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What Is Addiction? What Is Addiction Not?

An addiction is something you do habitually and compulsively to the extent that it interferes with other aspects of your life or endangers your health.

Often, there is a physical component. Alcohol, cocaine, heroin, and prescription painkillers can alter your physiology to the point where not using them becomes physically painful or even dangerous. Over time, users build up a tolerance and need larger doses to feel the same effects.

Other addictions, such as gambling, sex, or internet porn are psychological. They are based on habit, routine, cues, and social pressure. These factors are also present in physical addictions too, but a physiologically addictive substance is not necessary to form an addiction.

What physical and psychological addictions have in common is that they tend to be triggered by stress. When people feel overwhelmed they want some kind of reprieve, even a brief one that solves none of their problems and will likely make them worse.

Addiction is a disease in the same sense as diabetes. That is, it is a condition in the person. It may be true that some people are more prone to addictive behavior, but that predisposition is only one factor among many. Addiction is complex and almost anyone can become addicted under the right circumstances.

This distinction between addiction and disease is subtle but important. One reason is that it prevents the division of the world into “normal people” and “addicts.” The idea that an addict is sick has the advantage of encouraging compassion rather than condemnation, but has the disadvantage of ignoring some of the most important factors of addiction.

Looking at addiction as the interaction of predisposition and circumstances, on the other hand, promotes a more comprehensive approach that requires self-reflection, building social support, managing stress, and finding constructive ways to deal with adversity–things that are good for everyone and increase the chances of long-term recovery.

Addiction is the beginning of a new life in recovery. Serenity Oaks Wellness Center offers a treatment program to men and women built on the foundation of adorning our clients with a way of living to make life more beautiful. Call us today for information: 844-720-6847

Serenity Oaks Wellness Center