Addiction Explained

What is drug abuse and addiction? The explanation of substance use and abuse may be simple: An individual is using or misusing a substance. However, addiction explained is more complicated. The condition is a complex, chronic and progressive disease that, left untreated, will devastate your life whether you are a woman or a man. Addiction knows no age limits or cultural boundaries and cares not whether you are rich or poor. It doesn’t discriminate on your sexual preference, your religious beliefs, or the color of your skin. Addiction is a disease.

Decades of pointed research has proven that addiction alters the brain through small but continual changes to its structure and function. The frontal cortex, which is associated with judgment and decision making, is significantly affected by substance abuse. Neurochemicals and brain circuits that are involved in reward, motivation, memory and inhibitory control are disrupted, making the drug cravings and compulsion to use that much more powerful.

While the initial decision to use drugs may be a voluntary one, eventually, the disease of drug addiction compels a person to continue to abuse drugs despite the plethora of negative consequences associated with it. Since 2000, there have been 700,000 drug overdose deaths in the U.S. Further, 20.3 million Americans are dealing with an active addiction.

What Are the Symptoms of Addiction?

What is drug addiction characterized by? To understand how to explain addiction, you must also consider what happens to the mind and body when someone has the disease. Many symptoms of addiction will be associated with psychological actions and behaviors.

Some trademark symptoms of addiction include:

  • Distorted behaviors or thought processes
  • Personality changes
  • Memory and learning problems
  • Continued use in spite of knowing the risks
  • Inability to reduce or control the use of a substance

Physically, addiction can be characterized by intense cravings for the substance and severe withdrawal symptoms when the substance is not used. For example, the person may experience flu-like symptoms, gastrointestinal distress, tremors, chills and even seizures with abstinence from certain substances. The individual using a substance can also develop a tolerance to what he or she is taking, which means he or she may need to take more to feel the same effects.

How Do You Treat Addiction?

The good news is that drug addiction, like other chronic diseases, can be successfully treated. Through residential or intensive outpatient (IOP) substance abuse treatment, people are given the tools they need to restructure their lives and reach sobriety.

What is residential treatment and what is intensive outpatient substance abuse treatment? Residential treatment involves 24/7 care while you stay in a facility. IOP involves attending therapy and treatment sessions with certified professionals to overcome addiction.

At Transformations By The Gulf, we offer specific women’s and men’s addiction treatment programs that get to the core psychological and emotional issues of your self-defeating behavior. We utilize modalities to counteract the neurophysiological effects of addiction, so you can regain control of your life.

Our holistic approach to addiction treatment takes place in a serene location that fosters a sense of well-being. Our experiential therapies involve immersion in new, soothing environments where taking steps toward sobriety is easier. Transformations By The Gulf offers IOP, day treatment and residential treatment.

Don’t Wait. If you are ready, Get Help Now. (866) 335-2962