Most people struggling with an addiction today did not begin their substance abuse intending to end up where they did. Unfortunately, bad habits can take deep roots, especially a drug or alcohol habit. Like most people, you probably began using drugs or alcohol recreationally. Maybe you were curious what it would feel like. Perhaps you were just trying to fit in with your peer group. All of a sudden you may notice that you have to take more of the substance or take it more frequently than you used to but you ignore this thought. However, after further abuse, you begin to ask yourself: Am I addicted?
Understanding the Nature of an Addiction
Drug addiction is a disease. In addition, it affects the pleasure center of the brain. The chemicals in the drugs you use cause the sudden release of neurotransmitters that make you feel good.
Over time, the chemicals override your brain’s functioning. Moreover, your brain requires the drug for the release of neurotransmitters. The National Institute on Drug Abuse notes that, in this process, you lose the ability to control yourself. Use of the substance becomes compulsive.
Am I Addicted if I Walked Away in the Past?
Yes, you still have an addiction. However, this is a chronic disease and you can treat it to achieve remission.
A relapse is possible. In fact, it’s sometimes part of treatment. Unless you recognize the daily danger you’re in, it’s easy to achieve a level of complacency. This puts you at risk of relapsing.
What Can I Do About a Substance Abuse Problem Now?
Your best bet is rehab treatment. Addiction is an illness, and you need to work with therapists who treat it as such. Furthermore, these professionals help you overcome the cravings and compulsions. They use addiction therapy services and treatment such as:
- Individual counseling that lets you talk through your drug use patterns and habits
- Group therapy that strengthens social skills and gives you the opportunity to learn what works for others
- Meditation therapy that is a crucial element of stress reduction, which helps many with a substance abuse problem
- Yoga classes that combine deep breathing exercises with physical movement
- Reality therapy that provides you the opportunity to apply what you learn in daily life
What Happens if I do Nothing?
“Am I addicted if I plan to quit at a later point?” “What happens if I do nothing?” These are typical questions. Some people don’t want to face the fact they’re indeed struggling with a substance abuse problem.
They claim they can stop anytime they choose. But, they don’t decide to quit. Even as they lose relationships, jobs, money, and homes, they keep using. This behavior isn’t a healthy choice, but rather a sign of addiction.
If you do nothing, the chronic condition worsens. You’ll take more of the drugs to achieve similar results.