Addiction surely is one of the worst things that can happen to someone. It ruins their entire life of a person and can be fatal unless that person hits rock bottom and decides to take hold of their life.
Addiction is not just taking drugs, smoking cigarettes, or having those pills; it is a lot more than that. You could be compelled to do something under a certain situation to cope up with it, and it turns into addiction before you know it. The worst part is, you can not stop yourself.
One thing that’s the same or common about all addictions is their compulsion and what they do to you. Keep reading to find out more.
This guide is designed to give you a deeper insight into what all addictions have in common.
Table of Contents
What Is Addiction
Addiction is anything which is manifested by the use of compulsive substances despite knowing its dangerous side effects.
It is a complex and disastrous situation of the brain where you are compelled to take a certain substance or perform an action despite knowing its harmful effects on you.
It can also be a state of helplessness.
People can develop addiction to
- Inhalants like sprays, paints, glue
- Hallucinogens like PCP, LSD, etc
- Painkillers like oxycodone, codeine, and heroin
- Sedatives and hypnotics (anti-anxiety medications)
One Common Thing About All Addictions
One thing which is the most common about all kinds of substance addictions is that of compulsion.
It’s like you are no longer able to stop what is happening to you and to your body.
This means that your brain is no longer going to accept the naturally releasing dopamine, because you have made it dependant on more, it will want more from you. When you are not able to provide it with that, your mental condition will get worse (you will start to have withdrawal symptoms). Hence being compelled to drug yourself.
It would no longer be your will, but your helplessness to combat what your brain needs to function properly. Time to time when the brain wishes to be in that state, due to a certain situation (mostly tense), to function properly, you have to take your substance of abuse.
People with drug addiction problems slowly start to display distorted behavior and thinking. Even their body functions start to distort. Their brain constantly craves for drugs because its wiring has changed.
This will make it really hard for you to abstain from the use of that substance.
Research shows changes in some areas of the brain. The areas related to decision making, judgment, learning, and the control of behavior showed major differences. This shows just how much addiction can alter the wiring of your brain.
These changes can have a greater effect at the time the drug initially shows its effects. They slowly fade away afterward.
Over time, addiction only gets worse because people have to take in more quantities of drug due to the resistance of that drug; hence, these are areas also get worse.
Due to the situation of their brains, you will find most addicts with an overall distorted life. Most have work or family problems.
The Brain’s Coping Mechanism
Another thing besides the brain wanting more is actually the coping mechanism of the brain.
The coping mechanism of the brain is also something that is common about all the addictions. Once you feed your brain a way of coping with certain things several times, it adapts to that way.
This means that if you are in a tense situation, and instead of trying to solve it or do something about it, you drink to cope with it. After several times, your brain will automatically adapts to that coping mechanism, and you are under compulsion to perform that specific action to cope with things.
The human brain is like a supercomputer; whatever you feed it, it adapts to that. That is why addiction becomes a habit for some people, and they can not get rid of it. To actually reverse what your brain is now habitual of, you have to do a lot of practice and not give in to your previous habits of addiction. That is why people with addiction problems need to go to rehabs.
You Are Not Alone
Besides drug addictions, there are also other forms of addictions. Most of which are behavioral.
Behavioral addictions also work in the same way as drug addictions, the difference is that there is no drug use, and the loss is less intense.
An example of someone over shopping every time they get in a tough situation is also an addiction. This addiction might be dangerous because it might cause her to lose all her savings at some point.
Another example is overeating. Whenever you encounter a tough situation in your life, you suddenly feel the need to eat too much! This can cause a person to gain weight, which again is not a healthy choice.
In the same way, the brains of these people are also wired to a particular coping mechanism whenever they face a great ordeal in life. They, too, can not escape it just like drug addicts and are caught in a circle. The only difference is the type and amount of damage.
How To Break This Cycle
The only way to break the cycle of drug addiction is to seek help and support from professionals. If you are someone who has severe problems with addiction, you will need to seek help from professionals immediately to treat you in the best way possible.
The reason is the fact that you can not deal with the withdrawal symptoms of addiction all alone. In worse situations, it can be extremely dangerous. That is why, instead of doing it yourself. Start to take help slowly and gradually from professionals.
These professionals know exactly what to expect with your case, based on your condition, your treatment can be at home, at the hospital, or rehab. Several drugs are also given to help you deal with withdrawal symptoms better. Other than that, you have also advised therapies that greatly help with addiction.
Also, start lowering your intake instead of increasing it. This is also very important.
Another thing is to find out the root cause of your addiction, in other words, the trigger point that triggers you to continue the use of the substance of abuse. Once the trigger point is detected, it can be dealt with by feeding your brain with a healthier or “constructive” way. This will, in turn, stop the addiction as well. Either you can detect your trigger points or the professionals can detect them for you. They can detect them alot better.
Changing the wiring of your brain, which you have fed it for quite some time, is no easy thing. You should be willing to take the help needed and to get better. Only and only then can you get better and make progress.
We highly encourage you to step up against your addiction today. Its never too late to begin your journey towards recovery.