We’ve heard about substance addiction so many times and we probably know someone who is addicted to marijuana, alcohol or other drugs. Addiction is a complex, chronic disorder characterized by the compulsive need to use a substance despite the harms it may cause. Here are some of the most common questions asked about addiction and the answers to them.
Is addiction a disease?
Yes. National Institute on Drug Abuse researches suggest that addiction or the compulsion to take drugs is linked to changes in specific neurons in the central nervous system. It can thus be considered as a brain disease.
What are the common signs of addiction?
As addiction has 2 components — physical and psychological — it manifests both physically and psychologically. Physical manifestations include shills, weird smell, vomiting, sweating, and weight loss. An addict may also show signs of aggression, anxiety, burnout, irritability, lack of energy, poor motivation, slow reaction time, denial, depression, and paranoia.
Can an addict quit using drugs if he has strong will power?
Most people suffering from an addiction to drugs cannot stop on their own, no matter how willing they say they are. It is important to seek help from organizations offering structured rehabilitation programs.
Can someone use drugs without being addicted to it?
It depends how strong the effects of drugs are. Many people are able to enjoy alcohol without suffering from alcohol addiction. Addiction happens when a person’s drug use becomes a central part of his or her life. This can be seen on the amount of time and money he or she spends on drugs, and on what he or she is willing to give up for it, such as relationships, jobs or school.