Addiction is a brain disorder that damages a person’s mental and physical health, but for many people who haven’t experience it, the details of a substance abuse disorder can be confusing. Many people understand simple terms such as relapse and recovery, but other words surrounding addiction can seem confusing. There are also a lot of myths surrounding the stigma of this disorder. We’ll cover some of the most fundamental ideas and issues in recovery for those who love somebody in recovery but aren’t quite sure the differences between fact and fiction.

Knowledge is power. Addiction can have far-reaching impacts for both the addicted person and their loved ones. Here are 6 the things you should know about addiction:

  1. Addiction is a disease. More specifically, it is classified as a disorder of the brain. Drugs and alcohol change the way a brain works, causing a person who has become dependent on a drug, and they are acting differently and thinking in a way that is not beneficial to themselves or their life.
  2. It’s not a choice. Nobody wants to become addicted to a substance, but many people are “wired” in a way that they are more susceptible than others. Denial is often a part of the process of becoming addicted. Because of this, few people see the way out of using drugs or alcohol or even think it is a problem until they’ve been sucked into addiction’s cruel cycle.
  3. Addiction can happen to anyone. Again, it’s a matter of brain chemistry. A person can be addicted to a legal or illegal substance the first time they try it. That’s why it can be so frustrating when you want your loved one to get help; you may see their problem as plain as day, but their brain may have already been wired to seek out more of the same substance, regardless of consequences.
  4. Treatment is a journey to recovery. Many, if not most, people who become addicted, need help from trained professionals. This is especially true if they are addicted to a substance that causes physical withdrawal symptoms, which can be painful and scary to go through on your own.
  5. People with a substance abuse disorder can change. That’s what recovery is all about; finding new behavior patterns and reclaiming the joy in everyday life. It’s a journey, and it’s sometimes very hard, but people who are addicted can work on themselves and live happily, drug and alcohol-free lives.
  6. It’s worth it to change. Sometimes people stuck in a cycle of addiction don’t see the hope that is available to them, but listening to others who have been there – 12 step meetings make this possible – can help the addicted person learn that they’re not alone and that addiction doesn’t have to be a way of life.

There’s no cure for addiction, but therapy and support from peers and family can help a person with a substance abuse disorder reclaim their lives. We’re here for your loved one whenever they’re ready to take that first step, which is usually a phone call. We can answer any questions you have about insurance and treatment options. Please call us at 877-228-2401.