Addiction develops when someone compulsively engages in behaviour such as drug taking, gambling and drinking. There are other types of addiction that aren’t related to substance-abuse, but drugs and alcohol are in the top tier of addict-driven behaviour. Addiction is a complicated and serious mental disease which affects the functioning of the brain and ultimately the physical body. Aside from affecting the user, addiction also impacts the lives of families, relationships, school and workplace cultures, and neighbourhood safety. Like other serious diseases, people with severe addiction get increasingly sick over time with other addiction-related health complications, which can seriously risk their life.
Addiction falls into two main categories: physical and psychological. Physical addiction occurs when the body becomes dependent on a particular substance. Dependence indicates tolerance, meaning an addict will feel they need to use even more of that substance in order to feel any of its ‘pleasurable’ effects. Physical addiction is extremely challenging to manage when your body starts the withdrawal process – anxiety, changes in appearance, nausea, irritability, depression, excessive sweating and body-temperature imbalances are all indicators that an addict is going through withdrawal.
Psychological addiction occurs when your craving for a substance or a behaviour comes from an emotional or psychological desire, rather than from a physical dependence. The brain is the most powerful driving force of the human body - so powerful that it can even produce physical symptoms like those of withdrawal, including cravings, irritability and insomnia to combine with addictive thoughts and emotions. While addiction normally begins with psychological factors, it can also remain as the hardest recovery barrier to break through. The body will eventually become less dependent on a substance once that substance has been removed from an individual’s daily life. Psychological addiction factors are usually related to other pre-engrained traumas – such as childhood abuse, depression and poverty.
Signs and symptoms
While there are many different avenues in which addiction can begin and develop within an individual, there are some important and crucial signs to take note of if you’re worried that yourself or somebody else is concealing substance or alcohol addiction. These include but are not limited to:
Someone using large quantities, and on a more regular basis, substances that were once only a social or ‘recreational’ activity in their life
Someone is struggling with mental health problems and has taken to self-diagnosed combinations of prescription pills, illicit drugs and/or alcohol
Someone is withdrawing from social situations, friend groups and family life
Someone’s work or school performance is declining significantly
Someone has started stealing either from friends, family or even strangers, to finance an unmanageably expensive drug or alcohol habit
Someone is repeatedly telling you they’ve quit, but in a matter of days or weeks they’re back into their addictive patterns. This can be a cyclic situation
Someone is clearly and unjustifiably anxious, depressed or acting in a way that is not consistent with their normal personality
Addiction can be identified through the observation and understanding of different behaviours and situations. Drastic personality and appearance changes are the number one tell-tale sign that yourself or somebody in your life is struggling with an addiction problem. While you can’t just assume that your friend has lost weight due to a hidden drug habit, nor can you accuse your colleague of having alcoholism to blame for their bouts of depression, you can absolutely assess a situation over a short but definitive period of time in order to know what might be going on – intuition and evidence-based concern are crucial in the process of helping and supporting a struggling addict.
Rehabilitation and recovery
Many people experience alcohol or drug abuse problems and you don’t have to be an addict to suffer the consequences of this lifestyle. Family, friends, children, employers and communities are common witnesses and victims to cultures of substance abuse, and these cultures drive other devastating factors such as violent crime, suicide and accidental death. While it’s a growing and ongoing problem, addiction can be effectively prevented, treated and managed by understanding what treatment options are available and how to nurture professional treatment through family or peer support.
Rehabilitation is one of the most effective and medically-safe environments for a person battling addiction. Also known as ‘rehab’, this describes a treatment program in a residential setting, with a combination of therapy, medical-assistance and counselling. Rehabs usually consist of an intense program of support and care, and have a more community, recovery-based purpose than that of hospitals. A hospital can save someone from a potential drug overdose, but a rehabilitation facility can keep that person from having any future overdoses. However, both are important, and both can be life-saving.
Drug addiction is linked to a concerningly high level of Heroin and Ice users. Other substance abuse addictions are also serious – however Heroin and Ice are particularly dangerous. They both have the capacity to kill you on the first go – or any time thereafter. Finding the right rehab program for the type of addiction is extremely important.
Sober Living Rehab
Sober Living is a Private Residential Drug and Alcohol Addiction treatment service based in Melbourne. Their underlying goal is to provide a foundation for clients to build a solid support group for themselves and healthy safe relationships with their peers - ultimately to repair and strengthen family relationships outside of the centre, if required.
Rehabilitation support, specialist medical care and other essential recovery-facilities are the driving force to the success and continuation of the Sober Living Rehab clinic. The facility offers an intensive inpatient unit, life skills programs, support to families of addicts, and also outpatient drug treatment services to help the individual maintain their recovery back at home.
Visit Sober Living Rehab for a more comprehensive look into the core program, it’s a positive step towards a healthy, sober and fulfilling future. To find out more, get in touch with our team today. Contact us or call 1800 531 551.