For years we’ve been led to believe that an addiction is simply a chemical reaction in your brain. It’s not wrong, but it’s not completely right either.
Over the years, the results of numerous studies have raised many factors regarding addiction, specifically drug addiction Total Recall 1990 Download. Which begs the question, what really makes you addicted? The answer still isn’t black and white.
I’m addicted to…
Raise your hand if you’ve ever said that you’re addicted to something, be it chocolate, coffee, the smell of wet paint or watching your favourite TV show. Is it really an addiction? Well, the best way to find out is if you can live without that specific thing. If your life turns upside down and you can’t control the urge, then it’s more than likely an addiction.
A study done in the 1970s (but published in 1980) by Bruce K. Alexander, says your surroundings are what drive you to your addiction. He wondered if rats, who were addicted to cocaine water, would give up their addiction if they lived in a happier environment. The results showed that the rats were successfully able to give up the cocaine water.
Here’s another study that will make you think twice about drug addiction. Many soldiers in the Vietnam War took heroin to cope with everything that was happening around them. When the war ended, and they returned home, almost 95% of the drug users simply stopped taking heroin! This could possibly mean that a drug isn’t always responsible for an addiction.
Why am I addicted to something?
There are various factors, so let’s take a brief look at them.
Psyche: The state of your mental health is important in your day-to-day life, but it can be even more critical when you need to kick a habit or stop from starting one. Sometimes people get addicted to substances simply because they can’t mentally cope anymore. The lack of willpower may also be responsible why some people can’t overcome their addiction.
Genetics: You might not think about your DNA a whole lot, but it’s a cause of great grief for many people. Letting go of an addiction could be tougher if your genes are more susceptible to drug addiction. For example, if there’s a family history of drug addiction, then you might get addicted if you take drugs.
Environment: If you lived in a hostile world, what lengths would you go to find a happy place? For some people, thinking of a happy place simply isn’t enough to overcome their day-to-day troubles. People turn to drugs because it can give them a moment of comfort or take their pain away.
Emotions: Ever ate something simply because it made you feel good? It may not necessarily be an addiction – no need to stop eating chocolate just yet – but it can lead to one if you can’t go without it. Drugs, when taken the first time, gives you an incredible high, which we call euphoria. Many people want to have that euphoric feeling again, so they keep on taking drugs. This often leads to overdose as a higher dosage is needed for that feeling to return.
Chemical: Sometimes the chemical power of a drug makes it much harder to avoid, such as heroin.
So what do I do?
Just like most conditions, addiction is treatable with some love and a lot of hard work – success, as they say, doesn’t happen overnight.
The first thing you need to do is admit to yourself that you have an addiction. You won’t believe it, but that’s the biggest step you’ll ever take.
The next is speak to a therapist and join a support group.
Positive support from family and friends is also needed, so make sure they know what you’re going through and that you’ll need their help to pull you through.
If you feel that your addiction is too strong to deal with, you can always enter a drug rehabilitation centre, where experts are waiting around the clock to help you on your way to recovery!