Throughout the country at this moment 1 out of 12 adults face addiction. Chances are good yourself or someone you love sees that demon daily. There is an argument as to whether addiction is a disease or not. Many people say, just quit, you are tearing your family apart, while other people look at the addict and say come here, there is help.
What makes addiction a disease? Whatever the addiction is, it latches on to chemicals in the brain and alters perceptions. Often the person loses interest in healthy choices.
The brain is wired to produce its own pleasure hormones. When a person takes a drug for example this pleasure center is inundated with dopamine. The person often feels they need more and more. The brain gets confused and sends signals that it needs the drug to function.
They lose all center of self, and the pleasures that once made them happy play a secondary part in the addicts’ lives. The chemical changes in the person’s brain will make them crave the desired vice to just feel normal. Will power and strength are no longer enough to control the urges brought on by addiction.
You can be addicted to anything that brings excess pleasure to the brain. Drugs and alcohol are often the top two players. However, many suffer from addictions to porn, gambling, shopping, and even the internet.
Three factors may help determine a person’s vulnerability to addiction. It may be just one, or it could be all three.
• Heredity If a person’s family like their parents, grandparents, siblings etc are addicts they are more likely to become users.
• Environment Low income and underdeveloped communities have a higher rate of addiction cases. This is often due to the lack of choices available to the addict. Also, other factors could be physical, mental or even sexual abuse.
• Developmental Problems
Our country has seen its share of mental illness in the news. But, it is often the ones who never see the camera who suffer the most. They drink or do drugs to get a handle on their emotions. They have a much harder time understanding what is going on around them.
Addiction is a chronic disease. The addict may recover, but many stressors could cause him or her to relapse. It is important to note that the person may quit a particular vice, but will always carry the urge. It is a lifelong battle.
Help is available all over the country. Even on the shores of Delray Beach addiction treatment is around. Preventive measures must also be taken. Often the youth of today is the most vulnerable. They see it on the television, in their homes, or just have so
pain in their lives they feel a need to escape. It is important for teachers, counselors, and even family members to reach out and help.
There are many online resources available as well. If you feel you or your family need help, please reach out.