Recent government statistics showed nearly 23 million Americans are addicted to alcohol or other drugs. That is almost one person in 10. Of these, more than two thirds are people with an addiction to alcohol. The main drugs causing addiction are marijuana, opioid (narcotic) pain relievers and cocaine.
At the start of the twentieth century, many medical professionals believed that people who developed addictions were lacking in willpower. Now we recognize that addiction is a chronic disease which changes the brain’s structure and function.
The word “addiction” comes from a latin term meaning, “bound to”, or, “enslaved”. By exerting a powerful influence on the brain, addiction itself in several ways:
- A craving shows for the object of addiction, the loss of control over its use and the need to continue with the object of addiction in spite of the consequences.
Signs of Addiction
Deciding if you, or someone close to you, has an addiction, is not a simple task. Because addiction carries an associated stigma and shame, it is easy to understand why people can find it difficult to admit to addiction.
If you find yourself, or that close friend using more of the substance, using it more frequently, having withdrawal symptoms or lying about their usage, it would be useful for you to contact a healthcare professional such as rehab San Diego in order to get professional advice on what steps may be necessary.