Monday, March 7, 2011

How An Addiction Can Take Over Your Life By Hannah Davis

There are many types of addiction out there just waiting to tempt us. It could be food for one person, cigarettes for another, video games for someone else, or even pornography. No matter what type of addiction you have, it is a problem. When many people hear “addiction,” they think “drug addiction”, which is what we will talk about today.

Addiction is defined by as “the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma”. This means not only is what you are doing harming you mentally, physically, or both, you can’t stop.

At the point of addiction you have lost the ability to control your desires. Your body will go through withdrawal if you don’t get your fix. Have you ever tried to have a day with no coffee even though you normally have two or three cups? You may have gotten a headache or some other symptoms of withdrawal because your body is trying to adjust to the change. These symptoms differ with whatever drug you are addicted to and can be very painful.

In addition to being hooked, people who are addicted will need more and more of the substance they are addicted to as they build a tolerance. Once you have a tolerance it becomes necessary to take more in order to get the same effects.

Psychologically, a person on drugs may start to lie and steal in order to obtain their drugs. Their personality most likely will change as the drug takes over their life. Their drug use may be their misguided attempt to suppress their feelings or deal with problems that are occurring in their lives. No matter how bad things seem to be you should never resort to using drugs! Once you start it is all too easy to get addicted.

Trying to get over an addiction is a very hard thing to do. Quitting is most likely the hardest thing people will ever have to do. For instance, imagine your favorite food. What if you could never eat it again? It’s hard to let go of something that makes you feel good, right? Now imagine trying to stop taking something that is addicting, which you seem to need in order to survive.

There are many ways to quit drugs. Cold turkey is when you simply stop using the drug. While it sounds like a reasonable way, it isn’t always the best. The sudden stop can be very hard if you are dealing with a serious addiction. It may be easier and you may be more successful if the drug is slowly taken away. This can include cutting back on the number of drinks you are allowed to have in a night. If every week you take one away, you may be able to slowly adjust your body to the change.

Another great way is to talk to someone. Getting help and advice from your doctor is a good start. Most likely they will have dealt with others who have struggled just like you. They may have tips on how to quit and be able to explain what you may encounter on your journey to quitting, such as withdrawal symptoms and cravings you may experience. You can also talk to a psychologist who will help you discover why you started abusing drugs in the first place. This may help keep you from ever doing drugs again.

Try changing who you hang out with. If your friends are still smoking pot and you were addicted to smoking pot, don’t hang out with them! The temptation will be too much and may lead you to using again. Find new people and places to go that don’t involve those situations. By removing the temptation and starting over you will remove the chances of falling back into your addiction.

So what if you have finally overcome your addiction? Is it all over now? Sadly the answer is no. You will always have some temptation or thoughts that could lead you away from staying clean. If you do relapse you must try again to get your addiction back under control. Joining a support group may help keep you clean and be a friendly and open place to discuss your experiences and feelings as well as hear others.

If you want to see more tips for recovery check out Teens Health at to see how you can get better or help a friend through this rough time.

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