Understanding Addiction – My story
Understanding Addiction. Through my own experience I found addiction one of the worse things I went through. Unlike other illnesses which would come and go, addiction was always there. That feeling of being a slave to a substance. My addiction was alcohol.
What is addiction
In my eyes, addiction is being totally consumed by a substance. In my case it was alcohol. It is all you think about, and all you want. It takes over you whole mind set. Like an obsession. Do I have enough alcohol in the house to get me through. Is it strong enough. It is the first thing you think about when you wake up, and the last thing you think about at night. It totally consumes your life whatever the the consequences.
How do you get addicted to something
In my case it started with a few drinks after work. It then turned into serval drinks after work. Then it turned into the first one in the pub after work, to the last one out. I remember waiting outside the pub on my own, waiting for it to open. How sad it that. Also I would be on my second or third drink once people started arriving. I also remember looking at myself in the pub toilets mirror thinking “here we go again”.
Then I got to the pub at lunchtime, and staying there until it closed. It those days we use to get “lock ins” which were where you stayed drinking until the early hours of the morning. This was illegal then, and is still illegal now. But it was a great way for pubs to make more money.
Can you stop an addiction
If you are very strong mined, you could have a go. But for most people it is impossible. So do remember, Never just stop your substance abuse. It can be fatal. You will need a home detox or go to a residential rehab centres to get well. That is by far your safest option. If that option is not affordable, you can still get help through funded rehab centres or your local “community drug and alcohol team”. I will be honest, they are fairly useless, and you can quote me on that.
Who gets an addiction
This is a very good question. In rehab centres most, well 99% of the clients have someone in the family with an addictive personality. It is inherited from a mum, dad, uncle auntie etc. sometimes it misses a generation, but I guarantee it will be in the family somewhere.
What kind of people get addicted – Understanding Addiction
Isolation, break ups, bereavement, abuse as a child etc. Through my experience the kind of people who get an addiction are generally creative people. This is what we are seeing all the time in our rehab centres. It is well documented that people with an addictive personalities have more opiate receptors in their brain., More than other people. So if someone with an addictive personality went for a drink with someone who did not have an addictive personality. They would get 10x more out of it than the person who did not have an addictive personality. Because the higher amount of opiate receptors they have in their Brain.
Understanding addiction is crucial for recognising its impact, promoting empathy, and informing effective approaches to prevention and treatment.
Here are some key points to consider when seeking to understand addiction:
Definition of Addiction: Addiction is a chronic brain disorder characterised by compulsive substance use or engaging in certain behaviours despite negative consequences. It is often characterised by a loss of control over substance use or behaviour and a strong craving for the substance or activity.
Substance Use vs. Addiction: Substance use refers to the act of consuming drugs or alcohol, whereas addiction involves a complex set of factors that contribute to the development and maintenance of compulsive substance use. Not everyone who uses substances will develop an addiction, as individual susceptibility varies.
Factors Contributing to Addiction: Addiction is influenced by a combination of genetic, environmental, and psychological factors. Genetic predisposition, early exposure to substances, trauma, mental health conditions, and social environment can all play a role in increasing the risk of developing an addiction.
Brain Changes: Addiction involves changes in the brain’s reward circuitry and other neural systems, leading to the reinforcement of substance use or certain behaviours. Over time, these changes can impair decision-making, impulse control, and the ability to experience pleasure without the substance or behaviour.
Physical and Psychological Dependence: Addiction can lead to physical dependence, where the body adapts to the presence of a substance and experiences withdrawal symptoms upon cessation. Psychological dependence refers to the emotional and cognitive reliance on the substance or behaviour to cope with stress, emotions, or other challenges.
Behavioural Addictions: While substance addiction is widely recognised, it is essential to acknowledge that addictive behaviours can also exist without the use of substances. Examples of behavioural addictions include gambling addiction, gaming addiction, sex addiction, and compulsive shopping.
Stigma and Misconceptions: Addiction is often stigmatised and misunderstood, with blame and judgment placed on individuals struggling with addiction. It is important to approach addiction with empathy, recognising it as a complex health condition rather than a moral failing or lack of willpower.
Treatment and Recovery: Addiction is a treatable condition, and recovery is possible with the right support and interventions. Treatment approaches may include a combination of medication, therapy, support groups, lifestyle changes, and holistic approaches to address the physical, psychological, and social aspects of addiction.
Prevention and Harm Reduction: Preventing addiction involves addressing risk factors, promoting protective factors (such as supportive relationships and healthy coping mechanisms), and implementing effective prevention strategies at the community and individual levels. Harm reduction approaches aim to reduce the negative consequences associated with substance use and addictive behaviours without requiring immediate abstinence.
Continuous Support: Addiction is a chronic condition that requires ongoing support and management. Long-term recovery often involves building a strong support network, developing healthy coping skills, and addressing underlying issues contributing to addiction.
It’s important to seek reliable information from reputable sources, consult healthcare professionals, addiction specialists, or treatment providers for a comprehensive understanding of addiction.
Talk to me – Understanding Addiction
I am happy to talk to anyone who needs help with addiction, as I have been there. We have several residential rehab centres available to help you. Plus our nurses are on hand to detox you from home if you prefer. My name is Mark. Call me on 07811 606 606. I can help you. My phone is on all the time I am awake. For help and advice call Tel: 07811 606 606 (24 hours)