5 Facts about Drug Addiction
Drug addiction has made an indelible mark on the global psyche. It affects millions, and the nature of drug addiction means that the harm it causes goes far beyond the addict and his/her immediate family. Whether directly or indirectly, it affects colleagues, acquaintances and even absolute strangers.
At its most granular level, addiction has arguably been around for thousands of years but what we know about it has changed and evolved, with much progression being made over the last few decades. Here are some of things we know about drug addiction:
It is a Disease
There are many theories around what drug addiction is and what causes it. According to the American Medical Association, addiction can be classified as a brain disease that is akin to other chronic conditions such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease. According to the disease model, it can be controlled but not cured. What this means for drug addicts is that recovery is a lifelong process of maintenance and personal growth.
It is Not a Symptom of Weak Willpower
It is not uncommon for addicts to be told to “get over it,” or to simply “resist temptation”. It is however a misconception that willpower is enough to stop a drug addict from using. Addiction changes the brain on a fundamental level – a level upon which free will or choice is severely impaired. It can be said that the disease is characterised by a complete loss of control over substance abuse. In most cases, a significant turning point can only be brought about by some form of intervention.
Not All Drug Addicts Lose Everything
Many people may picture drug addicts as homeless delinquents – people who are easily recognisable as having a problem. However, there are countless addicts who live seemingly manageable lives, have jobs and families and who are well educated. Many addicts manage to maintain a degree of normalcy for much longer than expected, with unmanageability happening on an emotional, spiritual and mental level that is unseen to the outside world but nonetheless is as painful and damaging as outward symptoms.
It Does Not Discriminate
Drug addiction does not discriminate based on gender, social standing, financial status, religion, age or nationality. It levels the playing field, so to speak, affecting individuals across the board. Because of this, it has baffled doctors, social workers and scientists. There is simply no formula that can determine whether a person will become an addict or not, which makes it difficult to predict.
It Is a Shape-shifting Disease
Drug addiction is simply one manifestation of the disease of addiction. Often a drug addict will find recovery from substance abuse only to “cross-addict” to another form of the disease, like gambling, sex or an eating disorder. For this reason, the treatment of the disease needs to be holistic, treating the symptoms rather than covering up the problem. It means that recovery is a process that requires deep-seated change.
If you or a loved one needs assistance with an addiction – know that help is readily available. The road to recovery is not always an easy one, but getting yourself or your loved one the best possible care from the team at Crossroads Recovery Centre provides you with a map to sober, healthy living. No matter how bad things seem, there is hope, and it’s only a phone call away. If you or anyone close to you needs help with an addiction to sex, gambling, substances, alcohol or food, please contact us for a free assessment.
Stories of Recovery
- The encouragement, love and support from the team at Crossroads allowed me to eventually see that I was worth something - that my life could be turned around and that I could accomplish the things that had long been a forgotten dream.Oliver VGRead more
- On the last day of my stint at Crossroads I could only express gratitude towards all who works there. A wise councillor once commented on my question when one is ready for rehab by explaining that when one is ready for rehab, rehab is ready for you.Johan BRead more
- I was lost and my soul was broken until I ended up at Crossroads and was introduced to the Twelve Steps. With the help of their excellent staff and amazing support I have recently been clean for 18 months, I could not have done it without them!Carla SRead more
- "Just for today I am more than three years in recovery. I have Cross Roads to thank for this wonderful gift. Cross Roads helped me to set a firm foundation in my recovery on which I can continue to build."Angelique JRead more