can develop rapidly or it can take many months. How quickly an addiction forms depends on a variety of factors. These factors include genetics, medical history, and environment. Generally speaking, an addiction usually forms after the substance has entered the body more than once. This leads to addiction being very unpredictable, which can cause numerous health concerns, as well as life-threatening conditions.
Addiction Can Affect Anyone
Millions of lives are impacted by addiction across the nation. Addiction does not discriminate and it can happen to anyone. As previously discussed, the likelihood that someone will become addicted depends on a variety of different factors.
It is important if you suspect you or someone you love is suffering to look for signs. Signs that someone is struggling with this disease are not always easy to recognize. Someone may not be displaying easy to distinguish signs or they may be good at covering it up. For example, those who are suffering may still have stable relationships and are maintaining a job.
There are signs you can look for that may indicate someone is suffering from addiction. If you notice these signs, it is important to speak to your loved on in order for them to receive the proper help. Someone struggling with addiction may not be in contact with you as much. This could mean that they do not pick up the phone or stop by as often. When you do see them, you have noticed that their personal hygiene appears to be lacking. They have mentioned that they are experiencing difficulties in their relationships and are not meeting their responsibilities. You may notice their outwardly physical health deteriorating, as well as behavioral shifts.
The Stigma Surrounding Addiction
There is a damaging stigma that surrounds addiction. This stigma may prevent those who are suffering from getting the help they need and deserve. This stigma may cause people to feel ashamed of their illness or see seeking out treatment as a sign of weakness. This can lead to addiction being left untreated, which can result in life-threatening effects.
Stigmas are untrue generalizations based on misinformation or miseducation. The stigma surrounding addiction is that those who are suffering are of moral failing, are criminals, and should feel ashamed of what they are going through. The fact is, those who support this stigma are misinformed of what addiction actually is. Nobody chooses to become addicted. These changes in the brain can cause a person to get into dangerous situations. While a person should always be held accountable for their actions, shaming those who are suffering will not fix the problem.
In order to fight the stigma, it is important to become educated on addiction. Talk to those who are suffering from a place of understanding. Leave judgment out of the conversation. It is important that those who are suffering from this disease seek treatment. If you suspect your loved one is struggling with addiction, reach out and show your support. Your loved one will need a strong support system to help guide them down the road to recovery.
Treatment Is Necessary
Left untreated, addiction can cause dangerous and life threatening effects. If you or someone you love is struggling, it is important to seek help immediately. Addiction is a disease and just like any other disease, it requires treatment. In order for someone to recover from heart disease, they require treatment. The same is true for addiction. Recovery is a lifelong process and enrolling in a treatment program is a monumental milestone. It is never too late to seek the help you deserve.
At A Better Today Recovery Services, a wide range of drug and alcohol problems are addressed. Their treatment centers are home to passionate professionals who believe it is never too late to turn your life around. They believe treatment should be holistic. This means they treat the body, mind, and soul. Their innovative treatment plans are individualized to meet the unique needs of every person who walks through their doors. Upon arrival, you will experience their healthcare evaluations which will set you up on the road to success. While each path is unique, the goal is always the same. Let A Better Today Recovery Services help you lead a happier and healthier life by calling today.