When you have a psychological and physical urge to take a substance or engage in an activity that causes you mental, physical, or emotional harm, you have an addiction.
Addiction is a chronic, progressive disease. It has several causes including genetics, trauma, family history, social pressure, mental disorders, and behavior. Though drugs and alcohol dominate discussions on addiction, they are not the only items. Sex, cigarettes, caffeine, gambling, the Internet, video games, shopping, or hoarding can also cause addictions.
Abuse is different from addiction. It’s not a mental disorder or disease and is more about the misuse of a substance. Tolerance and withdrawal are the main characteristics of addiction and the individual displays physical, social and psychological symptoms. Because abuse can lead to addiction, it should not be left unchecked or untreated.
Recovery from addiction is a multi-step process and challenges are present at each one. Awareness and acknowledgment that there is an issue is the first step. Pursuing treatment comes next.
Options for treatment are varied and depend on a variety of factors including the type and duration of the addiction, underlying medical conditions, and genetic makeup among others. Most addicts are subjected to a combination of treatment methods to increase their chances of achieving a successful outcome.
The first step of addiction treatment is detoxification. Addictive substances are present in the body long after the last use. Before treatment can begin these need to be removed. Withdrawal side effects are a normal and expected part of this process. Experiences vary from one addict to the next and severity and duration are impacted by the following factors:
- Length of time abusing the substance
- Type of substance abused
- Method of abuse (e.g., snorting, smoking, injecting, or swallowing)
- Amount consumed each time
- Family history and genetic makeup
- Medical and mental health factors
Common Symptoms of Withdrawal
The two most common symptoms of withdrawal are nausea and vomiting. Even though these are par for the course, the following vomiting facts should be kept in mind. You should seek medical advice if you’re still throwing up one week after discontinuing the use of the substance.
Other symptoms of withdrawal include anxiety, irritability, tremors, fatigue, and loss of appetite.
Once addiction withdrawal is complete, counseling and behavioral therapies come next. The goal of this step of treatment is relapse prevention because addiction has no cure. Recovering addicts must learn how to thrive in life without the support of addictive substances.
The most effective remedies for treatment will focus both on the physical and psychological effects of addiction. The latter deals with emotional and mental processes and is more challenging to address. Restoring health and wellness is critical for long-term recovery success. Progressive therapies like naturopathy, kinesiology, and massage among others can help keep addiction triggers at bay.
Addiction treatment and recovery are not easy. The road ahead is always long and full of ups and downs. It’s crucial to remember as you go through the process that you’re treating a disease, not a moral failing. The journey is a personal one, and the most effective treatments remedies are the ones designed specifically for you by licensed and accredited professional.
pH Clinic is not a drug and alcohol rehab clinic, but we do offer therapies that can support people on their health journey.
About the Author
Patrick Bailey is a professional writer mainly in the fields of mental health, addiction, and living in recovery. He attempts to stay on top of the latest news in the addiction and the mental health world and enjoy writing about these topics to break the stigma associated with them. Visit his website to find out more and read more interesting articles: http://patrickbaileys.com/