What Is Drug Addiction?

Most people have their ideas of what addiction is and, unfortunately, their opinion is usually one that has been formed by watching TV programmes or Hollywood blockbusters. Those who have no experience of addiction are unaware that it is a recognised illness. Stereotyping leads many to believe that those who have addictions are bad or morally weak individuals. In addition, most assume that those who suffer from drug addiction must have no willpower. The truth is, of course, that this is not the case. Addiction is a chronic illness in the same way that high blood pressure or diabetes is.

The Choice

The first time a person takes drugs, he or she makes a choice to do so. This could be out of curiosity or from peer pressure; some individuals take drugs because they are afraid that if they do not, their peers will not accept them. Whatever the reason somebody chooses to take drugs initially, nobody wants to become an addict.

As a person continues to use a drug, his or her brain function changes and the ability to make right decisions becomes impaired. Over time, that individual becomes dependent on the drug, and this dependence will eventually lead to addiction. At this point, the individual has no control over his or her urges and no matter how much he or she may want to quit, they are unable to do so.

It is hard for others to understand why a person would continue to take drugs when it has such obvious negative consequences. They cannot comprehend the fact that drug addicts are ill and require much more than a strong will or good intentions to overcome their problem. At Liberty House Clinic, we know exactly how difficult it is to treat a drug addiction and how even those who are ready to stop can find it hard to do so. We also know that every patient can be treated and has the ability to overcome their illness with the right help and support.

Why Do Some People Develop Drug Addictions?

Not everyone who uses drugs will develop an addiction. Some people can take drugs recreationally without ever becoming dependent while others will quickly become hooked. Drug addiction is like many other illnesses in that it can affect individuals of all ages and from all backgrounds. Nevertheless, some people tend to be more vulnerable to drug addiction than others, so why is this?

It is important to realise that there are a number of risk factors for addiction that makes some people more susceptible, including:

  • Trauma experienced in childhood
  • Family history of substance abuse or addiction
  • Suffering abuse or domestic violence
  • Cearly exposure to drugs
  • Mental health disorders.

Nonetheless, just because a person has a risk factor is no guarantee that he or she will develop a drug addiction. Some people can have every single risk factor and still never become addicted to drugs.

Do You Have a Problem?

If you are concerned about your drug habit, then maybe it is time to take a look at your behaviour. It is impossible to diagnose a drug addiction with a blood test, but being honest and taking a look at your life may help to paint a clearer picture in your mind. Below are a few signs to look out for that could indicate you have a problem with drugs. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you take illegal drugs regularly?
  • Are you taking prescription medications that were prescribed for someone else?
  • Have you visited more than one doctor to get the same prescription medication?
  • Are you taking more pills than the specified dose because they are not ‘working’ anymore?
  • Have you bought prescription medication online or on the street?
  • Are you hiding your drug taking from family and friends?
  • Do you lie about the amount of prescription medication you are taking?
  • Do you need to take more drugs than before to get the same effects?
  • Do you feel guilty about your drug taking?
  • Do you feel anxious when you are not taking drugs?
  • Do you feel uneasy when your prescription medication is running low?
  • Have you tried to quit or cut down but found you were unable to do so?
  • Do you suffer from withdrawal symptoms such as a rapid heartbeat, shaking or nausea when you are not taking drugs?
  • Do you use drugs to help you feel more confident?
  • Have you stopped spending time with loved ones in favour of drug taking?

If you have answered yes to two or more of the above questions, then it looks as though you may have a problem with drugs. We would urge you to call us here at Liberty House Clinic for advice and information on how to overcome your problem. Even if you are still unsure of whether or not you have a problem, give our advisors a call and they can put you in touch with a fully qualified counsellor or therapist who can either put your mind at rest or confirm your fears.

Treatment for Drug Addiction

Although drug addiction is a serious illness with potentially deadly consequences, it is an illness that can be treated. It is important to realise that it will not go away by itself, so it is vital that you get help as soon as possible.

At Liberty House Clinic, we offer a range of treatment programmes to those suffering from drug addiction. This includes medically supervised detox programmes, individual and group therapy sessions, and cognitive behavioural therapy. We are a fully registered treatment clinic and are regulated by the Care Quality Commission. Many of our staff are in long-term recovery and can offer first-hand advice and information on the process, which many of our patients find extremely helpful.

If you or a loved one is struggling with a drug addiction, contact Liberty House Clinic as soon as possible.

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