We start doing things for a variety of reasons. Some start to drink out of curiosity or peer pressure; same goes to those who are introduced to illegal drugs. These substances are also used by some to relieve stress, or to feel relaxed. But is it possible to be too relaxed?
According to statistics, more two-thirds of families in the U.S. are affected by addiction. Alcohol is misused as something that people believe as something that can help them “escape” from their problems or help them forget about it for a small while. Same goes for illegal drugs, it starts out as just “trying it out” but ultimately ends up as an addiction.
How can alcohol and drugs be addicting?
Alcohol is categorized as a depressant, which is why some people drink it, to feel the euphoria and calmness that it brings. As for drugs, here are some of the most common ones:
Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD)
A psychedelic drug or a hallucinogen best known for its psychological effects. It is usually seen in tablet form.
Cannabis or Marijuana
Known for being the most popular illegal drug and prescribed drug, it too is a hallucinogen that is prescribed to some patients for its ability to alleviate debilitating symptoms, especially pain.
A painkiller used for its euphoric effects, and is given to relieve pain when used medically and with the correct dosage.
Methamphetamine or Meth
A stimulant that is usually taken in multiple doses since the “high” effect fades pretty quickly. It is famously known to be taken by snorting it up your nose.
A depressant used for its numbing effects and induces sleep for the user.
A very potent stimulant that is usually snorted, inhaled, or injected into a vein. It gives a very short-lived “high” effect. As you continue using this drug, an increase of dosage is required since over time you become immune to a certain dosage after a while.
Individuals get addicted to these harmful substances since their body becomes dependent and relies on the effects of these. According to scientists, most drugs trigger a release in dopamine from neurons in the brain which induces the feeling of pleasure or gives a pleasurable experience to the person. Some also become addicted or prefer the feeling of numbness that depressant drugs give. Those addicted to depressants are usually those undergoing depression.
How does being addicted to alcohol and drugs affect your family?
It is very well known to most that when a member of the family starts taking illegal drugs and/or drinking alcohol, the outcome is never good. Taking these addictive substances change a person by altering their reality and way of thinking. In most cases, alcoholic parents or parents who are addicted to illegal substances have very high tendencies to be violent around their children and/or spouse.
Handling a spouse who has an addiction to these substances often brings up conflict between the relationship, and gives the partner doubts about his/herself, bringing up questions like “Aren’t I good enough?”. Family members often times feel scared, or extremely cautious around members with addiction problems since people under the influence or not in the correct state of mind are often finicky and unpredictable in terms of behavior and emotion.
Children of substance abusers have varying reactions in terms of coping with their situation at home. Some, usually the eldest, take the role of the parent, and grow up faster than they should to cover for the parent who is unable to fulfill his/her role. Some children become depressed and feel responsible for such situation. Some ultimately take after their parent, and start to use these illegal substances as well.
In the case of children being the abusers, parents often become distraught with the situation. Today in society, it is common that teenagers start drinking from as early as 15 due to various reasons, one of them being peer pressure. Parent’s feel heavily responsible for their child’s problem and become greatly troubled when they find out their child’s addiction. Although in other cases, parents push their child away when they find out about their addiction, and cut off all contact entirely.
How to overcome your addiction
Accept that you have a problem
You need to know and accept that you indeed have a problem and are addicted. In the case of your family member being the one who’s addicted, they need to be made aware of their problem and must accept their situation
Removing or avoiding what tempts you
You or a family member need to get rid of all the things that may tempt them go back into their old habits.
Get support from others
You should get support from others. An addicted person needs help in overcoming their addiction, especially when they crave for what they were addicted too, or else they will regress back into their habits. Joining a self-help group is like reaching out to friends since they can relate to your current situation. It is also helpful to seek for counseling – online therapy services are more convenient as you can speak with your therapist through your mobile phone anytime of the day, without the need for a face to face interaction.
Find an alternative
Learn something new or do something exciting to distract you from regressing back into your habits. Find someone who’ll be with you in doing these activities, like going hiking with a friend or going on a backpack trip.