What is addiction
What is addiction – ETHOS HEALTH CARE
An addiction is an unhealthy relationship with some substance like nicotine, drugs or alcohol or some habit like gambling, sex and pornography in which the more you use more than you would like to use. People who are addicted cannot control their need for alcohol or other drugs, even in the face of negative health, social or legal consequences.
Types of addiction
There are a number of different types of addiction including
- drug dependence
- alcohol dependence
- compulsive behaviours (including gambling, exercise, shopping, sex and overeating)
There are many reasons why addictions begin. In the case of drugs, alcohol and nicotine, these substances affect the way you feel, both physically and mentally. These feelings can be enjoyable and create a powerful urge to use the substances again. Gambling may result in a similar mental ‘high’ after a win, followed by a strong urge to try again and recreate that feeling. This can develop into a habit that becomes very hard to stop.
Symptoms of addiction include tolerance (development of resistance to the effects of alcohol or other drugs over time) and withdrawal, a painful or unpleasant physical response when the substance is withheld. Many people with this illness deny that they are addicted. They often emphasize that they enjoy drinking or taking other drugs.
- Mental confusion, delirium or amnesia
- Vomiting and ulcers
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure and heart disease
- Liver disease, fatty liver or cirrhosis
- Brain and nerve damage — changes the emotion, decision, muscle, breathing and heartbeat-controlling centers of the brain
- Linked to numerous types of cancer
- During pregnancy, it’s linked to lower birth weights, fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), poor growth, delays in development, altered facial structure, other birth defects and addicted babies
The biggest problem is the addicted person’s failure to recognize the harm their addiction is doing. They may be in denial about the negative aspects of their addiction, choosing to ignore the effects on their health, life patterns and relationships. Or they may blame outside circumstances or other people in their lives for their difficulties.