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Alcohol and Drug Addiction

Addiction is one of the most difficult things a person can deal with. And addiction can strike anyone. Many people somehow think they’re immune to it. Of course, someone who’s not drinking or not using drugs has no risk of becoming addicted to either of those things. But many people who use drugs and drink but feel that they do so casually believe that they simply couldn’t become addicted.
This is the belief that most addicts have before they realize that they do have an addiction. If more people were aware that addiction isn’t simply something in the addict’s head but a real physical addiction that could happen to them, they might alter their behavior and avoid becoming addicted in the first place.
Addiction doesn’t just make people feel dependent on alcohol or drugs, either. People can become addicted to a variety of things, like gambling, pornography, thrill-seeking, spending money, and almost anything that makes people feel good for a short period of time.
Whether spending money can be an addiction with the same physical effects of alcoholism or drug addiction is debatable, but there is some evidence that the patterns that feel-good behavior causes in the brain makes it release substances that make us physically and mentally feel good. That could be where the actual addiction lies, in that rush you feel which is a true, physical sensation, and not just a state of mind.
Addiction, despite the openness with which people can talk about it today, is still highly misunderstood. Some people think that the drug addict or alcoholic chooses to keep using those substances. And there is an element of choice, because the person chooses to give in to the addiction and use or he chooses to fight the addiction and abstain from drinking or using drugs.
But many people who have never dealt with addiction personally or witnessed it in someone close to them don’t really how intense the physical side of addiction can be. When a person is addicted to alcohol or drugs, not using those substances doesn’t just keep them from those feel-good moments they experience while using. It causes a host of side-effects that make the person feel bad.
In some very severe addictions, a person’s life can actually be put at risk by the physical changes that occur once he stops using the substance. The period in which a person stops using is known as the detox period, and most people suffer mental and physical symptoms of withdrawal. This can range from feeling slightly ill to experiencing life threatening changes in brain chemicals, blood pressure, breathing and heart rhythms.
The severity of the withdrawal period usually depends on how long the person has been addicted and how much alcohol or drugs they typically use. A heavy drinker is going to have more severe withdrawals than someone who doesn’t drink nearly as much. Something else that’s misunderstood is what it takes to be an addict. You don’t have to use every day to have an addiction; it only has to negatively affect your life.

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