If you or a loved one is doing something to excessive or even dangerous levels, then you may be dealing with a possible addiction. Addictions come in all shapes and sizes. Essentially, addiction is the obsessive or physical need to engage in an activity or indulge in a substance to harmful levels. People who are denied their addiction of choice can exhibit signs of withdrawal, depression or even physical symptoms. It’s a fact that some people are more prone to addiction than others, and science is making great leaps forward in identifying these signs.
Why Do People Become Addicts?
It’s a common misconception that addicts somehow lack moral fiber or self-control. The truth is, some people are just more prone to develop addiction issues than others. For example, alcoholism can often seem to run in families and children of alcoholics are more likely to develop the disease. Regardless, the toll that addiction takes on American society is huge. In fact, The National Institute on Drug Abuse once estimated that the overall cost for substance abuse tops $600 million dollars annually, including the costs of crime, health and loss of work productivity.
What Can You Become Addicted To?
When you mention issues of addiction, most people will automatically think of drugs or alcohol. However, it’s a surprising fact that a person can become addicted to almost anything. While drugs and alcohol may have both emotional and physical effects on the body, other issues such as shopping, over exercising and gambling can release feel-good endorphins that can drive the compulsion to continue these activities. Essentially, people get addicted to the rush in these circumstances, and it can feel as powerful as an addiction to drugs and alcohol.
One of the most common substances people become addicted to is alcohol. Not only is it readily available in any bar or liquor store, the physical dependence can develop very quickly. It is currently estimated that nearly 15% of American adults are considered problem drinkers [Source: The National Institute of Health]. Learning to walk away from alcohol can often require medical intervention, as well as learning a whole new lifestyle. You may have to leave old friends behind if they are not willing to be supportive of your sobriety.
A major indicator of alcoholism is putting yourself and or loved ones in danger while drinking and driving. If an addict practices this type of behavior on a regular basis eventually they will get caught and there are huge repercussions up to and including jail time for first time offenders. Part of dealing with addiction will require restitution of any outstanding legal or financial issues like DUI charges and/or fines. Although it may seem futile to fight the charges, the website of a Pennsylvania DUI lawyer, states that it is possible to have DUI charges dismissed or substantially reduced by filing a pretrial motion to suppress evidence.
“Motions to suppress may be based on mistakes and inaccuracies in the gathering of evidence by officers. As a result, it is very important to effectively cross-examine the officer in order to expose such issues. A motion to suppress the evidence also may include the absence of reasonable suspicion to stop the vehicle or probable cause to arrest an individual for DUI.”
There are professionals who are willing to help individuals with DUI charges so that they can deal with the deeper issues of addiction.
Drugs, both illegal and prescribed, are an enormous problem in American society. This is nothing new, of course, as every decade seems to bring new ways to get high and get addicted. Like alcohol, giving up drugs usually requires medical attention, and it’s often suggested that addicts seek out medical care for at least 30 days when they decide they want to quit. Addiction centers can provide a place to comfortably detox, as well as teach addicts about how to live their new lifestyle.
If the growing attendance at Overeaters Anonymous is anything to go by, food addiction is a very real disease. People often develop an addiction to food in reaction to something that’s bothering them. You may have heard of the concept of “comfort eating.” People who overeat and overindulge are doing this to an extreme. Seek out support groups and possibly visit a counselor to address the psychological factors that are causing you to overeat.
People often joke that they’re a “shopaholic,” but being addicted to shopping can not only lead to financial ruin but is an indicator of psychological problems that need to be addressed. People get a “high” as feel-good endorphins are released into the brain when they’re shopping and purchasing products. It’s easy to get addicted to this, and cutting yourself off becomes more and more difficult
When your habits veer into the realms of addiction, it’s important you recognize it and seek help immediately. The longer you allow the compulsive behavior to continue, the more damaging its effects can be on you. Reach out to friends and family and let them know you’re changing your life. You might be surprised at how supportive they can be.