Take Our Am I A Drug Addict Self
Take our free, 5-minute Am I A Drug Addict? self-assessment below if you think you or someone you love might be struggling with drug addiction. The evaluation consists of 11 yes or no questions that are intended to be used as an informational tool to assess the severity and probability of a substance use disorder. The test is free, confidential, and no personal information is needed to receive the result.
Time To Assimilate These Concepts
Did you gain value from this article? Is it important that you know and understand this topic? Would you like to optimize how you think about this topic? Would you like a method for applying these ideas to your life?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then Im confident you will gain tremendous value from using the accompanying IQ Matrix for coaching or self-coaching purposes. This mind map provides you with a quick visual overview of the article you just read. The branches, interlinking ideas, and images model how the brain thinks and processes information. Its kind of like implanting a thought into your brain an upgrade of sorts that optimizes how you think about these concepts and ideas.
Ways To Reduce Or Quit Drugs
There is no treatment that works for everyone. Just as drugs affect each person differently, treatment needs to be individual. Its important to find a program that works for you.
Treatment options range from counselling through to hospital care it depends on which drugs are involved and how serious your dependence or addiction is. They include:
- going cold turkey you stop taking drugs suddenly, with no outside help or support
- counselling and lifestyle changes individual or group therapy can help you learn to cope without drugs. This can be successful if your drug use has been mild. Peer support groups are often run by recovered addicts their personal experience can be helpful to others
- detoxification you stop taking drugs and have medical treatment while your body clears the drug from your system
- rehabilitation this is a longer term treatment where you stay in a hospital or clinic, or at home. It also involves psychological treatment to help you deal with issues that may have contributed to your drug use
If you have mental health issues your treatment will need to address that at the same time for your overall treatment to be effective.
Recommended Reading: How To Stop Your Addiction
What If I Relapse
If you have a relapse and start using again, remember that recovery doesnt happen overnight. Take the opportunity to remind yourself why you are quitting, forgive yourself and refocus on your plan.
Talk to your doctor. They can work out how to best resume treatment, or they may suggest a different type of treatment.
When youre back on track, learn from what happened:
- What triggered the relapse?
- What could you have done differently?
Discover more about managing a relapse on the Alcohol and Drug Foundation website.
A relapse can be deadly!
If youve developed a tolerance for a particular drug over time and then quit taking it, your tolerance levels drop. If you have a relapse and use as much of the drug as you did before quitting, you can easily overdose.
If you, or someone you know, is in danger of overdosing, phone 000 immediately and ask for an ambulance.
Dont: Enable Your Loved One
There can be a fine line between helping someone with an addiction and enabling them. Sometimes when we think were protecting a loved one from the consequences of their addiction, we are actually enabling them to continue with potentially destructive behavior.
For example, if youre trying to figure out how to help an alcoholic, keeping them from drinking and driving is helpful, since that could put them and others in danger. However, consistently offering to drive them home whenever they get too intoxicated is enabling their actions, because its setting up a formula in which you are constantly available to rescue them.
Studies show that people with addictions are more likely to proactively seek treatment when they are forced to face the consequences of their actions. So, if you want to know how to help someone with an addiction, allow them to make mistakes without the promise of your rescue.
Its important to set up boundaries and rules, both for your well-being and the well-being of your loved one and its important to enforce those rules and boundaries. This is the only part of Recovery in which tough love is beneficial, since its done for both you and your loved ones protection.
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Why Are Drugs Difficult To Quit
Certain drugs are highly addictive because of the way they change certain types of brain functioning. For example, many drugs can result in changes to the way your brain relays messages through a process known as neurotransmission. The activity of one neurotransmitter in particular, known as dopamine, increases in association with several types of substance use. A drug-related surge in dopamine activity can have reinforcing effects, making compulsive use of that drug more likely.2
Many of the most common drugs of abuse have an impact on dopamine activity throughout the brains reward centers. Dopamine neurotransmission is thought to underlie feelings of motivation, pleasure, and reward, and is believed to play a key role in the development of addiction.2,3
Typically, people release dopamine in response to performing pleasurable activities, such as eating or having sex. However, many drugs cause a surge in dopamine activity, which can result in a rewarding euphoria, and ultimately encourages the drug-using individual to repeat the experience. This is why many drugs are referred to as reinforcing and one of the reasons why drug addiction can be so challenging to recover from.2
How Do People Cope With Addiction
In some instances, substance use isnt considered coping mechanism anymore, rather, it turns into a problem in itself. It can permeate every area of an individuals lifetheir responsibilities at work, school, their health, and even how they deal with others. Suffering from addiction is a very personal issue, that some people may choose these common maladaptive coping skills:
- Ignoring the issue: Theres no problem at all.
- Minimizing the addiction: Its not that bad, some people have it worse than me.
- Isolation: Its better to keep it to myself.
- Justifying the problem: I have so many things going on, and this is my way of making myself feel better.
- Bandwagon: Everyone else around me is doing it, why cant I?
The goal of seeking professional help is reducing these maladaptive mindsets and replacing them with better skills for dealing with addiction urges. Essentially, it is best to know what kinds of coping mechanisms are helpful in addiction recovery by differentiating between the two main types.
The Decline Of The Supreme Court
To the Editor:
In the 1970s I was privileged to argue three cases before the Supreme Court. In those days, while some justices were typecast as liberal or conservative, it was a given that minds could be changed and no result was foreordained. No more.
The political machinations of Mitch McConnell have ensured that the court is now dominated by an ideological conservative majority whose minds are closed. Millions view the court as another political entity. It now seems inevitable that Roe v. Wade will be overturned. No doubt many girls and women will have their lives ruined, and some may go to prison for having an abortion.
But make no mistake: Many, if not most, women who wish to have an abortion will find a way. Pro-choice states are already gearing up to help women who choose to terminate a pregnancy. Like ill-fated Prohibition in the 1920s, draconian laws will be evaded and respect for the rule of law will be eroded.
So, what is the end game of overruling Roe v. Wade? The Supreme Court may have the power to eviscerate a well-established constitutional right to privacy, but it will have done so by sacrificing its legitimacy in the eyes of a majority in this country. It is sad to contemplate what the Supreme Court once was, and what it has become.
To the Editor:
To the Editor:
Re Were in a Loneliness Crisis. Another Reason to Get Off Our Phones, by Tish Harrison Warren :
Write Your Quitting Commitment
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How Can Addiction Be Successfully Treated
Addiction is a chronic disease that causes significant changes in the way the brain functions and how a person behaves. It is characterized by the compulsive misuse of a substance, even though it brings about significant negative consequences. Addiction can be treated and managed successfully through evidence-based behavioral therapies and, in some cases, medication.4 Some rehab centers use alternative therapies in treating addiction.
Addiction develops after a person uses or misuses substances and then loses their ability to control their use, negatively affecting their home, work, school and/or family life.4 This loss of control is often fueled by the way the body adapts to regular exposure to a substance: tolerance and physical dependence.
Tolerance is characterized by the need to take more of a drug to keep feeling the desired effects.5 As an individual exposes their body to regular use of certain drugs, the body adapts to its constant presence. When the drug is taken away withdrawal symptoms emerge as the body re-adjusts to not having the drug anymore. This can lead to strong cravings for the substance to relieve uncomfortable or distressing withdrawal symptoms, and may result in an individual struggling to quit using and relapsing or returning to substance use.
Treatment for drug and alcohol addiction focuses on management of the disorder, much like the process of managing other chronic diseases, including asthma or heart disease.6
Keep Their Addiction In Perspective
Keeping things in perspective in the grand scheme of things will help you from feeling enveloped in their addiction. While their drug abuse may feel like the worst thing that could ever happen, you need to remind yourself that things will get better. Seeing this from you, the addict you love may be able to find hope that things will get better for them, too.
Common Triggers Faced In Recovery
What exactly triggers a craving for one person may not be the same as a trigger that affects another. However, what all addicts in recovery do have in common, is having to face them. What makes this important is the factor that encountering a trigger evokes That common element is stress.
During addiction treatment programs and therapy, individuals can open up and share their experiences with different stressors that trigger cravings. For some, these may be emotional triggers in recovery. Others face their triggers physically when encountering people, places, or things that remind them of substance abuse.
Regardless, the strong desire to turn back to addiction is a universal understanding among individuals that have faced their addiction. While it may not make it easier, it does mean that you never have to face those demons completely alone. That in itself is a coping mechanism.
Join A Solid Support Group
If you dont already have a few committed and supportive friends and family, a support group will be even more important. Being with other people who understand exactly what you are dealing with is extremely important. These groups will also help you find the right resources and tools to deal with the ups and downs of recovering from a drug addiction.
Even if you have family and friends who help you through the recovery journey, finding a support group will still be vital. Eventually, you may even be able to encourage others in their own recovery. If and when you or your friends deal with relapses, support groups will help you get back on track instead of going deeper into your addiction.
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Find An Approach That Works
There are a number of different treatment options that can be effective, so it is important to consider the options. Think about which approach might be best suited to you and your loved one’s needs and goals.
Depending on the nature of the addiction, treatment might involve psychotherapy, medication, support groups, or a combination of all of these. A few options include:
Other important factors that can affect a person’s recovery include family involvement and other social supports. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration suggests that family therapy is an important part of an effective addiction recovery plan.
How To Talk To Someone With A Substance Use Disorder
When you talk with your loved one about their substance use, there are things that you can do and not do that can help the conversation be more productive and potentially result in a positive outcome.7, 8
- Express your concerns and state facts, not opinions.
- Be patient.
- Offer help, including information about treatment, how it works and how it can help them get off drugs.
- Offer to go with them to the doctor or to an appointment.
- Neglect your own needs. Take care of yourself, regardless of the outcome.
- Dont yell or act angry.
- Enable the person.
Also Check: How Drug Addiction Affects Relationships
Create A Healthy Parent
Teenagers who have a good relationship with their parents are more likely to delay drinking. If they start to drink, this relationship can help protect them from developing alcohol-related problems.8
Children who have good ties with their parents are more likely to feel good about themselves. Hence, they are less likely to give in to peer pressure. It also encourages them to live up to their parents’ expectations since they will want to maintain this relationship.
These tips can help you have a healthy relationship with your child:
- Make it easy for your child to talk with you honestly
- Regularly spend time with your child
- Appreciate their efforts and accomplishments
- Avoid criticizing their failures or teasing them
- Respect your child’s growing need for independence and privacy
Talk To Your Child About Alcohol
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism recommends parents discuss alcohol use with their children. Research shows that parents continue to influence their behavior even after their teenage years.7
Talk about the risks associated with excessive alcohol use and drinking at an early age. Explain the benefits of abstinence, drinking within recommended limits, and waiting until adulthood to drink.
The best way to influence your child to avoid drinking is to have a strong, trusting relationship with him or her.
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
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Rewards: Weighing The Costs And Benefits Of Addiction
If motivation is the force that drives you to act, then rewards are what you gain from that activity. People quit their addictions when they begin to get more rewards for living without the addiction than they got from feeding the addiction. Put into economic terms, you give up your habit when you believe that its costs exceed its benefits.Of course, the nature of rewards is highly subjective. You incur all sorts of costs from an addictionhealth, financial, legal, interpersonal, and so on. However, you also are getting benefits from itrewards that often loom larger than life because they are so immediate and familiar to you.
4.1. The Rewards of Addictions
Excessive alcohol consumption, eating, and sexual activity etc provide you with feelings and sensations that you desire and need. Some of these essential feelings are a sense of being valued, of being a worthwhile person, or of being in control. It is critical for you, or anyone trying to help a person with an addictive problem, to understand the needs that the addiction fulfills. This understanding is necessary in order to root out the addiction.
However, addictions dont really provide people with positive experiences or benefits. Although they provide short-term or illusory rewards, addictions ultimately lead to negative feelings and life outcomes. In the long run, you are worse off as a result of your addictive behaviors.
4.2. Are Addictions Pleasurable?
4.3. The Rewards of Work and Family
Help Someone Overcome An Addiction
One of the best indirect ways to work through your addiction is to assist another person overcome their addiction. When you help someone work through their addiction, you naturally take on a different mental approach. You are no longer thinking like a victim, but rather from a solution-oriented perspective.
Instead of making excuses, you are proactively looking for answers and methods that can help the other person move forward. Moreover, youre asking questions that expand possibilities and help bring about critical insights to the problem at hand.
The more you help another person overcome their addiction, the greater knowledge, and understanding you will have about what it takes to overcome an addiction. And that is ultimately what will help you work through your addiction.
At the end of this journey, all thats left is for you to take your own advice and then start taking steps to improve your life.
Read Also: How To Cure Video Game Addiction
Loving An Addict Or Alcoholic: How To Help Someone With Addiction
If you love someone who is struggling with addiction, you may feel helpless, scared, confused, and desperately want them to seek treatment. This page will discuss the symptoms of drug or alcohol abuse, how codependency affects these relationships, and where to find addiction help for your loved one.
Though there are common themes and issues in a relationship with a person who has a substance use disorder, each persons situation is different, and the solutions discussed here may or may not work in your situation.