Addiction is a problem in America. Studies show that 1 in 10 Americans – 23.5 million people are addicted to alcohol or drugs. That’s roughly the entire population of Texas. Out of all these people suffering from addiction – only around 11% get treatment. This is due largely to a negative understanding of what addiction is. Today, we want to focus on the recovery process and what many people don’t realize addicts go through during this time – which links to why many people relapse.
You’ll Always Be Addicted
What many people don’t understand, including many addicts, is that you will always an addict. Addiction will follow you around for the rest of your life. You’ve probably seen it in smokers – they quit the cigarettes only to have one smoke on a night out three months later. Next thing you know, that person is smoking half a pack a day in no time.
No matter what, you can never have that drug again. Whether it’s alcohol, cigarettes or heroin, there’s no going back. As soon as you have the one hit again it’s back to square one. This is a common reason why many become re-addicted to a substance even after they’ve been clean for a long time. Many people will decide that once they haven’t used their choice substance for a long time, it’s okay to use it just on special occasions. However, this is not the case. It doesn’t matter what substance it is – once you’re addicted you will always be addicted.
A Different Kind of Hunger
We all know what it is like to feel hungry. You get that rumbling feeling in your stomach telling you it’s time to eat. You hold off on eating for a few hours. Now you’re feeling very lethargic and have no energy to spare.
Addiction has a response that in some ways is very similar to hunger. Your body NEEDS its next fix. Like hunger, the longer you leave it the worse it gets. Eventually, it’s all you can think about. Your body will go into survival mode – it needs its fix. This is a large reason why drug addicts do things that many can’t believe any reasonable person would do. Going without the drug is like somebody starving to death – they will do almost anything to get rid of that feeling.
You May Not Know You’re Addicted
The thing about addiction is the addiction part of it isn’t always clear. Addiction can start out innocently enough. You’re at a party, you’ve had a couple drinks, someone asks if you want to try a new drug.
You try that new drug. You like the way it makes you feel but it doesn’t have a grip on you. A couple of weeks later your friends are doing it again, they ask if you want to join. Why not? You did it before and nothing bad came out of it. You try it again, this time, a little more. It feels good. You don’t see why this has such a negative stigma.
The time between usage gets shorter. Now you’re doing the drug on weekends ‘But only on weekends’ you tell yourself. Eventually, you start buying the drug. It’s not like alcohol, you can still do normal tasks while on this substance. You start doing it to make menial tasks seem a little bit more fun. You do it before going for a bike ride, you do it before a movie, you do it before visiting you friends. Eventually, you do it before work. You do it when you wake up. Now you need it to feel normal. Addiction can sneak up on you.
Addiction is a disease. There’s no way around it. It’s something that is a result of poor decisions, but it’s not something that will go away without a fight. Addiction isn’t just a craving – it’s a body function. Even if you get clean, after being addicted to a substance you will always be an addict. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, Kairos Healthcare is here.