Facts on Addiction: What is Addiction? What causes Addiction? How does Addiction effect your brain?

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What is Addiction?

The word “addiction” is derived from the Latin term for “enslaved by” or “bound to

What is Addiction?

Addiction is a condition where someone is addicted to a substance or activity. Addiction becomes a routine and more than just habit. It creates dependence, fixation, weakness, compulsion and cravings.

What causes Addiction?

The causes of addiction obviously vary considerably and are very hard to understand for the people looking in on the people suffering from addiction. They are generally caused by a combination of physical, emotional, mental and circumstantial factors. Like anything in life unless you have had a similar journey to someone you could never fully understand it, but you should try to educate yourself to help them and yourself.

How does Addiction effect your brain?

Put simply, addiction hijacks the brain. People never go out with the intent of becoming addicted to something. They do not understand nor could they comprehend the effects and hook of addiction. They would never think they could be controlled by it and because they could never imagine that this will ever happen to them, it creeps in, with out them even realising it.

Addiction is now recognized as a chronic disease that changes the brains structure and functions. The substance or activity that the person is addicted to, releases Dopamine into the “Brains Pleasure Centre”. The brain goes through a series of changes, beginning with recognition of pleasure and ending with a drive toward compulsive behavior.

Addiction exerts a long and powerful influence on the brain that manifests in three distinct ways: craving for the object of addiction, loss of control over its use, and continuing involvement with it despite adverse consequences. While overcoming addiction is possible, the process is often long, slow, and complicated. It took years for researchers and policymakers to arrive at this understanding.

Facts on Habits and Addictions:

A habit is not an addiction.

The difference between a habit and addiction are as follows:

  • Habit – it is done by choice. The person can choose to stop, and will subsequently stop successfully if they want to. The psychological/physical component is not an issue as it is an addiction.
  • Addiction – there is a psychological/physical component; the person is unable to control the aspects of the addiction without help because of the mental or physical conditions involved.

How long it takes to form a habit: A habit takes 30 days to form.

How long it takes to be addicted to something: An addiction can take just 1 day. This depends on the way a substance enters your system and how fast it reaches your brain eg: If you smoke Heroin or Inject it. If you smoke nicotine on and off or all at once for a short period of time you can become addicted. This does depend on each individual but only to a certain point. The result and effects are the same.

Addictions are with you for life. Once you seek help or try to stop, you will learn to recondition your brain to not “need” them. The “want” stays there for life, unfortunately.

Types of Addictions

Substance Addictions:

Alcohol

Tobacco

Opioids (Heroin)

Cocaine

Prescription Drugs

Amphetamines (like methamphetamine, known as meth)

Hallucinogens

Inhalants

Phencyclidine (known as PCP or Angeldust)

Activity Addictions:

Social Media

Food

Sex

Working

Porn

Gambling

Shopping

Exercise

Spiritual/Religious/Cult

Cutting

Why would people risk being Addicted to anything?

As mentioned above, no one sets out to be Addicted to Anything!

Life can get really tough sometimes for all of us and no one escapes that. Some people do not know how to deal with the extremes life can throw at us. Or they may want to block them out whatever way possible. This is when something becomes a “fix” for a certain person but in reality, makes their life worse is every possible way. Even still, no one purposely goes out to make their life worse.

Substance and Activity abuse can be down to a variety of reasons, also mentioned above. A combination of physical, emotional, mental and circumstantial factors. If I could sum up Addictions start with one word, that word would be “Pain”. They all seem to derive from “Pain” (Hurt,upset, trauma, extreme experiences, terrible circumstances, hard lives). It all comes down to them feeling like crap and trying to feel better by feeding their addiction.

It is a very sad scenario when you see or know someone who is suffering from an Addiction and I personally have known a lot of people with these problems over the years. But if you take the time to get to know them and their story, you will start to see where it stems from. It would be hard to find someone who is not addicted to Smart Devices and Social Media! I reckon the only ones who aren’t, are people who cannot afford one. Before you judge or say there is no excuse for it, open your mind and educate yourself on the Addiction and on the person suffering.

I believe if everyone did this we might see a decline in Addictions over time. Everyone needs to feel loved, believed in and worthwhile to want to start to be helped. Remember that :) People need to want to change themselves but they need the support and resources there to be able to.

Please read the links below to expand further on the meaning behind Addiction.

Credits:

http://www.drugdangers.com/

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/

http://www.helpguide.org/

http://www.health.harvard.edu/

http://www.healthyplace.com

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