Quitting takes a lot more than good intentions or a strong will. You need help. We are here to help.
What is addiction?
Addictionas defined in the DSM-V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) is a disease, an illness that can be treated, just as diabetes or heart disease can be treated but can not be cured. However, there is no simple short cut, no surgery, no pill or quick fix to treating addiction. Its a life or death disease and left untreated the individual will either end up in an institution, homeless or in jail. Or worse: dead. The American Society of Addiction Medicine defines addiction as a chronic progressive disease characterized by drug or alcohol using (or a behavior) that is compulsive, or difficult to control leading to harmful consequences including incarceration, depression, anxiety, relationship or financial problems, or physical problems such as liver damage, weight loss, dental problems or brain disorders. And despite these harmful consequences, those with addiction continue to use drugs or consume alcohol, which is the nature of addiction. Some people with addictions may be high bottom cases, in that negative problems have not yet occurred, but perhaps family or work relationships are beginning to suffer. This does not mean that they are not yet ready for treatment. The sooner the addiction is treated, the better and the more positive and quicker the outcome. Many people don't understand why or how other people become addicted to drugs or alcohol. They may mistakenly think that those who use drugs or abuse alcohol lack moral principles or willpower and that they could stop their drug or alcohol use simply by choosing to. In reality, addiction is a complex disease, and quitting usually takes a lot more than good intentions or a strong will. Drugs and alcohol change the brain in ways that make quitting hard, even for those who really want to. Fortunately, those of us working in the field of addiction -- medical doctors, psychiatrist, researchers and addiction specialists -- are continuing to learn more than ever about how drugs and alcohol affect the brain and have found treatments that can help people recover from addiction and lead productive lives.
What is the difference between addiction, dependence, abuse of a substance and use of substances?
Crossing the Line into Addiction
Many Researchers, Medical Doctors and Psychiatrists agree that once the line into addiction is crossed there is no going back. But what does that look like? One side of the line is composed of “good times” and moments when an individual could drink and use drugs without serious consequences. They may have had a few rough nights or even been caught driving while drinking. They might have even been approached by a loved one to stop drinking. They may use alcohol, drugs or even behaviours as a means to cope with a very difficult situation at home or work. These people can often stop or even reduce their consumption without too much difficulty.
However, across the line is a dangerous zone, characterized by cravings, obsessions, hospital visits, serious accidents or, and eventually punishment, prison, legal consequences, or even death.
Medication and Drugs
The distinction between what is a “medication” and what is a “drug” is largely a social construct. The distinction between what is drug dependence and what is drug addiction is based in science. What is often overlooked is the potential for any person who is using an addictive substance as prescribed to become an addict. The line between dependence and addiction is easy to cross.
Dependence is an inevitability of sustained and repeated use of a drug. Anyone who is prescribed opiates, benzodiazepines, or stimulant medications will, in a short period of time, experience a series of adjustments in which their body and mind come to rely on the substance being present.
Moving from dependence to addiction is more than simply requiring the drugs in one’s system. The key aspect of addiction is that using the drug causes additional problems in one’s life and the drug gradually becomes the focus/most important thing in a person’s life.
Addiction can be triggered in dozens of different ways.
For many, their pain continued after their doctors discontinued prescriptions and attaining the pills illegally was sought.
For others, supplementing the amount prescribed becomes the catalyst.
For still others, the emotional experience of the drug is incredibly enticing even in the absence of physical pain and/or emotional distress.
Nobody intends to become addicted and once addicted it is a brain disease that only with the help of medical doctors, practitioners or specialists can one recover from addiction.
what our clients have to say:
Testimonials -- Evyan changed my recovery from a shaky ground to a solid ground and helped me discover that there was much more to being sober than just not drinking. Roberto S.
-- Sofia is one of the finest Recovery Coaches I have ever met and it has been a delight to work with her and watch our son transform his life! Thank you! Federica M.
-- Recovery Specialists in Rome was so kind to tell us that there were free services available to us in Italy and helped us find an appropriate treatment community for our daughter. She now has over 1 year of sobriety and is happy and beautiful and enjoying life! We are so grateful!
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