What is addiction? Addiction makes one crave their object of addiction. They lose all their control over the use of the object and stop caring for all the harmful consequences the addiction is causing.
They lose interest in every other aspect of life and cannot seem to think of anything other than their object of addiction.
Try talking to them, they will somehow bring up the object one way or another. They lose the people who care about them this way. They are left alone with their object of addiction and this only makes the addiction worse.
What do we usually think of these people? They must be weak for giving in to addiction. They just need to be strong willed to lead a normal life again.
Well, we are wrong to think that way. Addiction is a chronic disease which affects the brain of the addict. It’s just like any other disease that needs to be cured.
1. How Does the Pleasure Principle Work in Addiction?
When we buy a new dress, eat good food, hug someone we love or maybe have great sex, a neurotransmitter named dopamine is released in the nucleus accumbens.
This is how we feel pleasure. What these objects of addiction do is help us cheat. They increase the amount of dopamine released, flooding the nucleus accumbens with it.
People cannot handle the intensity of the pleasure and yet cannot seem to stay away from it. They keep going back for more.
Is this experience of pleasure enough to get people addicted? Dopamine has more to offer! It interacts with glutamate, another neurotransmitter and together, takes over the process of reward-related learning.
It now plays a role in learning and memory. The brain now remembers what had caused so much pleasure. A conditioned response is thus created.
After a while, the flood of dopamine ceases to affect us. The brain receptor cannot deal with so much dopamine, hence they create mechanisms to get rid of the dopamine or minimize its effect.
The addict, hence, does not get pleasure like before. Yet, they cannot stop as their memory has been affected. They do not do it for pleasure now but for compulsion.
2. Typical Reasons for Addiction
There are some similarities in the lives of many people who struggle with addiction, and it is only by comprehending these themes that we can create efficient treatments.
It is unlikely that a pill will ever be developed to completely treat and mend addiction because it is not a purely physical condition, despite the fact that some addiction medicine can be a valuable tool in controlling withdrawal symptoms and reducing the desire to engage in addictive behavior.
That holds true even for addictions to heroin and other opiates, which have some of the most severe bodily components.
Treatment for those with alcohol and drug addiction issues or drug abuse should always include a psychosocial (psychological and social) component, according to the Department of Health’s “Orange Book” bible for therapists.
As with gambling, alcohol, job, or sex addiction, where the bodily changes brought on by the substance and the physical effects of withdrawal or behavior are of varying intensity, and yet all play a part along with the interpersonal and psychological components, a holistic approach to therapy is required.
3. Environmental and Social Aspects in Addiction
When it comes to genetic and environmental factors, addiction development and maintenance are also influenced by broader social and environmental factors.
Addiction risk factors might rise if a person grows up, lives, or works in a setting where alcohol and drugs are more prevalent.
For instance, according to research by the National Association for Children of Alcoholics, alcoholic parents increase a child’s risk of alcoholism by more than three times.
An analysis of the costs of alcohol by Public Health England found a link between stressful jobs and long hours and binge drinking. It contributes to the fact that progressive businesses are now aware of their responsibility in aiding employees in overcoming addiction.
4. Past Traumatic Events and Unmet Mental Health Disorder Needs
Addiction is frequently used as a form of self-medication to treat mental or physical suffering to avoid it from turning into a serious mental disorder or substance use disorder, as well as an inability to face or deal with reality, certain circumstances, or past traumas.
This may involve anything from depression to chronic pain, parental neglect as a youngster or even family members, sexual abuse, work stress, or full-blown post-traumatic stress disorder.
In its “Orange Book” of drug treatment advice, the UK Department of Health noted the significant proportions of patients receiving drug and alcohol treatment who had a history of trauma.
According to the statement, services “need to recognize these patients and provide appropriate sensitivity and skills to address their resultant requirements, with a treatment environment that promotes healing and minimizes unintended re-traumatization through working practices.”
5. Best Addiction Treatment
Effective addiction treatment or even substance abuse treatment strategies start with understanding; if you recognize that addiction’s origins are likely to be complex, you should accept that the appropriate course of treatment must be as well.
Physical, emotional, and psychological challenges can all lead to addiction.
Every person’s addiction will have a unique set of root reasons, thus in addition to providing an effective detox when medically necessary, treatment plans must be equally adaptable to address both the addiction’s physical effects and its underlying causes.
The finest medical care takes into account psychological factors, behavioral problems, thought patterns, environmental factors, and relational factors.
It adapts to study such topics in a way that each person may use, avoiding the unique trauma they may have experienced and appealing to their rational and emotional preferences.