Pusher and drug addict exchanging money and drug. Most of us know the basics of addiction. That it occurs when you do something you deem pleasurable with such frequency that it interferes with the rest of your life in multiple ways. However, this is a very simplistic approach to addiction. There are more facts about substance abuse and how it affects your loved one. Knowing the essential elements of addiction can help you understand them better and support them in their recovery journey.
1. It Is Not A Lack of Strength
Someone facing an addiction is not to be considered weak. Addiction does not occur from an absence of willpower. Rather it is a disease that comes with a compulsion - an urge that goes against your conscious logic that you cannot control. When your loved one falls back into the throes of addiction, do not judge them or think they lack the inner strength to resist, but rather love them and remind them that you are there and you forgive them. Doing otherwise might cause them to keep relapses from you.
2. Addiction is Indiscriminate
Addiction does not care how much money you have in the bank. Addiction does not care how old you are. Addiction does not care if you are male or female, gay or straight. It does not care where you live or what car you drive. Addiction can hit anyone at anytime. It is impossible to look at someone and know whether or not their life choices led them to addiction. You cannot control when or if someone will have an addiction problem, but you can control your capacity for compassion.
3. A Single Use Can Still Cause Addiction
A common misconception among people is that if they just try something once, they will not risk getting addicted. Unfortunately, this is not true. It is possible to have one drink or take one pill and enjoy the sensation it brings. This action can open the door to further addiction; all while thinking that they do not have a problem. There are even substances that can cause an immediate addiction upon first use, such as heroin and crack cocaine.
4. Addiction is Treatable and Recovery is Attainable
Several colloquialisms can give off the impression that addiction is insurmountable. Phrases such as, "addiction is a lifelong illness," and "relapse is inevitable." These phrases can conjure up images of addiction being this unbeatable thing, a damned if you do/damned if you do not kind of scenario. However, while addiction is a lifelong illness, that does not mean that they will never be able to live a long and healthy life. Moreover, while relapses are common, they should not go into a recovery scenario thinking that a relapse must be inevitable. That kind of thought process can hinder true recovery. Developing the right treatment plan to treat addiction is a crucial part of the process. A free service like Freedom From Addiction can be of help to explore the different treatment options available.
For 24/7 assistance, call 1.855.RECOVER or 1.855.732.6837.
With a proper treatment plan, a sympathetic support system and the proper resources, those suffering from addiction can live a long and prosperous life in recovery.
Sydney DeZinno is a writer from Tucson, AZ. A graduate of the University of Arizona, she an active advocate that is passionate about addiction recovery and helping those in crisis.
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