Kick Your Dependence on Drugs or Alcohol.
Addiction is a chronic; often relapsing brain disease that causes compulsive drug or alcohol seeking and use, despite the harmful consequences to the addicted individuals and to those around them. Drugs and alcohol both contain chemicals that tap into the brain’s communication system and disrupt the way nerve cells normally send, receive, and process information. And although the initial decision to take drugs or alcohol is usually voluntary, the brain changes that occur over time challenge a person’s self-control and ability to resist the intense impulses urging the addicted individual to continue taking the drugs or alcohol.
ABUSE OR ADDICTION?
Although different drugs, including alcohol, have different physical effects, the symptoms of addiction are similar. Following are lists comparing the most common signs and symptoms of both substance abuse and substance addiction:
You’re neglecting your responsibilities at school, work, or home such as failing courses, skipping work or neglecting your children because of your drug use.
You’re using drugs under dangerous conditions or taking risks while high, such as driving while on drugs, using dirty needles or having unprotected sex.
Your drug use is getting you into legal trouble, such as arrests for disorderly conduct, tickets for driving while under the influence or stealing to support a drug habit.
Your drug use is causing significant problems in your relationships, such as causing fights with your partner or family members, an unhappy boss or the loss of old friendships.
You’ve built up a drug or alcohol tolerance. You need to use more of your drug of choice to experience the same effects that you used to attain with smaller amounts.
You take drugs to avoid or relieve withdrawal symptoms. If you go too long without drugs or alcohol, you experience symptoms such as nausea, restlessness, insomnia, depression, sweating, shaking and anxiety.
You’ve lost control over your drug use. You often do drugs or use more than you planned, even though you’ve told yourself you wouldn’t. You may want to stop using, but you feel powerless.
Your life revolves around drug or alcohol use. You spend a lot of time using and thinking about these drugs, figuring out how to get them and recovering from their effects.
You’ve abandoned activities you used to enjoy, such as hobbies, sports, and socializing, because of your drug and/or alcohol use.
You continue to use drugs or alcohol, despite knowing they’re hurting you. It’s causing major problems in your life such as blackouts, infections, mood swings, depression and paranoia, but you use anyway.
Usually, there are many other underlying traumatic events and predispositions that have added to the problem as well. The abuse/addiction often continues, however, because the substance either makes you feel happy, or makes the pain temporarily go away.
The first obstacle is to recognize and admit that you have a problem, which takes tremendous strength and courage. The good news is that with the right treatment and support, you can counteract the disruptive effects of drug and alcohol use and regain control of your life.
YOU CAN LIVE A DRUG AND ALCOHOL-FREE LIFE
Individualized, results-oriented treatment will enable you to heal from the trauma and live a balanced, rewarding drug and alcohol-free life.