Addiction has somewhat of a taboo attached to it, but in reality, it is relatively common. Many substances that the majority of people engage with on a daily basis have addictive qualities – the key to whether someone becomes addicted or not generally lies in whether they engage with the substance in moderation, or whether they overindulge. Of course, substances such as drugs, alcohol, or nicotine are addictive. But there are other things that you can easily become addicted to or dependent on out there – prescribed medication, social media, procrastination. Addiction is simply anything that you actively engage with despite it being harmful to your physical or mental wellbeing. If you are addicted to something, you will generally have little to no power and control over you addiction and you will seek it out in spite of negative consequences that stem from it. Thankfully, as a society, we are beginning to understand that addiction is a genuine medical illness and something that people need help with, rather than shunning them for their addiction. So, let’s take a moment to look a little further into the basics of this problem!
Addiction is Common
Research suggests that around ten percent of the population are addicted to something. So, if you or someone you love are experiencing addiction, it’s extremely important to remember that you are not alone. There are others out there going through a similar experience and non-judgemental help does exist.
The line between engaging with something in an acceptable manner and being addicted to something can often be thin or blurred. So, it can be difficult to work out whether you are technically an addict or not. Generally speaking, addiction entails dependence. If you feel you really cannot go without something and you will go out of your way to actively seek it out, chances are that you are addicted. You can always consult your doctor in order to discuss your concerns and receive an official diagnosis.
If you have been diagnosed as an addict, you can receive professional treatment. The type of treatment that you undertake will depend entirely on what you are addicted to. Individuals who are addicted to hard drugs such as heroin may receive methadone (an alternative that can wean you off of the substance). If your addiction has more deep set roots, you may have to undertake therapy. Some will receive treatment as an outpatient. Others will receive treatment as an inpatient in a rehabilitation center. A medical professional will help you to determine what is best for your personal situation.
Other Forms of Support
Though addiction is a medical problem, there are more forms of support besides medical support out there. You can reach out to loved ones. You can reach out to helplines. You can even reach out to support groups and engage with others who are in a similar situation to you.
Hopefully, the above information has helped to exemplify that addiction is a genuine medical illness and something that medical professionals can genuinely help you to overcome!