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Understanding Addiction: Am I Addicted to Everything?

understanding addictionUnderstanding addiction as the complex disease it really is plays an important role in treatment of the illness. The truth is that addiction requires treatment just like any other illness. But if you’re suffering from an addiction, then does that mean you are not only addicted to substances like drugs and alcohol but also to certain behaviors as well? While there may be a correlation between substance use disorders and certain behavioral addictions like gambling, overeating, shopping, and stealing, it doesn’t necessarily mean the addictions are always co-occurring – but they can be.

Facts to Help with Understanding Addiction

Understanding addiction begins with learning the true definition of the disease. The American Society of Addiction (ASAM) defines addiction as “a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry.” Therefore, addiction can manifest itself not only through substance use disorders but also through additional reward-seeking behaviors. Understanding addiction plays a critical role in implementing new treatment programs and solutions. Going off the definition of addiction, an addiction can be to substances or certain repetitive behaviors.  It is possible for individuals suffering from drug addictions to also have a behavioral issue. Even if they do not currently suffer from another addictive behavior in addition to substance use disorder, drug addicts still tend to be at greater risk of developing behavioral addictions. Some individuals realize they suffer from “a disease of [wanting] more” even when they are in active addiction. However, some recovering addicts come to find out that once they put down the drugs and alcohol, another addictive behavior pops up, whether they have turned to gambling, eating disorders, theft, or codependency. At the same time, not all drug addicts will end up with a behavioral addiction.

A Drug Is a Drug

When it comes to being in recovery from a drug addiction, however, there is a saying that goes, “A drug is a drug.” Sometimes, drug addicts may think that they only have a problem with one particular substance and then they assume that as long as they don’t use that they should be fine – but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Addiction in itself is chronic and progressive, but it’s also cunning, baffling, and powerful. A drug addict is far more likely to eventually end up using their drug of choice if they use other substances in its place beforehand. The reality is that the substances are just a symptom of the real, bigger problem, which is addiction. The disease would only be manifesting through another drug and not really be treated as it should be.

Drug Addiction Treatment

The reality is that addiction can be debilitating and therefore, treatment is necessary for a full recovery. Drug addiction is one type of addiction that should not go ignored. It can be deadly, if not immediately then over time. Addiction keeps you in a prison, but it doesn’t need to. There are addiction treatment facilities that can provide essential care during such a critical time, including The Watershed Addiction Treatment Programs which is a state-licensed and accredited rehabilitation facility that is equipped with the knowledge and tools to help addicts and alcoholics recover.

If you are struggling with a substance use disorder like alcohol and drug addiction, you are not alone. The Watershed Texas is here to help. In fact, The Watershed Texas is a dual diagnosis facility that can help treat both a substance use disorder and mental health issue. You can recover. Call The Watershed Texas today at 1-800-861-1768.

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