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Addiction Articles

Millions of people in the United States suffer from a drug or alcohol addiction, and millions more feel the repercussions of a loved one’s dependency. Before you can seek help for addiction, however, you need to know more about addiction itself.

Defining Addiction

Addiction ArticlesAddiction is commonly described by an inability and unwillingness to control how much of a substance you consume. Prolonged drug use will cause your body to develop tolerances, making it necessary for you to consume larger amounts for the same effects. Long-term addiction also means it’s very difficult and often hazardous to stop taking drugs for even short periods of time. These hazards can be both psychological and physical in nature.

Physical Addiction

Physical addiction is the body’s response to extended drug use. Physical addictions are characterized by extreme physical responses both when using and not using drugs. Many of these physical responses are favorable enough to encourage you to continue your drug use. However, withdrawal from physical addictions is highly likely, and can be unpleasant, painful or even dangerous to experience.

Alcohol, prescription painkillers like Vicodin, Percocet, and OxyContin, and heroin are all examples of physically addictive drugs. These drugs also make up over half of all addiction treatment admissions in the United States each year.

Additionally, drugs that are considered psychologically addictive in nature may have physical effects as well.

Psychological Addiction

Unlike physically addictive drugs, which form dependencies that focus on the physical systems in the body, psychological addictions are those that affect your mental capabilities. Psychological addictions cause mental cravings that can be just as difficult to experience as a physical craving.

Cocaine is one of the most common psychological addictions, however, marijuana is undoubtedly more prevalent. Methamphetamine is another common, highly dangerous drug that forms a psychological dependency. Often these drugs are treated in similar ways to physically addictive drugs because mental addiction can be just as difficult to treat as a long-term addiction to alcohol or heroin.

Addiction Treatment Help

Although every addiction is different, there are always treatment options. Most treatment plans can be tailored to your specific addiction, as well as your personal needs. Getting treatment of any form is possibly the most important decision you can make concerning addiction, and you may find yourself nervous about doing so. If you explore this site further, however, you can find more information about individual drugs, how they impact your life and how to best treat individual dependencies. You can also chat with one of our counselors about your options for addiction treatment.