Generally, we start using a particular substance, thing, or activity to fill a perceived, unmet need in our lives. For example, alcohol is often used to overcome shyness or neglect. Any drug can be used to cope with stress or emotions. This alone does not constitute addiction.
Usually, there are four key signs that become present as use develops into an addiction:
- Cravings or intense desire for something.
- Loss of control over the amount or frequency of use.
- A feeling of compulsion or irresistible urge to do something.
- A repeated behaviour despite consequences.
Addictions develop when a person begins to rely on a substance to bring relief from difficult circumstances including emotional pain, trauma or life struggles. The person will begin to feel that they can no longer function without that particular substance.
Continued use leads to physical, psychological, behavioral, social and spiritual deterioration. At this stage, people often experience feelings of depression and hopelessness, thoughts of suicide and serious medical problems. Trying to stop use or behavior, now creates dangerous and life-threatening withdrawal. The brain changes and develops an inability to change behaviour, make good choices or especially quit.
Although when in this situation, it is normal to feel a loss of hope, addictions are treatable. At Freedom’s Door, our addictions treatment programs work. Addictions treatment is most effective when delivered through a 12-Step program supported by Christian principles.
If you or someone you know is suffering from an addiction, please contact us today about how the recovery program at Freedom’s Door can help.