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How to Know If You Are Addicted

How to Know If You Are Addicted

You know you shouldn’t, but the urge is overpowering. You reach for the bourbon and with shaky hands pour it into a glass and take a sip. Immediately you feel on top of the world again. 

 

Unfortunately, this feeling does not last very long and soon afterward you begin to feel guilty and helpless. The only thing left to do is to pour yourself another glass.

 

Drug and Alcohol Addiction are common occurrences and happen to people from all walks of life and from all over the world. These people battle with uncontrollable urges, satisfaction induced by the drug, and then guilt, anger, and helplessness after giving in to their drug of choice time and time again.  

 

In this article, we at Retreat of Atlanta will assist you to identify exactly what addiction is, as well as the signs and symptoms of this disease.

What is Addiction

Addiction can be explained as a chronic disorder that is characterized by a person’s compulsion to seek out drugs or alcohol no matter what the cost, despite knowing the long-term consequences that the substance has to the body.  Addiction is a mixture of mental illness and a complex brain disorder.

 

It is not to say that everyone who misuses the substance has an addiction. Put quite simply, you have a drug or alcohol addiction when you are unable to moderate or stop taking alcohol or drugs no matter how hard you try. When things get to this stage it may be time to accept that you have an addiction.

 

Addiction to drugs and alcohol is both a physical and physiological disorder. Once your body has developed a tolerance to these substances the user requires more and more to become satisfied.

 

This means that the amount of drug and frequency will increase as time passes and more will be needed to produce the same high that the addict was able to get when they initially started to take the drug.

 

For the people of Atlanta, detox is critical and can sometimes mean the difference between life and death in a person suffering from an addiction.

Different Types of Drug and Alcohol Addiction

Drug and alcohol addiction is the use of substances that are either ingested or injected causing a direct impact on the addict’s brain. There are many types of addiction in today’s modern world, but the main types of addiction can be identified as:

Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol addiction is the inability to control drinking due to the physical and emotional dependency that the subject has acquired on the alcohol.

 

People who suffer from alcohol addiction often start their days with an alcoholic beverage just to curb the addiction. As the day progresses more alcohol is needed for them to stay on the same high that their body has gotten used to.

 

Even though an alcohol addict feels guilty about their drinking and do have the desire to stop, it can be almost impossible if left untreated. In many instances, they will try to stop, fail, and then repeat the cycle.

 

Sadly, alcohol addiction is one of the most common addictions in the world and is also one of the most dangerous addictions if left untreated.

Drug Addiction

There are various types of drug addiction with the most common being:

Cocaine abuse causes changes in the brain that result in constriction within the vascular system and can lead to severe damage to the lung and respiratory system. Smoking cocaine can also lead to various complications of the lungs such as swelling, hemorrhages, pulmonary edema, bronchitis, and asthma.

 

Opioids taken in high doses can affect the brainstem and slow down breathing. This leads to decreased oxygen in the blood putting opioid users at risk of an overdose. This is why opioids are dangerous and often fatal.

 

Methamphetamine use is particularly dangerous as it constricts the blood vessels which may lead to pulmonary damage and hypertension.

The Signs of Addiction

If you or a loved one have fallen victim to addiction there are many ways in which to identify the signs. Addiction affects people behaviorally, physically, and mentally.

The Behavioral Signs

Behavioral signs can be described as how a person with an addiction reacts to normal day-to-day life activities as well as relationships with other people.

Behavioral signs can include:

The Physical Signs

Physical signs of addiction are generally manifested from the side effects of the substance that is being abused.

 

General physical signs of addiction can include but are not limited to:

The Psychological Signs

When a person is battling an addiction, it can affect their state of mind and cause various psychological changes. Unfortunately, people with addictions do not recognize the changes within themselves even though they can be seen by family and loved ones.

 

The psychological signs of drug addiction may include:

The Long-Term Consequences of Alcohol and Drug Addiction if Not Treated

People suffering from addiction are treading on dangerous ground.  Long-term addiction can eventually lead to many life-threatening conditions.

Physical Damage

Abuse of alcohol and other addictive substances can cause serious harm to a person’s physical health. This damage can last for years, and in some cases cannot be undone. Physical symptoms can range from mild to extremely serious and life-threatening. Nearly every system and organ in the body can be severely affected by long-term drug abuse. This abuse can cause:

Damage to The Brain

Drug and alcohol addiction is one of the hardest diseases to overcome due to the effect that long-term use of these substances have on the human brain.

 

When an addict uses drugs or alcohol it produces a sensation of pleasure due to how these substances react with the brain. The brain releases a substance called dopamine when these substances are used. Dopamine is a reward system in the brain that allows the user to feel deep sensations of euphoria and pleasure.

 

Over time, however, the overstimulation of the dopamine in the brain can lead to long-lasting and sometimes permanent changes to the brain.

 

These changes can manifest as some of the following:

The Stages of Addiction Recovery

There are normally five stages that can ultimately lead to the recovery and detox of people who are suffering from addiction.

The Stage of Precontemplation

When a person is at this stage, they are normally not yet ready to undergo treatment at an Atlanta detox facility. These people normally become defensive, aggressive and try their best to justify their addiction.

The Stage of Contemplation

In this stage, the patient has realized that they need to bring about change to secure their health and their future. This stage is not immediate; however, the user is aware of the fact that they need to detox and become drug or alcohol-free.

The Preperation Stage

The preparation stage is when the individual is starting to feel a sense of urgency to detox and become drug-free. This desire for sobriety could be due to health issues that have been caused by their addiction or losing family and friends along their path of destruction.

The Acting Stage

This is the stage where the person has decided to reach out to a professional and commit to making the change that they need to overcome their addiction. During this stage, detox can happen and prolonged periods of abstinence from the addictive substance can be achieved. This is the time when professionals at Atlanta Retreat can assist by helping the patient detox and prevent any type of relapse.

The Maintenance Stage

During the maintenance stage, the professional staff at Atlanta Retreat work hard with their patients to prevent any type of relapse. The patient is assisted to attend regular therapy sessions and start to make good lifestyle changes.

This maintenance stage can last anywhere from six months to five years depending on the individual and their state of addiction.

Fortunately, there is hope and Retreat of Atlanta is here to help patients through all of these phases by successfully detoxing and maintaining their sobriety over some time.

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The Retreat of Atlanta Staff and patients follow the CDC guidelines for wearing a mask, hand washing regularly, and social distancing in all aspects of treatment. Patients and staff are confidentially tested if CDC signs/symptoms/temperature are present. We practice strict preventative measures.