What is Addiction?
An addiction is a chronic dysfunction of the brain system that involves reward, motivation, and memory. It’s about the way your body craves a substance or behaviour, especially if it causes a compulsive or obsessive pursuit of “reward” and lack of concern over consequences.
Someone experiencing an addiction will:
- be unable to stay away from the substance or stop the addictive behaviour
- display a lack of self-control
- have an increased desire for the substance or behaviour
- dismiss how their behaviour may be causing problems
- lack an emotional response
Over time, addictions can seriously interfere with your daily life. People experiencing addiction are also prone to cycles of relapse and remission. This means they may cycle between intense and mild use. Despite these cycles, addictions will typically worsen over time. They can lead to permanent health complications and serious consequences like bankruptcy.
Carers and Families or Friends of those with Addictions
A carer is anyone who looks after a family member, partner or friend who needs help because of their illness, frailty, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction and cannot cope without their support. The care they give is unpaid.
Drug or alcohol addiction can impact on the health and well-being of family and friends, as well as on the individual with drug or alcohol problems. People close to a drug or alcohol user may find themselves caught up in the trauma of addiction; helplessness, isolation and feelings of desperation are very common.
Whatever type of carer you are, be it disabilities or addictions, it is important to have someone to talk to, someone who will listen and understand. The role can be very isolating and underappreciated.
If you would like to find out more feel free to reach out to me.