Drug addiction is a problem that affects a surprising amount of people at some point in their lives, whether it is an addiction to prescription drugs or recreational drugs, or alcohol use that has gotten out of hand and turned into a genuine dependence. While most people will encounter others during their lives who are going through or have been through an addiction, it is still something that is very much misunderstood by many.
Those who specialize in helping people who have found themselves with a drug or alcohol problem, often find it hard to explain why this is a genuine medical problem to those who believe a drug addiction just equates to a lack of willpower. Specialists, like those at the leading drug rehabs in Florida, http://www.rehabilitation-center.org/drug.html know how drug addiction works and how to help its sufferers, however for many bystanders it is still a deeply misunderstood phenomenon.
What Really is ‘Addiction’?
The term ‘addiction‘ is overused, and this is one of the main reasons drug addiction is not properly understood by mainstream society. A person may say they are addicted to Facebook, or to Game of Thrones, or to shoes, and in reality what they are simply saying is that they like that thing a lot and it takes willpower to go without it. Certainly, they may stay up later than they planned to binge watch a TV show, ruin their diet by going through a whole box of chocolates, or spend more of their monthly budget on clothes than they wanted to, but these are all things that are still within the parameters of normal choice. You know you are doing something you shouldn’t, but you are still choosing it with the consequences in mind.
People with true addictions actually have different brain chemistry, and so willpower alone is often not enough to get them back to a normal state.
Withdrawal and Tolerance
One of the factors most significant in real addiction, which many people don’t realize, is what happens in the absence of using the drug. If you love chocolate and say you are addicted to it, you may think about eating it a lot or miss it when you give it up (perhaps to diet or for lent), but you will have no other adverse effects. If you give up heroin, cocaine, or even alcohol after developing an actual addiction, you will become very ill. Some people even die from withdrawal. Withdrawal is not missing something, it is a true physical reaction to not having a chemical your body is used to in your system.
Addiction is not especially rare, and is something many people have experienced but, with help, gone on to live perfectly normal lives. Getting help for an addiction is not hard, but what many addicts and former addicts could benefit from is less of a stigma about their issues in normal society.
Addiction is a physical, medical condition that can affect any person, and while the decision to use drugs or alcohol is one not everyone makes, the condition that affects people who end up going too far with it is one that is very hard to control without medical help, and one that society should try harder to understand.