The Truth about Being Addicted

When I was in college, I had a female friend. For the sake of this topic, let’s call her Tina. Tina and I were good friends. We practically did everything together. She was also one of the most intelligent students in our class. There was no question a professor asked her that she could not answer. Her CGPA was 4.4. Everybody wanted to be her. Why wouldn’t they? She combined beauty and brains.

Unfortunately, Tina came to class one day looking lost. Her eyes glazed over. She was jittery, and she could not concentrate. Her clothes smelled of things I didn’t know then. She was a complete mess! Imagine my shock when I found out that Tina, my friend, was a drug addict and she smoked marijuana and snorted cocaine so that she could keep up in class.

If you look around you, a lot of people suffer from one type of addiction. However, many hide it away from the world. Addiction is a brain disease that involves dependence on the habit. People that struggle with addiction cannot control their actions, even when it has a negative consequence. Despite what you think you know about addiction, there are some truths about it that no one is telling you. Two of them are:

  • Females get addicted faster than males: The usual story is anytime you hear drugs, boys or guys pop in your head instantly. You probably think guys do drugs more. You are right, in the sense that boy or men abuse drugs more and they do it at an early age. However, when you introduce a girl or a lady to pills, antidepressants, narcotics, and so on, she gets addicted faster than you can say “Jack Rabbit.” Are you surprised? Because women get addicted faster, it also takes them a longer timeframe to kick the habit. If they do, they relapse more often than men. So, men can stop taking drugs quickly and easily, but women have to make twice the effort to quit.
  • Addiction has terrible consequences: I’m sure you’re aware that taking marijuana or cocaine will probably affect the person’s health. However, do you know the gravity of it? Someone that’s addicted to drugs may suffer from depression, anxiety, memory loss, aggression, mood swings, paranoia, and psychosis. Not only do they suffer neurological and emotional effects. They also experience physical effects, like damaged organs, cancer, fertility issues, gastrointestinal disease, and so on.

Reasons Why Drugs are so Addictive

A lot of those drug users you see around didn’t plan on getting addicted to them. For a lot of them, it was curiosity that led them to drugs. For most teenagers in the US, peer pressure pushes them to try drugs. For other people, it was their prescription that pushed them to become an addict. In light of this, here are some reasons why drugs are so addictive:

  • They make you feel good: The majority of users always report feeling “good” after taking drugs. That is why they became addicted to it. When some people become addicted to alcohol, they feel on top of the world. They feel like they can do anything and nobody can stop them. This feeling is exactly how drugs make addicts feel. When some of them are battling with one or two life issues, they turn to drugs to forget their pain and troubles for a while. They become dependent on the drugs to help them escape the reality of life.
  • Drugs ease pain: I know you have experienced body pain before. You probably went to the doctor to make a complaint. You might have been given prescription drug- a painkiller. Once you took it, you felt better almost instantly, right? This particular motive is what makes some people addicted to drugs. They start off with pain, but even after the pain goes, they remain dependent on the drugs to function properly from day to day.
  • Performance level increases: The reason you just read is a popular one among students. There was a time in the US a lot of students were relying on drugs to perform well. Yes, some doctors prescribe drugs for memory enhancement. However, most students don’t go through that route. Remember my friend, Tina? The drugs she took were cocaine and marijuana. Some students reported they were able to study better and focused more. The result? Better grades.

5 Simple Steps in Overcoming Addiction  

Now that I have told you some reasons drugs are addictive, permit me to educate you on some simple steps you or someone you know can overcome the addiction:     

  • Decide to quit: The first thing you should do is write down the harmful effects of the drugs you’re taking. Write down the physical, emotional, and psychological effects.
  • Write down your triggers: Then, write down your triggers. It could be sadness, loneliness, anxiety, and so on. Anything that makes you turn to the addiction is a trigger
  • Imagine your life post-addiction: What would your life be like if you were not an addict? How many more things would you be able to achieve? List all the things you would do better. An idea could be to save more money. The money you currently spend on the substance could be used to improve your life.
  • Know why you are quitting: An addict can quit only when he or she decides to stop. That is the bitter truth. You cannot force people to do what they don’t want to do. You need to understand why you want to quit. Knowing your reason will enable you to stay committed to your resolution.
  • Seek help: You can talk to your family members to encourage you in overcoming the addiction. You can also seek professional help or join a support group.

Bottom Line

Addiction is not only peculiar to drugs. A lot of people are suffering from sex addiction, internet addiction, alcohol addiction, and so on. Don’t look at people that are addicted to one thing or the other with disdain. They have become so dependent on their source of addiction that they cannot be rational in some situations. Reach out to them. Help them kick the bad habit to the curb!

Photo Credit: Teenchallenge