Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Symptoms of Addiction

Addictions are most commonly associated with drug and alcohol addiction. Additions you might not think are addictions are related to compulsive behaviors like gambling, shopping, food, the internet.

An addiction of any type is readily recognized by the fact that it is not a matter of choice Individuals who are addicts do not have the ability to decide to stop abusing, for example, alcohol or a certain drug, or even the behaviors of gambling or shopping. Addictions affect the user, their family and friends.

What is an addiction? When does the pattern of behavior become an addiction? Some individuals may be able to use a substance or engage in a behavior periodically over a period of years without becoming addicted Other individuals are not capable of stopping and do become addicted.

Are addictions only in certain social, educational or ethnic groups? Addiction is caused by the emotion the substance or behavior brings about in the user.

The body and mind become dependent on that feeling and seeks to maintain it.

There are addiction risk factors that make some people more likely than others to become addicts. however, they may become addicted to gambling or some other type of compulsive behavior as an adult.

Besides hereditary, individuals who grow up in families with abuse, neglect and who are impoverished are more likely to become addicts.

For most addicts, it can be extremely difficult to recognize that what they have associated as simply a habit is actually an addiction.

While every individual is different there are some symptoms that are prevalent among most addicts and addictions:Symptom # 1Unable to meet responsibilities at home, school or office.

Symptom # 2Continues to use substances or engage in behavior even when it is dangerous.

Symptom # 3The need increases to engage in behavior or use more of a substance to achieve the same effect or feeling.

Symptom # 4Has tried but failed to stop using the substance or end the behavior.

Symptom # 5Continues to engage in the behavior or use the substances even when they are aware of the dangers.

Answering yes to three or more of the above symptoms during a 12 month period may show that you or a loved one has an addiction.

The first step to treating an addiction is recognizing that it exists.

There is no cure for an addiction.

Treating an addiction can take years and requires ongoing support from friends, families and support groups.

A 12 step program can be particularly beneficial in treating an addiction.

One of the most well known 12 step programs is AA, also known as Alcoholics Anonymous.

There are similar programs for all types of addictions.

Living with an addiction requires a daily commitment and there is always the possibility of relapsing.

Read full article "The Symptoms of Addiction"


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