It is difficult to describe how it feels like to be addicted unless you have experienced it. Most people think addicts are always high and euphoric but beyond that, we do not know anything else. Moreover, you do not know how to treat them because you can not relate to them.
Lack of understanding on how addicts really feel builds a barrier. This barrier leads to prejudice resulting to a more negative impact to them. To understand how and what it really feels like to be addicted, the following is for you.
1. Beyond your Typical Craving
Unlike like sweets, chips, and other treats that satiate your cravings, addiction to a certain substance is way more different. Most will probably think that getting addicted is just similar to your typical cravings.
However, it feels beyond that. Imagine your need on eating your meals three times a day. Every meal serves as your source of energy or fuel to do your activities for the day. What if you discontinue this routine? Try to stop eating and your brain will keep telling you to eat and eat because it is your habit and needs.
The aforementioned is an example of how addiction feels like. The more you try to stop a habit, the more your brain gets you to do it. As you starve, you tend to think more about eating, not only because you crave for it but because your body needs it. Hence, getting addicted is not similar with how you crave for your usual treats.
2. Becoming a Slave To it
Since you have developed a habit and dependency on a certain substance, your brain undergoes chemical changes. These changes cause you to have irrational cravings to use it again and again. You are fully aware of it but your body feels weak and helpless whenever you refrain to use your substance of choice.
Still, you have this strong feeling to satiate this ‘craving.’ You will need a huge amount of money to fill your addiction. However, you can not expect to perform at your best if you are an addict. This will eventually result in ruining your relationships with your family, friends, and even your job.
But then, you will do what it takes to feed your crazy hunger for it. You are aware of how your body responds with the need but still keep doing it regardless of the consequences. Your problems keep piling up. Despite of these you will not care anymore as long as you can message and get supply from your dealer.
3. Getting Addicted Makes You Always Feel Distracted
Your brain had chemical changes. We all know that these changes are not for good. It is somehow rewired about only thinking your drug.
Because of this, your interactions with the people around will be affected. Complex thinking situations might take a toll on your focus. Even simple conversations will not be productive or sensible as it should be. During these times, you only think of your drug, and how can you get another supply of it making you always distracted.
Lack of focus or decreased concentration is not the only effect of getting addicted. Even so, it has a negative impact on your daily activities. Your prioritization will get messed up, and yet you still make your drug of choice on top.
4. Being Hopeless and Helpless
Due to the problems that keep on adding up, you feel like you hit rock bottom. It feels like your endpoint since there is nothing good in your life anymore. You struggle with your relationships and career. You want to stop but your mind and body seem like it can not function without it.
Despite the desire to stop, your mind gets distracted. And for a second, you end up thinking again about how you can get another supply from your dealer. It is a habit where you have developed a dependency. Your urges and triggers are everywhere making it harder for you to keep your mind away from it.
You may feel good and elated every time you are under the influence of your drug of choice. But after that, you will go back to feeling anxious, stressed, and many more because the effect of the drug does not last long. It is a biochemical issue especially in your brain that needs to be addressed.
Given that, fighting against addiction is not only answered by your will power. Drugs change how your brain functions. Since the effect of drugs is not permanent, your brain will need more of the drug to feel good or pleasure. Thus, making you repeat your mistakes and creating more problems.
How Can You Help?
Now that you got a glimpse of how it feels to be addicted, it is time for you to take action. You may not be a therapist but your simple act of understanding and learning an addict’s situation already helps. This will prevent creating prejudice and bad ideology towards them.
What they need is help and not judgement. They have already suffered long enough to be pushed further down. Spreading awareness and right information will pave way to others to relate and extend help to them.
If you have a friend, family or someone who is still in that dark path, encourage them to seek help. The earlier, the better. It has been hard for them since only few are only able to understand their dilemma.
In brief, the idea of ‘craving’ in addiction being the same with the typical craving for such treats is a misconception. It is beyond that. Your brain undergoes changes chemically and physiologically due to the continued use of the substance.
Addiction literally comes with great price, financially and socially speaking. You think and feel it is the most important thing for you to acquire before anything else. Your performance will decline which negatively affects your job and your loved ones.
Will power is not enough for you to quit addiction. Proper treatment and programs are needed because addiction is a biochemical problem that needs to be seriously addressed.
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