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What is an Addiction?

'The task ahead of us is never as great as the power behind us.' -- Alcoholics Anonymous

An addiction is a psychological and physiological dependance on a substance or activity. There are many common addictions, some include: nicotine, illicit drugs, alcohol, food, sex, and gambling. Physiological dependence means that the body has become so accustomed to a drug or drug's and thinks it needs such chemicals to function. When a person addicted to a drug starts going through withdrawals, physiological dependence and the pain it causes can be witnessed. Psychological dependence is basically when the brain is convinced that it needs the drug to survive. This is why addiction is so powerful, and so hard to overcome.

Presently there are over 2 million illicit drug addicts and over 4 million suffering from one type of addiction or another. Because addiction doesn't only effect the addict, but everyone else around him, his family, co workers, friends, and nabours, addiction is a very serious problem. Of course there are different types and ranges of addictions. Some can be more serious than others. For instance, in my opinion, addiction to heroin is more serious than addiction to junk food. However this point is debatable because over eating of junk food can lead to wieght gain and diabetes. The point is, no addiction should be treated lightly, and help should be given as needed.

Recovery from addiction is possible,the key steps are as follows. First off admit to yourself that you have a problem with a substance and you need to give it up. Without this first step, no further recovery can be made. Next, you have to detoxify to remove the addictive and harmful chemicals from your body. This step should be done with medical help, since detoxification requires abstinence from the substance, withdrawal symptoms develop. Withdrawal symptoms occur when the body cannot get the substance which it believes is vital, and in turn goes haywire. Withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe and include the following; nausea, hallucinations, anxiety, panic attacks, hot and cold sweats, diarrhea, constipation, headaches,tremors, insomnia, and many others. Along with these methods, group therapy, or one on one counselling should be applied to ensure a healthy addiction free future and complete the addiction treatment program.


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