Addiction has become more prevalent in the mainstream media as popular characters show what it’s like to struggle with one. Characters like Dr. Gregory House on the show “House” and Jackie Peyton on “Nurse Jackie” have given viewers a taste of what addiction can look like, even if some of the scenarios they get themselves into aren’t exactly how addiction would appear to you in real life.
But now that addiction is more commonly portrayed on TV and people see it in the media more than ever before, here is a look at some facts you may not know about it:
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It’s a disease
Addiction is a disease that affects the structure of the brain and how it functions. As an addiction progresses, the brain relies on a drug to fulfill the need that other things would normally fill to make you happy. The change in the brain starts with how your brain identifies pleasure and eventually affects your behavior, trending toward compulsive, to fulfill that desire.
It affects a lot of people
McLean Hospital estimates 10% of all people have an addiction. Anyone can develop an addiction, but things like genetics and a history of mental illness can increase the likelihood of someone developing one.
The signs revolve around getting more
The signs of addiction show someone who will continually do more to get their drug of choice. Needing more of a drug is a telltale sign an addiction is lurking. Someone with an addiction might become irritable when they can’t get more. People with addiction are constantly preoccupied with getting the drug. One of the more obvious signs is when a person can’t stop using the drug even when they know it’ll result in something bad. Lastly, lying about using the drug or hiding it are also signs of addiction.
Addiction is identified as being progressive and chronic, meaning it will only get worse unless you do something about it, and it can’t truly be cured. Addicts aren’t able to drink casually without putting themselves at risk of relapsing.
Treatment takes time and effort
While addiction can’t be cured, people can get a handle on managing it through therapy and medicine. Treatment could take you to a place like VSM Detox Austin, where trained professionals can help you navigate all the challenges that come with breaking an addiction.
People get addicted to all kinds of things from shopping to sex. Scientists aren’t quite sure what exactly causes it, but things like genetics, traumatic experiences, and other mental disorders can play a role in someone developing an addiction.
Like any other disease, addiction needs to be addressed in a way that works for you. Having a group of people that support you is an important step early on and being willing to seek help is also crucial. Addressing addiction requires huge changes in your lifestyle as you choose the people and behaviors that will be supportive of recovery over those that only fuel the problem.