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Addiction

Addiction can affect us in many different ways and through different means. It's not just the individuals problem. Addiction can impact one's family and relationships, work and school. So who becomes addicted?
Just like with other medical conditions or diseases, vulnerability to addiction is different among individuals. Some factors that may place your more at risk are:

    · Family history of addiction

    · Abuse, neglect, or other traumatic experiences in childhood

    · Mental disorders such as anxiety and depression

    · Early use of drugs and/or alcohol (Robinson, Smith, & Saisan, 2014)

The Process of Addiction

The process of developing an addiction usually begins with experimentation. Use of a substance is done out of curiosity and typically take place in the presence of others. There are minimal consequences that result from using.

The second phase is social use. Again, one's using takes place in the presence of others and is typically limited to social events such as parties or eating out. There is no pattern of use and there are minimal consequences from using. Typically, most individuals do not move past this phase.

Th e third phase is medicinal use. It is at this phase that a pattern of use begins to emerge. For example, one might begin drinking each night after work to help him/her "unwind" or smoke pot to help him/her sleep. Others may use to ease their anxiety at social gatherings. It is at this stage that one's use becomes solo. Also, the consequences of one's use begin to increase such as missed days from work, legal ramifications, and problems with one's relationships.

The final phase is the addictive phase. At this phase, one continues to use despite knowing that his/her use is causing major problems in all areas of one's life: physically, mentally, emotionally, socially and spiritually. The individual begins to develop tolerance towards his/her drug choice, meaning, it takes more of the drug to experience the same effects one use to get with a smaller amount. One also develops withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, restlessness, insomnia, depression, sweating, shaking, and anxiety. One's life begins to revolve around obtaining the drug. Activities that one used to enjoy, such as socializing, hobbies, sports, are abandoned due to one's drug use.

So what's next?

Recovery

Asking for help and getting support is the first step in the journey of recovery. Recognize that you do not have to handle your addiction alone. Support can from:

    · family members

    · close friends

    · therapists or counselors

    · support groups such as AA, NA and Celebrate Recovery

    · healthcare providers

    · people from your faith community

Healing from addiction is not a solo journey but one done with the encouragement and accountability from others.

If you are struggling with an addiction, please call me and let's begin the journey towards healing together.



Robinson, L., Smith, M., & Saisan, J. (2014, December). Drug Abuse and Addiction . Retrieved January 8, 2014, from HelpGuide.org Web site: http://www.helpguide.org/articles/addiction/drug-abuse-and-addiction.htm

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