Addiction comes in all shapes and sizes, and has plagued communities around the world for centuries. It can take on different forms, from simply enjoying something too much and it becoming increasingly difficult to quit, to becoming completely out of control and causing significant physical and psychological harm.
At its core, addiction is an inability to regulate one’s substance or behavior intake, and an inability to stop engaging. It’s nearly impossible for someone in active addiction to break the cycle without some form of help, whether through recovery support or medically-assisted treatment.
Addiction can originate from a variety of things, depending on the user. Alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, sex, gambling, food, work, video games and other activities can all lead to a person experiencing addiction. Even activities that are generally considered to be healthy, such as exercise, can be taken too far to the point of harm.
No matter the form of addiction, many of the signs are the same. Loss of control, obsession with an activity and in-ability to stop can all be warning signs. An inclination to hide the behavior, neglecting responsibilities and exalting the activity above all else can also be telltale signs of addiction.
No matter how severe the addiction is, anyone can find help. Through therapy, therapy and support groups, individuals can learn from their mistakes and develop skills to manage and eventually end addictive behaviors. With expertise and guidance, users can become equipped with the tools to gain control over their lives and addiction.
For someone to successfully enter recovery, they need to be honest with themselves about their own lack of control and ready to make a commitment to break the cycle of their addiction. An individual should also be aware of and willing to tap into any emotional or psychological triggers that led to the addiction in the first place.
Those who are looking for help beyond traditional therapy can look into supports such as residential programs and treatment centers. These can provide an environment away from life distractions and oftentimes a more immersive approach. Many programs also offer aftercare and support after the patient is discharged from the primary level of treatment.
Friends and family are in a powerful and unique position to provide help and support to their loved ones. By having open, non-judgmental conversations and being ready to lend a helping hand, family and friends have the opportunity to truly be there for someone in the recovery process.
Overall, addiction can be a heart-breaking experience for the user and those around them. By bringing awareness to this issue, recognizing the warning signs and tapping into support systems, individuals can come to terms with their addiction and ultimately bring their lives back into the equilibrium of control.