Becoming an addict can happen to anyone.
ANYONE can become an addict, even those of you reading that sentence and thinking silently to yourself not me….yes you can. No one sets out to become an addict. No one sets out to allow a substance be it alcohol or drugs to control their lives and damage those around them. If you were brave enough to ask someone who is addicted and had an open heart I bet they would tell you the same thing. For most people addiction is a slow and steady process. Addiction begins with recreational drug or alcohol use that progresses into dependence. This journey takes the person through several stages of addictive behavior. If alcoholism or addiction runs in the family make sure to warn your children. By educating them on the warning signs, this allows them to make a informed decision on drinking. They will be able to identify the warning signs earlier and “get off the train” before full blown addiction takes place.
The addictive process usually begins with feelings of euphoria and fun times with friends. Sometimes the feelings release the person from feeling emotion pain or physical pain. This feeling sometimes is the first time someone has felt normal or comfortable in their skin. These feelings make us feel alive and feel good. Many use their addictions to self medicate to treat other untreated and/or undiagnosed mental health disorders. Again addiction is not as simple.The use of drugs and alcohol can lower anxiety. The problem is we start to confuse these feelings with life and love. We forget other ways to feel good or relieve stress. We confuse excitement with intimacy once we get attached to the false sense produced by chemicals. We then start to believe that the life that is experienced while using drugs and alcohol is our only source of joy and love. This makes for a lonely life that requires drug or alcohol use to feel anything.
The point of this post is to make you stop and give a thought to those who suffer from addiction and try to understand that addiction is very complicated and not easy to treat. If you would like more information about addiction please contact us at the Raleigh House of Hope.