Is addiction to drugs and is addiction to alcohol a disease? Most authorities on the subject answer this question in the affirmative.
Alcoholism and drug addiction are chronic, long-term, often progressive diseases with symptoms that include a strong need to take the drug or to drink in spite of detrimental consequences such as serious job, relationship, legal, financial, and/or health problems. Please continue reading for more relevant information about addiction to drugs and to alcohol.
Alcoholism, Tolerance, Withdrawal and Physical Addiction
Physical addiction takes place when an individual’s body actually becomes dependent on a particular substance.
Not only this, but it also means that a person develops a tolerance to that particular substance, meaning that the user requires a larger dose than before to get the same “buzz” or “high.”
When a person who is physically addicted stops using a substance such as alcohol or drugs, unfortunately, he or she typically suffers from withdrawal symptoms.
Withdrawal is defined as any physical or emotional disturbance experienced by an addict when deprived of the particular drug or substance.
Withdrawal symptoms vary from drug to drug. The seriousness of withdrawal symptoms is highly dependant on the drug or drugs that were abused by the addict.
Withdrawal symptoms for many individuals, are similar to having the flu. Typical withdrawal symptoms include mood swings, sweating, depression, diarrhea, shaking, muscle aches, and craving for drugs or alcohol.
Some Basic Addiction and Dependency Facts
Like many other diseases, drug and alcohol dependency have recognizable symptoms, a fairly predictable course, and are influenced by environmental and genetic factors that are becoming better defined and understood every year due to research and case studies.
Addiction means a person has no control over whether he or she uses drugs or alcohol. A person who is addicted to drugs or alcohol has grown so used to the substance that he or she simply “needs” to have the substance in order to “feel right” or to function. Addiction can be psychological, physical, or both.
The Dangers of Psychological Addiction
Psychological addiction occurs when the cravings for a drug are psychological or emotional. People who are psychologically addicted feel overcome by the desire to have the drug in question.
These feelings are so strong that in many instances psychologically and physically addicted individuals will do almost anything for their next “fix” including lying, stealing, and in some instances, killing.
Many times people abuse drugs or alcohol in order to have “fun” or to get a “buzz.”
Many individuals, in fact, report that having a few drinks makes them feel more comfortable in social situations. The danger, however, is this: repeated drug or alcohol abuse can result in addiction.
When person is addicted, he or she no longer takes drugs or alcohol to have fun or to get high. Rather, the addicted person needs the drugs or alcohol in order to function on a daily basis.
In fact, in many instances, the addicted person’s everyday life centers around satisfying her or his need for the substance to which she or he is addicted.
Conclusion: Addiction to Drugs and Alcohol – A Disease
It is truly unfortunate that the “fun” and the “buzz” that many people experience when drinking often motivates them to drink more each time they drink and to drink more frequently.
At some point, however, the line between alcohol abuse and alcoholism gets fuzzy as the person gradually becomes more reliant on alcohol until he or she simply needs to drink in order to function. Is addiction to drugs and alcohol a disease?
Once a person loses control over the frequency and the amount of alcohol he drinks or the drugs he takes, unfortunately, the answer to this question is “yes.” In fact and not unlike silent killers such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure, realizing the effects of drug and alcohol dependency may come too little, too late.
Before it is too late, why not take the bull by the horns and face your drug and/or alcohol problems head on by getting first class rehabilitation as soon as possible?