Understanding Substance Addiction

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Feb 9, 2016

Understanding Substance Addiction


If someone you love is suffering from a substance addiction, you may wonder if they’ll ever be completely cured of the disease. Whether they are actively in treatment or not, addiction to drugs or alcohol is a chronic condition, and commitment to their recovery will be the most important thing if they wish to get better. The more you know about what addiction is, how it works, and how you can help, the better you can support you loved ones’ ongoing recovery efforts.

Substance Addiction

The Impact of Substance Addiction on the Brain

Addiction actually causes physical changes to the brain. Many drugs mimic the “messenger” system within the brain, and they send artificial messages to the brain and the body’s other systems. These drugs also overstimulate certain centers of the brain, which can lead to increased tolerance and the development of a physical dependence on the drug. With continued drug use, physical changes occur within the brain to adapt to the effect of the drugs, and the user is left with a crippling addiction.

Since substance addiction creates significant changes in the brain, it makes it very difficult for addicted individuals to quit using alcohol or drugs. The detox and counseling offered at an addiction treatment center, like the ones that recoveryas.com can connect you with, are essential parts of the recovery process, but it’s equally important for a recovering individual to avoid the substance of abuse in the future.

Committing to Recovery

An individual’s commitment to change has a big influence on the success of their recovery efforts. The person has to believe that they can change in order to overcome their addiction and begin a sober lifestyle. A stay at an addiction rehab center can make long-lasting changes in a person’s behavior. At rehab, clients explore the underlying issues that may have fueled their addictive behavior, and they learn the skills they’ll need to avoid the temptation to use again. The lessons learned in rehab empower recovering individuals and help them heal from the destruction of addiction.

In addition to completing a course of addiction treatment at a rehab center, it’s important for a recovering addict to follow through on the lifestyle changes needed to maintain their sobriety. They may need to distance themselves from friends they previously used with, and they may need to learn new ways of managing stress that don’t include alcohol or drugs.

Leaving rehab doesn’t mark the end of the recovery process, but rather the first steps of a lifelong journey. The support of family members and close friends can be invaluable during the early weeks and months of recovery.

Substance Addiction

Relapse in Substance Addiction

Even a single lapse in sobriety can cause the brain to regress to its older patterns, which can cause recovering addicts to backslide into addictive behavior. Relapse isn’t uncommon for people who have overcome a substance addiction, and it’s important not to treat a relapse as a failure that brings you back to square one. If your loved one suffers a lapse in their recovery, it’s better to view the incident as a learning experience and a chance for them to re-commit to long-term sobriety.

Is Long-Term Sobriety Possible?

It’s clear that addiction is a powerful disease, but long-term sobriety is possible with the right treatment and a strong commitment to recovery. If you or a loved one is battling addiction, recoveryas.com can help. We can answer your questions and address your concerns about addiction and recovery. Recovery is a process that requires continuous effort, but the rewards of a sober lifestyle are definitely worth it.

If you or a loved one is ready to conquer an addiction to drugs or alcohol, recovery is possible. Recoveryas.com can give you or your loved one the resources necessary to make a turnaround into lifelong sobriety. Call 1 (877) 968-6283 and we will locate a facility offering the recovery treatments you need, all at no charge to you.

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