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What is addiction?


Addiction is the condition of being addicted to a substance, thing, or activity. Substance use disorder is a common addiction and activities such as excessive gambling is considered an addiction as well. Addiction can affect our daily routines and the way we go about our lives. Some people go their whole lives with addictions and not be able to address them or even realize they have an addiction.

Drugs that are taken in excess can activate the brain’s reward system, which is involved in the reinforcement of behaviors and the production of memories. This can lead to the use of excessive drug use and the inability to stop even if the user wanted to. Substance use disorder is a cluster of cognitive, behavioral, and physiological symptoms.

Addiction isn’t something people plan to have. A lot of the times, people take drugs for medical uses or try it for the first time and find out they like the way it makes them feel. The first few times, they believe that they can control how much they take and how often they take the drug but drug use changes the brain and some people are not prepared for the negative effects. Psychological and/or physical damage can be some of the negative effects of drug use.


The steps to recovering from addiction can be a long process but it is not impossible. The first thing to recovering from addiction is the ability to accept the fact that we have an addiction and find help. That cannot always be easy and we may not always realize that we are dealing with an addiction. It is sometimes detrimental to the user and the people surrounding them when the addiction is not addressed. Sometimes it takes an extreme event for the user to find help. Friends and family who notice an addiction or someone that may be starting to develop one should try to find help immediately.


Avoiding high-risk situations can help the coping process become easier. Avoid being lonely, angry, tired, or hungry. These are common high-risk situations that may retrigger the addiction. Having someone to talk to whether that is your therapist or a friend is helpful when you are feeling stressed. By taking care of yourself and controlling your emotions, you are taking the first steps towards recovery.

Learning to relax isn’t easy but users take drugs and drink alcohol a lot of the time to relieve tension. If we can relieve tension on our own or use healthy methods to do so, we can rely less on drugs. When we choose to deal with our problems, we must learn how to face them and once we learn to do so, we can learn to prevent ourselves from getting into the same situations. By learning how to relax and stay calm in different situations, we can prevent negative thoughts or feelings from surfacing.

These are very simple words trying to describe a very complicated process. Finding help is important and whether that is finding relief from friends and family or going outside to find psychiatric help, by taking the steps to look for help, you are already starting to fix the addiction.