More About Addiction

Addictions: Alcohol & Substance Abuse

By: Kamran Zafar, Ph.D, originally published in the La Jolla Light

An addiction can strike a person when they least expect it, as they’re trying to handle an increase in their workload, childcare or child-rearing, mental health issues, family issues, or for no reason whatsoever. It often begins innocently — trying to relieve the stress of everyday life, or just to try something new. Before the person knows it, they’re turning to the drug or alcohol as a way of coping with any negative feelings or stress in their lives. They may find they need more and more of the drug or drink in order to gain the same benefits from it. Efforts to scale back or to stop altogether are difficult or next-to-impossible.

Drug addiction and alcohol addiction is usually not easily overcome on one’s own. Most people who face an addiction to a substance or alcohol need additional help.

There is no single right way to treat a drug or alcohol addiction. And while popular groups like Alcoholics Anonymous preach that abstinence is the only way you can kick an addiction, others believe that learning to undo the behavioral cues that lead a person to drink or take drugs in excess is a more realistic and healthy goal (ala Moderation Management). At the onset of your treatment, you’ll have to figure out what path works best for you and your needs.

If you or someone you know is abusing, please, don’t wait. Get help immediately. The next pill you take could be the last thing you ever do.

National Crisis Center: 1-800-521-7128
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