Healthy Living

What To Do If You Or A Loved One Is Struggling With Addiction


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Addiction is, in some respects, a pandemic that rivals Covid-19. It’s severe and widespread, and many people either struggle with addiction or know someone who does. Whether it’s caused by illicit drug abuse or another, more legal, alternative, addiction can be ruinous and deadly.

The good news is that it’s not a hopeless cause. With a little guidance, you and your loved ones can leave addictions behind and move on with your lives. It’s not easy, by any means, but it can be done.

What Causes Addiction?

Addiction is a complicated issue. Once, it was seen as a moral failing, nothing more and nothing less. However, people are gradually starting to understand that things aren’t as simple as that, especially in recent years.

Some people have addictive personalities which make them more prone to becoming addicted to a substance or even a behavior. Gambling might not be a physical addiction, but it can be a difficult habit to break and can ruin lives. 

The Signs of Addiction

A popular view of addiction is either of an alcoholic who can’t function, or someone taking powerful drugs. However, this isn’t usually the case. While many people are obviously suffering from addiction, some people can function for a while and even seem to live happy and well-rounded lives. Unfortunately, this is unsustainable. 

One common issue in the United States especially is that of opioid addiction. This usually starts innocently enough. Someone is injured or unwell, which causes pain. A doctor will prescribe a painkiller to treat the pain. Sometimes the story ends there, but sometimes the pain doesn’t go away. In this situation, the patient may become dependent on the drugs, which can lead to addiction. 

Another common hidden addiction is alcohol addiction. Someone may be the life of the party, or they have a glass of wine after work. Then they have that glass of wine every day after work, or they keep going to parties and drinking more and more. This can develop into a physical addiction that goes unnoticed until it starts to have major consequences.

The best way to treat addiction is to catch it before things go too far. Look out for warning signs of substance dependence in yourself and your loved ones. 

Treating an Addiction

Most people will need help to beat an addiction, and the help you need depends on the type and severity of the addiction. Sometimes you can manage with the support of your loved ones, but it’s usually best to consult a medical professional who can help you to handle your addiction safely and responsibly. Just going cold turkey doesn’t always work and it can be dangerous.

Opioid addiction may require special attention. The MAT treatment for addiction uses medication to help people to recover from an addiction to these drugs, usually alleviating cravings and withdrawal symptoms that usually make recovery more difficult. Without the cravings, you can work on your lifestyle and behavior. 

Karla Urwitz
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