Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Overview of Drug and Alcohol Addictions

What exactly is addiction? Addiction is defined as a physiological dependence on something and its effects are both psychological and physical. An addicted person truly needs to constantly feed their addiction. Most people who are addicted to something don't realize they have a problem. The addiction has snuck up on them and caught them unawares. A person can abuse a substance such as alcohol, but never be addicted to it. The two determining factors of addiction are tolerance and physical dependence. Any addiction is highly destructive, both to the person who has the addiction and also those around them. However, once the addict actually sees and admits to a problem, there are many avenues of treatment for both alcohol and drug addictions.

The glorified picture many teenagers see in movies and on television involve other teenagers drinking and taking drugs to add to the fun they are apparently already having. Hollywood does do a little to attempt to show the other side of addiction with certain movies and shows. But the addicted character is still glamorized in the end which overshadows the very dark side of drug and alcohol addiction. The harsh reality of addiction is not entertaining on any level whatsoever. Addiction itself is a nightmare and the ensuing rehab is no picnic either.

Regardless of what you may hear or read, alcohol and illegal drugs are addictive. In fact, the younger a person starts experimenting with these things, the more likely they are to become addicted to them later in life. While trying out any drugs or alcohol is dangerous, it is much more of a gamble if you know you have close family members who have battled the same things. What you stand to lose in this bet is your personality, your future, maybe even your life.

Most people addicted to alcohol will attempt to hide their drinking and will openly deny any problem. Likewise, if you feel guilty about the amount of alcohol you consume or think maybe you should control it but can't, or if you find yourself drinking in the morning to stop shaking or help alleviate a hangover, these are huge red flags.

Drug addiction very often starts off as abuse of prescription drugs or inhalants. Most true addicts will need the assistance of a drug or alcohol rehabilitation program.

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