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Addiction is defined as being abnormally tolerant to and dependent on something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming (especially alcohol or narcotic drugs).

Typically, when a person is addicted to a drug or alcohol, they are not be able to control their use and they will continue using in spite of the harm that their substance abuse is causing to themselves and everyone around them. Addiction can cause an intense craving for drugs or alcohol. The person may want to stop using, but most people find they cannot do it on their own.

Not everyone who uses drugs or alcohol becomes addicted, but for many what starts as casual or recreational use, often leads to addiction. Addiction can cause serious, long-term consequences including problems with physical and mental health, relationships, employment and the criminal justice system.

Are you struggling with an addiction problem that is out of control? If so, you may feel isolated, helpless, or ashamed. Or perhaps you're worried about a friend or loved ones addiction. In either case, you are not alone. Addiction is a serious problem that many people are faced with in the world today.

The good news is that you or your loved one can get better. There is hope. No matter how severe the addiction problem may be and no matter how powerless you feel to stop it, learning about the nature of addiction, how it develops, what it looks like, and why it has such a powerful hold, will give you a better understanding of the problem and how to deal with it.

The path to addiction typically begins with experimentation. You or your loved one may have tried a drug or alcohol out of curiosity, because friends were doing it, or in an effort to relieve some other problem. At first, the substance seems to solve the problem or make you feel better, so you use the substance more and more.

But as the addiction advances, obtaining and taking the drug becomes more and more important and your ability to stop using is undermined. What begins as a voluntary choice turns into a physical and psychological addiction. The good news is that drug addiction and alcoholism are treatable. With treatment and support, you can counteract the disruptive effects of addiction and regain control of your life.

While each drug of abuse produces different physical effects, all abused substances have one thing in common. They hijack the brain's normal "reward" pathways and alter the areas of the brain responsible for self-control, judgment, emotional regulation, motivation, memory, and learning.

Whether you're addicted to cocaine, alcohol, heroin, Xanax, meth, or oxycontin, the effect on the brain is the same, when addiction sets in: an uncontrollable craving to use the drug that is so powerful that obtaining and taking the drug to get "High" becomes more important than anything else in life, including family, friends, employment, and even your own health and happiness.

Many people use drugs in order to escape physical and emotional discomfort. Maybe you started drinking to numb feelings of depression, smoking pot to deal with problems at home or school, using cocaine to raise your energy and confidence, taking sleeping pills to deal with panic attacks, or taking prescription painkillers to relieve a physical pain.

But while drugs might make you feel better in the short-term, attempts to self-medicate ultimately backfire. Instead of treating the underlying problem, drug use simply masks the symptoms. Take the drug away and the problem is still there, whether it be low self-esteem, anxiety, loneliness, or an unhappy family life. Furthermore, prolonged drug use eventually brings its own host of problems, including major disruptions to normal, daily functioning. Unfortunately, the psychological, physical, and social consequences of Addiction become far worse than the original problem you were trying to deal with.

One of the most dangerous effects of addiction is denial. The urge to use is so strong that the mind finds many ways to rationalize the drug use and addiction. You may drastically underestimate the quantity of drugs you're taking, how much it impacts your life, and the level of control you have over your drug use.

Denial is an unconscious defense mechanism. Minimizing and rationalizing the addiction is less harmless than admitting that your drug use is dangerously out of control, in the mind of an addict. But the price of denial can be extremely high.including the loss of important relationships, your job, financial security, and your physical and mental health.

If you're ready to admit you have a drug problem, congratulations! Recognizing that you have a problem is the first step on the road to recovery, one that takes tremendous courage and strength.

Facing your addiction without minimizing the problem or making excuses can feel frightening and overwhelming, but recovery is within reach. If you are ready to make a change and you are committed to seeking help, you can recover from your addiction and build a satisfying, drug-free life for yourself.

Don't try to go it alone; it's all too easy to get discouraged and rationalize "Getting High One More Time". Whether you choose to go to a drug rehab program, rely on self-help programs, counseling, support is essential. Recovering from addiction is much easier when you have people you can lean on for encouragement, comfort, and guidance.


The Benefits of Drug Rehab

If you are struggling with addiction or substance abuse of any kind, you know how difficult it can be to stop this cycle even with the best intentions of doing so. If you have a loved one who is caught in the cycle of addiction, it can seem like the most hopeless situation which can destroy relationships and families to the core. It is difficult for loved ones and friends to not only feel as though there is nothing they can do to help someone who is abusing drugs or alcohol, but to find themselves caught up in this destructive lifestyle as well by becoming an enabler in some capacity. This very often happens out of  love and concern  for their loved one who they may feel has turned into a person they don't even know any more. Enabling, knowingly or not, pulls the well intended into the viscous cycle of addiction and they too begin to see their lives fall apart. No one wants this, even the person who is abusing drugs and alcohol, but there is usually no end in sight to the destruction that addiction can and will cause unless they receive effective help. Drug rehab is the only viable and proven answer, and it is usually the efforts of concerned and loving family members and friends that come together to make sure their loved one gets the help they need in an effective drug rehab.

Individuals who have used any type of drug long enough become accustomed to their effects and actually need to take their substance of choice not only to feel high or achieve the desired effects of that drug, but to even feel normal. This is what is known in the drug world as  dependency , and individuals who are addicted to heroin or pain pills for example need to take these powerful drugs every day not only to get high, but to simply not feel extremely sick. This pretty much happens with any drug, although some drugs have more psychological or emotional withdrawal effects as a result of dependency, such as marijuana for example. Someone who has depended on marijuana for months or years in attempt to enhance their mood or forget about some problem in their life may experience extreme anxiety and depression when they try to stop taking marijuana abruptly. This dependency is what makes it so hard to quit, and when someone does decide to quit, they can expect to experience a variety of symptoms they will have to fight through if they want to kick their habit. A primary benefit of drug rehab is having the proper care and treatment at one's disposal to get through the process of withdrawing from one's drug or drugs of choice, properly known as withdrawal.

Individuals in drug rehab who are going through withdrawal and in essence  detoxing  from drugs and/or alcohol benefit from having trained treatment professionals caring for them around the clock, to help them through physical, emotional and psychological challenges that will inevitably arise when they decide to quit. During detox, individuals in drug rehab can benefit from certain medicines, supplements and other helpful detox techniques which can ease symptoms and even help them pass more quickly. More importantly, being in drug rehab when detoxing is beneficial because there will be no access to drugs or alcohol. This of course will not be the case if someone attempts to quit on their own at home; where they will very likely give in to severe withdrawal symptoms and cravings and have access to their drug of choice whenever they choose. This is often a recipe for disaster, and many well intentioned individuals simply cannot abstain and wind up right back in the same boat. Drug rehab provides the perfect environment for true progress, so individuals should never set themselves up to lose when drug rehab provides the only proven recipe for success from the get go.

A key mistake that an individual can make is either becoming sober or abstinent on their own or in drug rehab, and thinking they can move forward in their lives without any further treatment or actions taken to address deeper addiction issues. Someone who has successfully kicked their habit will be on Cloud 9, and feel as though they can conquer the world, but to leave drug rehab at this point or not pursue further treatment can prove devastating even if they do feel like a superhero at the moment. In drug rehab, rehabilitation is a physical, emotional and psychological process. The physical recovery that individuals will experience in drug rehab is a very small portion of a comprehensive treatment plan.

The treatment services which will determine whether or not an individual will be able to remain off of drugs, and ultimately have the will and confidence to do so, take a significant amount of time and effort. The next and most important steps in drug rehab which will prove the most beneficial have nothing to do with the acute physical issues that treatment clients will address only briefly at the beginning of drug rehab. The very fine lines between success in drug rehab or total failure and relapse hinges on one very important thing; discovering the cause or causes of the individual's drug or alcohol use which led them to drug rehab. This is the meat and potatoes of any drug rehab program with a track record of effectively helping clients beat addiction. There is no magic potion or medical drug which can accomplish this, and it simply takes rolling up one's sleeves and doing what it takes to bring these sometimes painful and hard to deal with issues to the surface and ironing them out.

Treatment professionals are trained and experienced in doing just this, and this is the number one benefit of being in a drug rehab when someone truly wants to make a fresh start and resolve addiction once and for all. While it may not happen overnight and while it can be emotional and psychologically challenging, the payoff is extraordinary and it will all be worth it in the end. Many of the issues that need to be resolved have a lot to do with changes that can be made in one's life and in one's environment back at home. Being in drug rehab makes it so much easier to make these important changes, because in drug rehab you can see clearly and not be influenced by negative people or factors which could make this process of change impossible. To attempt to make any such changes without the help of treatment professionals and while in the same environment which prompted one's substance abuse is completely unproductive when you think about it.

Anyone can benefit from drug rehab, even people who think they are a lost cause. No one has to struggle one more day and to treatment professionals, there is no such thing as a lost cause. There are several different types of drug rehab, and individuals can choose the most beneficial option base on their unique circumstances, a choice which treatment counselors can help them make after assessing their level of addiction and treatment need. Contact a treatment professional on behalf of someone you love and care about or to start your own rehabilitation process today.