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What is Addiction?

Addiction is a disease that causes a person to be dependent on a substance like drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes. The person will compulsively seek out the substance, despite the harm it may cause. The first time a person uses a substance its typically a free choice they made. It doesn’t matter if it started off as occasional, recreational or experimental, the person will most likely become addicted.

Unfortunately to many people are dying after trying a substance for the first time. If they are lucky enough to survive, repeated use causes the brain to change causing the person to seek out and use the substance over and over, despite negative effects. The addict feels like they have lost the ability to function or feel comfortable without it. The cravings are constant and all-consuming.

Addicts describe physical symptoms including aches and pains, anxiety, strange dreams, hot and cold flushes, nausea and other flu-like symptoms when they are not using. Mental symptoms include feeling really anxious, depressed and out of control. When these feelings kick in the person will do anything to get the substance. This is the reality of addiction.

Breaking an addiction is hard, if not impossible. So why risk it?

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