Addiction is a disease that causes damage in your brain and in your body. Those trying to kick a habit will experience physical withdrawal symptoms that are often painful, meaning that very few people can manage to wean themselves off their drug of choice without outside help. Then, of course, there are the chemical changes within your brain. Knowing how addiction works can help you overcome it and lead a better life:
How Addiction Works
When you take a drug, whether it is a prescription drug, alcohol, or an illegal substance, your brain releases dopamine. This dopamine is the chemical that is behind pleasure, however, the situation is far more complicated than that. Dopamine plays a role in the learning and memory processes in the brain, meaning that your brain is learning to associate taking the drug with pleasure, and then converting that pleasure into a need. The more you take a drug, essentially, the more you train your brain to need that drug to survive. This motivation to seek out the drug can be very difficult to overcome by yourself, especially considering that detoxing yourself of the substance is often linked to pain.
Going Through Rehabilitation
Addiction is a dangerous game. It sneaks up on you and can irreparably change your life before you know it. Addiction can form after you try a substance once, like with heroin. Or it could develop over a period of time after taking a prescribed medication like Hydrocodone to help you manage your pain. Having people help you get through the detox period is key to kick-starting your rehabilitation, because weaning yourself off of it slowly is not going to help, and there is no guarantee when you will be over your withdrawal either, as it will depend on the substance and your body. Take, for example, Hydrocodone. How long does Hydrocodone withdrawal last? Generally, less than a week, though some cases could last months. By going through rehab, you can ensure that no matter how long it takes to get over the withdrawals, you will be watched and taken care of during this time.
Dealing with the Cause Behind Your Addiction
Addictions almost always form due to an underlying reason. Perhaps you want to fit in with your friends who party hard after work, or perhaps you are suffering from chronic pain. When your previous method of dealing with these situations has led to addiction, you must reevaluate your options. Work with your doctor to come up with new methods to help you manage your pain, from physiotherapy to even surgery. Join a support group to help you work through your problems and make friends who understand. Find ways to deal with the underlying cause of your addiction so that you can never again put yourself in a place where substance abuse seems to be your only option.
Addiction changes the brain. It rewires it so that you are not entirely yourself. You have to beat your addiction so that you can get back on track to living your best life.