The first step to resolving a problem is having a better understanding of that problem. One of the primary reasons so many people die from an addiction to drugs or alcohol is they, and the people around them, don’t know how addiction works. Of course, many people use drugs or drink alcohol recreationally. However, knowing the addiction definition can help many more people see if they are on the verge of a dangerous path.
Basic Qualities of the Addiction Definition
To define addiction, two basic qualities must be present. First, a person uses drugs or alcohol more than is safe. Second, a person continues to use despite facing negative consequences such as getting arrested or losing close relationships.
Initially, people may begin using drugs or alcohol to relax after a rough day at work. They might also use a substance to escape a pressing life problem. Some even consider drugs or alcohol as a way to reward themselves for a major accomplishment.
Over time, alcohol or drugs make people believe they can’t cope without using. The greatest damage to their self-esteem soon follows, and they feel life isn’t enjoyable without drugs or alcohol.
The Medical Community’s Addiction Definition
According to the American Psychiatric Association and World Health Organization, an addiction occurs when at least three of the following seven criteria are present:
- Tolerance level increases, requiring more drugs or alcohol over time.
- Experiencing emotional or physical withdrawals when the individual quits using. Some people experience nausea, sweats, anxiety or irritability.
- Limited control in the amount of drugs or alcohol consumed. Some people drink to get drunk; others may regret the amount of drugs they used.
- Facing negative consequences to health, family, employment or self-esteem.
- Neglecting or postponing once socially enjoyable activities because of drug or alcohol use.
- Spending a significant amount of time and energy trying to obtain, use or conceal using.
- Desiring to cut down or control use, but making unsuccessful attempts to do so.
Genetic Factors of the Addiction Definition
Genetics can account for at least half of the chances that a person will develop an addiction when he or she drinks alcohol or uses drugs. Environmental factors can also contribute by interacting with a person’s biological makeup. If so, this affects the extent of the influence genetic factors have on a person’s addiction.
Countering genetic predispositions are the resiliencies a person may acquire through parenting or experiences they encounter later in life. Culture plays a role as the entertainment industry often glamorizes drug and alcohol abuse.
Healing Through Effective Treatment Methods
Fortunately, there are addiction therapy services that can help a person heal from addiction. At Denver Recovery, we educate clients on the definition of addiction as well as the effects this disease can have. We also help them understand why certain treatments are crucial to their long-term sobriety.
Through our treatment services, clients experience different therapies that can retrain the brain. They learn better ways of dealing with situations and emotions.
We offer services such as:
- Holistic approach
- Outdoor therapy
- Individual therapy
- Cognitive behavior therapy
- Dual diagnosis treatment
- Family therapy
Contact us today at (844) 602-3175 to learn more about overcoming addiction.