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Friday, May 10, 2024

Why We Are Not All Equal in the Clutches of Addiction

Everyone is unique. No two people have had the exact same existence. This is why addiction becomes a problem for some people and not for others. An individual’s degree of vulnerability is the determining factor in developing addiction. And some people are predisposed to become an addict. According to Pier Vincenzo Piazza, a psychiatrist and addiction specialist, “Addiction is not only about taking drugs; it’s about using them compulsively, in spite of its disastrous consequences. Such a behavior affects a small fraction of the drug users, and can be likened to a chronic disease.”

 Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

No One Wants to be an Addict

While to those on the outside looking in, it appears that addicts want to be addicted to a substance. But this is very far from the truth. If addicts wanted to be addicts, no one would ever seek help for their addiction. The problem with addiction is that the substance creates new reward connections in the brain and alters its chemical balance and ability to function as it once did before drugs and addiction. They’re both psychologically and physically dependent on a substance and their body is trying to protect itself from the unpleasant and potentially life threatening withdrawal symptoms. Here’s where addicts should consider the benefits of medical detox when attempting to get on the road to recovery.

The Uniqueness of Addiction

 Every addict is unique. Although the substance may affect most users in similar ways, the effect the substance has on a person’s unique biology and brain will differ. Just as no two fingerprints are alike, neither are the imprints of addiction on the brains of addicts. Choosing to indulge in illicit or prescription drugs recreationally is not going to result in addiction for the majority of the population. Everyone who decides to try drugs does not fall into addiction, and of those who do, some are able to kick their habit with seemingly less effort than others. The reason being is that no two addicts are the same, and everyone has their own battle.

Getting Help

Since all addiction is not equal, the approach to treatment should be unique to the needs of the addict. There are many different approaches that can treat addiction and set an addict up for success. Beyond counseling there are many different healing modalities that can be leveraged to address an addict’s unique needs. Some of the more common treatment plans include inpatient rehab, outpatient rehab, intensive outpatient rehab, group therapy, behavioral therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, wellness and nutrition therapy, contingency management, and the 12-step approach. The addictive substance will be a deciding factor, as will an addict’s personal history, recovery goals, and current situation. There’s a lot of effort and planning that will go into an addiction treatment plan, so ask questions and be an active participant in the planning of your sober future.

No matter the severity of an addiction, there is help. Every addict is different and it’s important to educate people on the reality of addiction. No addict is choosing to be addicted, although indulging in drugs can set off a chain of bad decisions. It’s possible to break-free and live a life in recovery. If you or someone you love needs addiction treatment, reach out to a health professional, addiction specialist, or the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

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