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Addiction is defined as not having control over taking, doing or using something to the point that it becomes harmful to you. Addiction is not just a weakness but a disease like cancer and diabetes are diseases. People from different walks of life and ages can get addicted. When people become addicted to something, they are usually trying to feel good about themselves or cling onto things that make them feel they are worthy. These are simply bondages that are keeping us enslaved to a behavior that is destructive.
A person can become addicted to a certain behavior such as sex, shopping and gambling. This is also referred to as behavioral addiction. Other destructive addictions include cocaine abuse, alcoholism, substance abuse and drug dependence.
Addiction causes a lot of harm. The social effect of addiction is the fact that it is not easy to hide. As you become a serious substance abuse addict, nearly all aspects of your life will be affected. Your ability to concentrate is going to reduce, your moods will fluctuate and your interests are going to change as drug craving becomes compulsive. You may end up losing your job, getting a divorce and your relationship with family and friends might change.
There are legal consequences of addiction. Most addictive substances are highly regulated and in some situations, they are banned by federal and local governments. This is done so as to reduce the damage that is imposed by chronic substance abuse and also protect the well being of the people. Some of the legal consequences of addiction are extensive jail sentences, suspension of driver’s license, probation and arrest records which make it hard to get a job and strict community services.
Substance addiction such as cocaine, heroin and ecstasy are dangerous to the health and should be avoided at all costs. There is no such thing as a safe or moderate about of these substances. Besides the obvious long term effects on health, there is also the fact that an addiction can be fatal. Cigarettes, drugs and alcohol has killed a lot of people because of overdose or from the physical damage that is caused by these sentences. Another side effect includes sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancies and birth defects because of the mother’s addiction.
Addiction is known to affect personality and behavior in different ways although it depends on the type of substance that is used and the amount. Some substances have a greater effect than others on mental health. Heroin is stronger than nicotine and it has a bigger impact on the brain. The signs of addiction will include a change in the way one behaves which is usually out of character as they become secretive, harm themselves, cheat, steal, lie and place their need for their addiction above their family and friends. Other signs are paranoia, low self esteem, lack of trust in themselves and other people. As their addiction become worse, they will start to withdraw from loved ones and spend more time with people that they engage in substance abuse together with. The highs and lows of their addiction will lead to anxiety and depression.
The positive thing is the fact that anyone can overcome addiction. A person who is trying to stop using drugs cannot simply rely on their willpower alone to achieve sobriety. Very few people are able to break the cycle of addiction on their own. These are some of the things that an addict can do in order to overcome their addiction.
If you are struggling to overcome an addiction, the best news is that you can do it with God’s help and guidance. You also believe that you have got what it takes to overcome. As a believer in Christ, you are “…a new creation, old things have passed away and behold all things have become new” 2 Corinthians 5:12. Philippians 4:13 says that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. You need to have faith in Jesus.
You have to realize that you have a problem, this is admitting dependency. Ask yourself why you do it. It is vital that you are able to answer that question. It is very hard for one to admit that they have a drinking problem or abuse drugs but you cannot change what you do not acknowledge. If you are an alcoholic, you need to know that you are not drinking simply because you are thirsty. It is imperative that you admit that you are medicating yourself for pain, depression and anxiety. Confess to God that you need his help and admit that you are powerless. You have to talk to Him from the heart.
Get in a healthy community. Despite the fact that you need God and His word when trying to break an addiction, this alone will not suffice. This is the reason why you need God people. You need a structure and a system in which you can face your addictions head on a daily basis with people. You need to have someone that you can call on the phone when you have the urge to drink, abuse drugs or watch pornography and you feel powerless. This is the reason why a community which can be a small group of people is very essential in your process of recovery.
Enrolling in an addiction treatment center is key to a long term recovery due to a number of reasons. Withdrawal symptoms are uncomfortable and painful and the addict will be tempted to relapse when they do not have professional supervision. A medically supervised detoxification program will be inclusive of prescription medications that will keep you relaxed during the withdrawal period. A person who is going through detox and receives emotional support is likely to stick with it and move on to the next phase or recovery.
As seen above, it is essential for one to understand what addiction is, the different types of addiction, the harm these addictions cause and how to overcome it. This is the only way to start living a healthy and clean lifestyle.