What is Addiction? Do I Need Drug Intervention?

interventionsAddiction, chemical dependency, alcoholism and drug addiction are all common clinical vernacular for dependence upon those substances and other harmful behaviors. The word “drug” is defined as “a chemical substance that effects the central nervous system, causing changes in behavior and often addiction. It is essential to understand that when dealing with drug intervention, we are dealing with individuals whose brains have been altered by use, regardless of the substance or behavior involved.

Addiction is defined as the compulsive need for and use of something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal; being abnormally tolerant to and dependent upon a habit-forming substance.

What matters most in interventions is whether or not the substance or behavior causes what we know to be the essence of addiction: uncontrollable, compulsive drug craving, seeking, and use, evening the face of negative health and social consequences. This is the crux of how the institute of medicine, the American Psychiatric Association, and the American Medical Association define addiction and how we all should use the term.

What About Teen Addiction?

Addicts are trapped in their behaviors and cannot simply quit on their own. They have an illness that requires biomedical treatment. People often assume that because teen addiction begins with voluntary behavior and is expressed in the form of excess behavior, an addict should be able to quit by force of will alone. However, it is essential to understand when dealing with addicts that we are dealing with individuals whose brains have been altered by alcohol or drugs. They need addiction treatment.

Although a small percentage of people are able to recover from addiction without help, the majority of individuals need assistance. With treatment and support, many people are able to rebuild their lives.

Many people have approached their loved one regarding their addiction, with no success. It may be helpful when talking with your loved one, to have a professionally trained interventionist whom knows about addiction to facilitate the process.


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