The most elusive aspect of addiction is the deceptive nature of the game. No one realizes they are addicted to drugs or alcohol, usually until it is far too late. Growing up, it is common for pre-teens to see drinking and drugging in the movies and in the media, and to romanticize and glamorize their use. No one ever thinks they are going to be one of the select few that suffer from the allergy of addiction to drugs and alcohol.
“Though there is no way of proving it, we believe that early in our drinking (and drugging) careers most of could have stopped drinking. But the difficulty is that few alcoholics have enough desire to stop while there is yet time.” pg 32 Alcoholics Anonymous
One is Too Many
People share it in meetings all the time, from the moment they had their first drunk, they knew that this was the answer to all of their problems. Granted, they probably never assumed that they would eventually become all consumed by their using.
So when does the switch happen? When does the using go from fun on the weekends to full blown addiction? How fast does it happen? Sometimes it depends on just what the drug is.
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While the mainstream society might not consider alcohol a drug, those of us who suffer from addiction can be completely confident that it is. People can become just as severely addicted, both physically and mentally, to alcohol as they can to any other illegal substance.
For example, for the physical addiction to take hold, aka, the shakes, migraines, nausea, etc. can occur within only a couple of months if the drinking is frequent. The mental dependence can happen much sooner and can be much more elusive. Most people who are on the path to alcohol addiction don’t even realize how much they rely upon drinking until the day comes that they finally try to stop.
Addicted to Drugs – Cocaine
Cocaine is known to be one of the most addictive substances, and the dependence comes on rapidly. Again, for those of us who suffer from addiction, even after the first “line” we already want more and more. The tricky thing about cocaine is that users don’t suffer so much from physical dependence as they do a mental obsession. However, unlike with alcohol, the cocaine obsession is blatant and aggressive. The craving comes on almost instantaneously with the using.
Addicted to Drugs – Opiates
The tricky thing about prescription painkillers is that many people think they aren’t dangerous because they are prescribed by a doctor. However, the physical dependence of opiates comes on after just a few short weeks of use. The first symptom is usually abdominal cramps and irritated digestion. This can happen the same time as the first use, and will only continue as the use progresses. Eventually, again after only a few short weeks, the physical addiction intensifies, and then the mental obsession takes over. The tricky thing about painkillers is obviously that they relieve pain. When a person takes them to relieve a body pain and then develops a physical addiction, their mental and physical state becomes reliant upon the pills in a rapid span of time.
Addicted to Drugs – Heroin
Usually, after a person begins to become addicted to painkillers, the switch to heroin comes as a great surprise. It is common, however, because heroin is cheaper and stronger than the pills. This is why so many people in upper-middle-class suburbia have been affected by the heroin epidemic. Painkillers are prescribed, people develop a tolerance, and when they can no longer afford their prescriptions, they have to resort to other alternatives. Heroin addiction, similar to opioids, happens quickly and is extremely intense and debilitating both physically and mentally.
Addicted to Drugs – Methamphetamine
Meth is considered to be the most addictive drug on the market. We have all seen the before and after pictures of people who abuse meth, and it shows that in just a few short months, a person can become completely disfigured and destroyed by a meth addiction. Meth is so addictive due to the drastic increase of dopamine in the brain. When the levels crash as the drug wears off, the user immediately requires more. Over a short time, the tolerance develops and the person requires more to create the same effect.
One of the fastest growing addictions in the country is to Adderall and Ritalin. People become accustomed to these pills because of the effects they create. They allow users to become focused, awake, and energized. This trend has become rampant among college students, long distance drivers, and of course, children who suffer from ADD and ADHD. People can become mentally dependent quickly because it is so helpful for their busy schedules. However, the physical addiction can present itself similarly to one of meth and cocaine, which will affect sleep, eating habits, irritability, and anxiety.
One of the main factors for the speed and severity of addiction is how frequently a person uses the substance. The tricky thing is that when most people use a drug for the first time, despite the warnings, will most likely assure themselves that they will never become addicted to drugs.
Also taken into consideration is that each person will favor a different substance, so for some people, while they may use a multitude of different substances, they will favor one over another. For this reason, they can become more addicted to drugs rather than alcohol or vice versa. Depending on how often and how much a person uses, will affect the pace at which they will become addicted to the drugs or alcohol. Also, each person has a different tolerance level, so while a large amount may not be enough for one person, a small amount may be more than enough for another.
Addiction is cunning, baffling, and powerful. It is sneaky, elusive, and all consuming. Although in a perfect world we could assume that if people just said no, everything would be fine, in the real world, no one ever knows that they will become addicted to drugs.
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Freedom From Addiction
If you have found yourself or a loved one suffering from alcoholism or addiction, you are not alone! If you are ready to change your life and live free of addiction, then FindAddictionRehabs.com can help. We give you the jump start to recovery you need. Our program is unique in that it doesn’t just treat the addiction, it treats the whole person. For more information on our program, call 1-877-959-7271 today.