Is Drug Addiction A Sign Of Weakness

Addiction is a chronic disease directly affecting the brain’s functions involving reward, motivation, and memory. It needs to be treated just like any other disease using therapeutic and/or medical approaches. Being a chronic disease, it never really goes away and can still be triggered when the individual is presented with the drug or alcohol. Ever thought to yourself, is drug addiction a sign of weakness? Let’s learn more about the myths on addiction.

Is Drug Addiction A Sign Of Weakness
Is Drug Addiction A Sign Of Weakness

What is Addiction?

Addiction to alcohol and drugs is not just a disease. It also affects an individual’s well-being. It is caused by a cluster of factors such as genetics, psychosocial, and environmental. People who suffer from addiction should submit themselves to a rehabilitation facility to get the help they need to get better. The part where they seek help may take time because it can sometimes be a lot of work for individuals with addiction. That’s why it is important to understand what addiction is and what it is not and its implications on the individual, including their families and the community.

Causes of Addiction

Before we shed light is drug addiction as a sign of weakness, let’s know what causes addiction first. A cluster of factors can cause addiction.

The following are causes of addiction:

  • Sociocultural. Stressful economic conditions can lead a person to lean towards using substances. Being a part of a family or social environment where using substances is acceptable and can cause addiction.
  • Psychodynamic. Negative experiences in childhood can be a cause of addiction. Early childhood deprivation makes individuals manifest a substance abuse personality causing them to be more prone to lean towards addiction in later stages of life.
  • Cognitive-Behavioral. The temporary reduction in tension or increase in spirits caused by substance has a rewarding effect on the user. This makes the individual seek this reaction or feeling again.
  • Biological. Genetics can cause addiction. Some people may have inherited genes that make them prone to becoming addicted.

Signs of Addiction

Here are general signs of addiction:

  • Lack of control
  • Ignoring risk factors of using the substance
  • The physical manifestation of effects, otherwise called withdrawal symptoms
  • Development of tolerance towards the substance or needing increased doses to feel satisfied
  • Decrease in socialization and treating relationships as insignificant
  • Disruption in moral compass and inability to make a good judgment as priorities shift towards acquiring the substance
Causes of Addiction
Causes of Addiction

Is Drug Addiction A Sign Of Weakness?

An individual with addiction has this constant craving for the substance or the alcohol or other habitual behaviors. Their cravings can lead them to get caught up with legal issues just because they cannot help themselves from acquiring the substance or while under the influence. People suffering from addiction are usually denied having the disease, which delays or even prevents them from seeking help.

Is addiction a sign of weakness? The answer is no. Addiction is not a weakness.

Below is a list of what happens to someone with addiction:

  • The brain is a primary organ in a body and is susceptible to diseases
  • The brain is the part deeply affected by addiction. It changes and constantly evolves because of the addiction
  • These changes occur along with signs and symptoms on par with drug withdrawal, physical cravings, and disturbance in the normal functioning of the brain, which involves motivation, reward, memory, and inhibitory control
  • Addiction can lead to illness and death when untreated

Myths About Addiction

  • Addiction happens to people with ‘weak character’ or who lack self-discipline

FACT: Some individuals appear to possess ‘addictive personalities, ’ making them more prone to acquiring drug addiction. This does not mean their character is weak or that they lack self-discipline.

  • An individual suffering from addiction chose to become an addict

FACT: Addiction is not a result of free will. An individual can have a few drinks on a night out with friends and regularly have them. Alcohol can change the brain’s chemistry, making the person driven to have another drink.

The changes in the chemistry of the brain cause cravings. Even the cup of coffee you drink in the morning to ‘start-up your day’ is considered a compulsion.

  • People with an addiction do not need treatment. They can just stop using the substance if they want to change and be better.

FACT: An individual suffering from addiction is dependent on the substance, which means they no longer have control over the substance. To get over an addiction, one must submit themself to treatment.

  • Individuals with addiction can have a one-time treatment

FACT: Addiction is a complex chronic disease that cannot be reversed or cured overnight. People with addiction can stop their ‘addiction,’ but this needs massive willpower, determination, and control.

  • Rehab and other medical and therapeutic approaches do not work

FACT: Evidence show rehab and other medical and therapeutic approaches are effective. Through all these well-researched and curated treatment plans for people with addiction, people get past the disease.

  • Rehab can be completed in a couple of weeks

FACT: Getting clean and recovering from addiction is a long process and cannot be achieved overnight. Other people with addiction need to go through different forms of treatment to get better. The span for treatment will be based on the nature of the person’s addiction.

  • There should be one general treatment for all people suffering from addiction

FACT: Addiction is complex, so is its treatment. Every person is different, and their addiction varies as well. The treatment must be tailored to the person with addiction and the nature of their addiction to achieve recovery.

  • They only seek treatment when they reach rock bottom

FACT: This does not happen necessarily and always. Some people submit themselves to treatment and rehab at the early stages of their addiction.

  • People who go back to using or taking the substance after going to rehab are wasting their time and will never recover.

FACT: Getting clean and recovering is very challenging. No one can tell someone with addiction they can just ‘stop drinking’ or ‘stop using.’

Acknowledging you need help is one big step towards recovering, which can sometimes be long and painful to some. Control over these substances is almost non-existent as the chemistry of the brain changes because of the disease. It does not mean an individual can no longer get treated and clean forever.

Conclusion

Is drug addiction a sign of weakness? No, it is not!

Addiction is losing control over the substance, but this does not mean you are weak. This control can always be gained back by submitting oneself to treatment and rehab. There is always help, but this can only be acquired when one is willing to seek help. Acknowledging that you do need help is already one huge and brave step towards getting clean and recovered.

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