- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
Dealing With Your Addiction
People can get addicted to many things. When we think addiction, we think cigarettes, alcohol, etc. But even simple things like glue and paint can hook people. Some substances are even more addictive than others like drugs. You are addicted when you feel you have no control over something. You have to have it. Addiction can be physical, psychological or both.
Physical Addiction - This occurs when your body is dependent on something; even smoking is physically addicting. It also means you have more tolerance to that substance; you're more immune to it so you'll need larger doses of the substance. If you try to stop your addiction, you'll definitely experience withdrawal symptoms like diarrhea, shaking and simply feeling awful.
Psychological Addiction - This occurs when you are dependent on a substance emotionally. When this happens, you'll feel the desire to have that substance. Your whole life basically centers on your need for the substance.
How to know if you're addicted.
The most obvious sign will be your desire for a particular drug or substance. There will also be changes in mood or weight loss or gain.
Here are some simple signs that you or someone you know may be addicted to drugs or alcohol:
- Use drugs or alcohol as a way to forget problems
- Mood swings
- Anxiety, anger or depression
- Problems with school work
- Withdrawal or keeping secrets from family and friends
- Loss of interest in activities that used to be important, etc
- Changes in sleeping habits
- Changes in eating habits
- Feeling shaky or sick when trying to stop
- Needing more of the substance to get the same effect
To stop or quit an addiction is not easy especially if you're thinking of doing it on your own. Find someone you trust to talk to. A supportive and understanding adult is your best option.
Don't be discouraged if you cannot quit within a month or two. Quitting an addiction is not as easy as you think it is. Don't consider yourself weak to get help from the professionals. Here are some tips to make your road to recovery easier:
- Inform your friends about your decision to stop your addiction. Your true friends will definitely be supportive and understanding and stand by you. Of course, this means that you will not be able to hang out with most friends whom you used to take drugs or alcohol with.
- Ask for your family and friends to support you. You might want to talk to someone in the middle of the night. Having someone available will be a load off your mind. Do not reject help when it is being offered to you. If you talk it out, you will feel that a heavy load has been lifted off your shoulders.
- Accept invitations where you know there won't be drugs or alcohol. If you go somewhere where you see alcohol or drugs, temptation to take it will be very strong and it might collapse your reserve to break the addiction. Go to the movies, try bowling or take part in classes that interest you.
- Have a back up plan of what you're going to do if you find yourself with alcohol or drugs. As mentioned earlier, the temptation will be there but if you know how you're going to handle it, then you will do ok. You can make a plan with your family and friends through a code that when you call, they'll know that you need to out of there.
- Remind yourself that having an addiction doesn't mean you're weak. If you go back to your old habits, talk to someone immediately. You don't have to be ashamed about that. What you need to do is ensure that your determination to break your addiction does not lose to the temptation.
If you have a friend who's having this problem, you can give him/her lots of encouragement and praise as well as your support. It may sound too mushy to some but knowing that someone cares for them will be a boost to their morale.
Just because you have recovered from your addiction doesn't mean that you won't have any problems. It's a lifelong process. You can join a support group where you'll meet people who've experienced the same things you have. Many people also find that helping others can also help themselves. You understand the difficulty of the recovery process and can be a support to others. If you do have a relapse, don't be ashamed to get help right away. Do not undo the hard work that you put into breaking your addiction. In fact, people will actually look at you with respect for being able to overcome your addiction.