Understanding the Alcoholic Mind
There is no point of denying the fact that alcohol addiction or any other form of addiction is the most frustrating and complex disease. It is simply heartbreaking to see an addict that faces the harmful consequences of substance abuse. It can include loss of job, family, financial ruin, arrest, severe health disorders, and much more.
However, there are several doubts that people have when it comes to addiction. Here you will get answers to all of them, and it will be even more helpful for you if you are seeking sober life again.
What is addiction?
Addiction is also known as substance abuse disorder is a severe condition in which a person loses their control of using harmful substances, which results in harmful or deadly consequences. People who suffer from addiction use alcohol, drugs, tobacco, or exert other harmful behaviors to a severe extent where a person’s capabilities to function in day-to-day life become impaired and their ability to say no to that drug or behavior no longer exists.
It won’t be inappropriate to proclaim that addiction is a chronic disorder of the brain. When a person becomes an addict, their body starts craving for a particular substance as it creates a compulsive or obsessive need in the body. Following are some of the signs that alcohol, drug, or other substance addicts may experience or show:
- Lack of self-control
- Increased desire and need for drugs, alcohol, tobacco, etc.
- Unable to stop the addictive nature
- Lack of emotional response
- Dismissal of their problem causing the behavior
- Lack of social and personal responsibility
It is true that due to prolonged and consistent use of harmful substances like alcohol and drugs can start interfering in the daily life of a person. People who go through addiction are highly prone to relapse and remission as well, which means they may juggle between mild and intense behaviors.
Why does addiction only affect some people?
Addiction is a very complicated issue as psychologists and scientists are still trying to work on this subject. However, it is indeed a fact that addiction does not discriminate, which means it can severely impact persons of all ages, genders, intelligence, and backgrounds.
As of now, it is not clear the particular factor that makes people prone to addiction? However, according to numerous studies, it can be concluded that there is a combination of factors that come to play in determining whether it is likely for someone to be an addict. It includes genetics, family background, environment, personality traits, etc. The first encounter with drugs, alcohol, or other substances can develop a habit that can lead to addiction in the future. These are not the only factors. Some people just have the genetic disposition to become an alcoholic.
Therefore, no one can eliminate the chances of becoming an addict. There are some common factors that make some people more susceptible than others, which includes the following:
Children of Addicts:
The probability of addiction is higher in those people whose parents are alcoholics or drug addicts. As compared to general people, it is observed that children of addicts are more prone to substance use disorder because they get addiction within their genes. This has little to do with whether the parents have recovered from their addiction or not.
People who go through bipolar disorder, stress, depression, chronic anxiety, and other mental health conditions are more likely to use harmful substances like drugs, alcohol, tobacco, etc. Over a period of time, mental instability can cause a person to reach out for a substance to make them feel better.
People With Higher Intelligence:
You will be surprised to know that often people with higher intelligence are found to be addicts. Professionals ranging from bankers, lawyers, CEOs, accountants to doctors have found to be the victim of alcohol and drug addiction. They use harmful substances in order to reduce the feeling of stress and isolation.
Being and addict is not reserved for those who do not know better. Many intelligent young men and women, that experienced addiction through watching parents or relatives struggle through addiction said, “I will not grow up to be like that.” Yet a few years down the road, they fell into the same trap. Knowing the dangers and pain an addict goes through, will not always prevent addiction.
Can addction ever be cured?
As mentioned earlier, addicts are always prone to relapse and remission. Therefore, it is difficult to claim that addiction can be cured for a lifetime. It requires utmost determination and self-control in a person if they want to go back to a sober life. However, it is true that addiction is manageable.
According to a study, it has been observed that around 50% of addicts (all adults) who were under the influence of harmful substances for a long period of time have successfully remained sober for more than a year or so.
Therefore, people who are suffering from the negative consequences of addiction can take comfort in the fact that recovery is possible. But having said that, it is important to remember that recovering from a severe addiction is a lifelong task. It truly demands constant care and attention to avoid relapse.
How do you treat addiction?
Treatment of addiction may vary from person to person. Depending on the needs and stage of addiction, you can choose the treatment. Make sure that you are well aware of the care you require and your mental health needs. There are different recovery treatments that you can consider:
It is a medically-assisted detox program that enables a person to get rid of harmful substances in an extremely safe and attentive environment. It is just the first step of recovery, as it is mostly just a safe way of going through addiction withdrawal.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy:
This therapy can be used to treat different kinds of addiction. It helps analyze and recognize unhealthy behavioral patterns of a person that leads to the use of alcohol, drugs, etc. With CBT, a person can identify trigger points and work on them.
12-step programs are the most universally successful ways to stay sober. Millions of people around the world have been able to use a 12-step program to learn about themselves, and in turn, push themselves towards becoming a better person. Most people in this program, if they continue to do the work required, stay sober.
Aftercare programs work hand in hand with a 12-step program. Usually men and women come to an aftercare program following detox or rehab. Sober livings specifically work wonders in providing their residents with a safe and rewarding environment to use a 12-step program to better their lives. Being able to have people around that are going through the same struggles, makes the journey that much more enjoyable. If an addict needs anything in early recovery, it is hope. Addicts in an aftercare program are taught how to have fun in sobriety. Most addicts, at first, cannot imagine what life would be like without drugs and alcohol. Learning how to enjoy yourself and some of the smaller things in life, is often an eye opener for these addicts starting on the road to recovery.