Let’s get one thing straight right off the bat: addiction happens, but so does recovery. If you think (or know) that you or someone you love is experiencing an addiction, there are professionals available who make recovery their number-one mission. Addiction does not have to be a life sentence.
No one plans to become addicted. No child ever says, “I can’t wait to grow up and get addicted to something!” Are there risk factors? Of course. But with some substances, like pain medications or even alcohol, addiction can happen slowly, giving you plenty of time to ramp up feelings of denial.
In other cases, it can hit you like a freight train and become the sole focus of your life overnight.
Addiction has a stigma attached to it that we want to shatter. No one can get help for a problem that’s hushed up. There are things you can do to help yourself or a loved one, and the most important thing of all is to talk to someone you trust. Don’t try to overcome an addiction alone.
Did you know that you don’t even have to “do drugs” or drink alcohol to experience an addiction? Addictive behaviors are rampant in society, and some are actually deemed acceptable.
When any behavior — be it working, shopping, exercising, scrolling social media, playing video games, gambling, or even watching porn — happens with such frequency that you forget your other responsibilities (like going to work, paying the bills, eating, or practicing hygiene), you’re behaving just like a stereotypical addict, minus the drugs and alcohol. Being aware of this possibility can help you recognize it in yourself and others and hopefully nip it in the bud.
Our articles provide an honest look at different types of addictions to help educate and empower you about a subject that generates a lot of fear. With that in mind, these articles are just the starting point. We strongly recommend reaching out to addiction recovery specialists (also called behavioral health specialists) to learn more about inpatient, outpatient, and harm reduction programs for the specific addiction troubling you or a loved one.