Addiction is a tricky topic to navigate, especially when you’re knee-deep in dependency. Unfortunately, drug and alcohol abuse topics often feel taboo to talk about, making it difficult for addicts and the people around them to ask questions and obtain helpful resources. However, feeling foolish or ignorant shouldn’t be a reason to avoid seeking knowledge about addiction and treatment.

Is addiction always unhealthy?

Unfortunately, excessive drug and alcohol use may seem trivial without the complete picture. If you’ve thought about whether or not addiction can be healthy, you’re not the only one. However, the honest truth is no addiction is or can be beneficial. Addiction, by definition, will affect a person’s ability to function, relationships, and overall health, ranging in severity for each addict. 

What is an opioid drug?

All opioid drugs suppress pain by covering active sites related to the central nervous system to relieve discomfort. However, these intense drugs can also cause feelings of euphoria that are a key component in the subsequent addiction development when combined with a physical dependency.

What is addiction?

There are many ways to categorize addiction, all of which involve the inability to stop or change a behavior. Addiction can also describe symptoms of engagement and compulsion to continue using a substance that causes significant chaos in your personal life. These problems also are combined with continued use despite the negative consequences.

What are the risk factors for addiction?

Specialists site several observable risk factors that contribute to addiction development. One aspect is biology, such as a person’s genetic makeup and mental illness. The other elements are environmental, like the conditions of their upbringing, a parent with a history of addiction, or a lack of social and financial support. 

Peer pressure can also be a significant influencer. Take, for example, how vaping has become a popular, “healthier” alternative to smoking. In reality, vaping has addictive risks, despite being heralded as a better option. 

Why are drugs only addictive to certain people?

There is a level of susceptibility and predisposition for developing an addiction, partly determined by biological influences, drastically increasing the younger you begin partaking. However, anyone is susceptible to addiction, so steer clear of situations that may lead to prolonged dependency. 

How do you know if someone is addicted?

There are particular behaviors associated with addiction, varying by substance and individual.  Certain signs, like withdrawal from friends and family, avoidance, and even a messy or significant change in appearance, can be signs of addiction. However, each sign on its own may not indicate a dependency, so make sure to look at the whole picture and contact a professional for an assessment. 

How can I support an addict?

The best form of support is actively listening and offering resources to help develop habits and make new friends outside addiction. Assistance without judgment is critical, as addiction can cause mood changes that may not reflect who a person is or feels.

One last thought

Addiction isn’t easy—it’s a challenging adversary. However, knowing how and when to help allows you to stop significant declines in their tracks and navigate the situation.

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