Addiction is Complex and Treatment is Effective
There’s no denying that addiction is complex. While some people have difficulty understanding it, others have even more difficulty coping with it. Unlike many other diseases, however, addiction is triggered by the action of a person. When it is triggered, it comes on full force and has the potential to destroy everything good in a person’s life.
There are a few people who frequently abuse drugs and never develop the disease of addiction. However, for many others, all it takes is one time. It should also be noted that the complexity of addiction is so elaborate because people have a tendency to develop addictions toward different substances and for different reasons.
Never Blame Yourself
Never should you blame yourself for your loved one’s addiction issues. This disease has no boundaries or barriers. It can affect one person or an entire family, and it never takes into account a person’s ethnicity, financial or societal status.
According to the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Nora Volkow, MD, the new definition of addiction labels it as a psychiatric disorder. This is a positive attribute because it allows the opportunity to treat addiction as a disease rather than a criminal offense. Also, viewing addiction as a psychiatric disorder helps to better develop and understand dual diagnoses, which are often seen in many addiction cases.
As someone who cares, you should not sit back and watch as your loved one falls victim to the disease of addiction. In fact, you should actively seek treatment options. From outpatient centers to residential facilities, there are many treatment options that can benefit your loved one.
Addiction Can Be Hidden
Addiction is also a complex disease because it can be hidden quite well, especially by functioning addicts. If your loved one holds a job, maintains custody of children and is financially healthy, it can be challenging to convince the person that there is a problem in the first place. This person may not even admit they have a problem. But if you know they are abusing drugs, it is imperative that treatment be sought as soon as possible before they start a downward spiral to rock bottom.
Addiction is a chronic disease. It lasts forever. Drug abuse mimics the effects of dopamine in the body. Drugs make a person believe they cannot be happy without them; this is why it’s so difficult for an addict to quit abusing drugs. With the right treatment and support, it’s possible to change physical and mental habits to promote a healthy lifestyle.
No matter how long your loved one has been abusing drugs, it’s never too late to step in by hosting an intervention. With love and support, your loved one will be much more likely to enter into a treatment center.
- Understanding Drug Abuse and Addiction: What Science Says, NIDA, January 2007, http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/teaching-packets/understanding-drug-abuse-addiction/section-i/7-neurotransmission-continued?
- Comorbidity: Addiction and Other Mental Illnesses, NIDA, September 2010, http://www.drugabuse.gov/sites/default/files/rrcomorbidity.pdf