About

Addiction

 

Learn about addiction, how to tell if someone is struggling with addiction, and how to help your loved one.

What is Addiction?

It can be frustrating to see a loved one hurt themselves with alcohol or drug use. It can be easy to think, “Why don’t they just quit?” The truth of addiction, however, is much more complex. Alcohol and/or drug use changes the brain in ways that compromise decision-making and make change difficult. In addition, many people who become addicted to substances suffer from other conditions that contribute to the addiction: conditions like chronic anxiety, chronic pain, bipolar disorder, depression, PTSD, and many more.

According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM):

“Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors.

Addiction is characterized by inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response. Like other chronic diseases, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission. Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, addiction is progressive and can result in disability or premature death.”

What is the best way to help someone who suffers from addiction?

People who suffer from addiction need compassion, not judgment. They need our patience and our love. They need the community of others in recovery. They need to develop their life into one that feels rewarding and purposeful.

This doesn’t mean that families should support the addiction. It’s important to set boundaries for an addicted person so as not to enable their behavior. But families can also do their best to separate the addiction from the person, to understand the disease and its causes, and to learn about and adjust the family dynamic so that it supports every member’s health and well-being.

Addiction is characterized by inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response. Like other chronic diseases, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission. Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, addiction is progressive and can result in disability or premature death.”

How can I tell if someone may be struggling with addiction?

If you’re not sure whether you or your loved one might be suffering from addiction, look for the following signs (see full list here):

  • An inability to stop using the substance, even when they want to quit.
  • Neglecting activities they used to enjoy (time with family and friends, exercise, hobbies, etc.).
  • A drop in performance at work or school.
  • Attempts to hide their substance use.
  • Relationship issues: acting out, lying, or being hostile, particularly when questioned about their substance use.
  • Inattention to hygiene or physical appearance.

How can DK Solutions help?

If you think that you might be addicted to drugs or alcohol but don’t know where or how to begin the treatment process, you can contact DK Solutions for a consultation. I can help you assess the level of treatment you need and help you with the research and admissions process if you decide to enter an addiction treatment center.

If you are a friend or family member of someone who might be addicted to drugs or alcohol, the first step you can take is to ask your loved one about their substance use habits. Ask your loved one if they want help. Depending on their response, you will know whether you want to contact DK Solutions for assistance in the intervention process.

Where can I find more information about addiction?

The following resources provide evidence-based information about specific aspects of drug and alcohol addiction:
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism (NIAAA)
The National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependence (NCADD)

Contact Us

DK Solutions Group - Addiction Intervention - Treatment Placement - Recovery Support
DK Solutions Group
Daniel Krasner, CIP
(601) 906-9024