Addiction is a condition that develops as a result of engaging in a pleasurable activity that eventually becomes compulsive and begins to interfere with the responsibilities of your everyday life, such as work, school, health, and relationships. Usually, someone who is addicted is not aware that their behavior is causing problems for themselves or others.
Some common addictions include drug addictions such as alcohol, nicotine, or illegal substances, or addictions to an activity such as gambling, sex, or shopping. Fortunately, addiction is a treatable condition. Here are some of the most common and successful ways to treat different forms of addiction.
There are different types of treatment programs depending on what your addiction is. For example, if you have a drug addiction, most treatment programs will focus on getting you sober and preventing a relapse. There are also treatment programs for other forms of addiction, but they are most common for substance abuse, since this can be life-threatening.
Treatment programs can be in outpatient or residential settings, depending on the level of addiction, and they can include individual, group, or family sessions as part of the program.
Psychotherapy includes one-on-one or family sessions with a therapist who specializes in addiction treatment. This is to help you learn how to cope with your cravings or compulsions, as well as learn how to deal with any potential relapses. Usually, this type of treatment is most effective if the patient’s family is involved in the treatment process.
This involves meeting with other people who are struggling with the same type of addiction as you. Popular programs include Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. This type of treatment for addiction can be very helpful for boosting your motivation, as well as providing you with useful information about your addiction. Having other addicts who you can relate to and talk with can help to hold you accountable and prevent relapses in the future.
However, some professionals criticize this method of addiction treatment, as there is little evidence to indicate it is beneficial for a majority of patients.
Managing Withdrawal Symptoms
If you are addicted to a certain substance, this means that your body has become dependent on it. As a result of this dependence, there are both physical and psychological symptoms that occur when you stop using. These are referred to as withdrawal symptoms.
Physical withdrawal symptoms include: nausea, vomiting, chills, sweats, muscle cramps, aches, sleeplessness, shifts in heart rate, and fever. Emotional withdrawal symptoms may include: depression, anxiety, irritability, and mood swings.
While most withdrawal symptoms typically last three to five days, this can be a very difficult period for an addict to overcome. Most withdrawal symptoms are not life-threatening, but it is usually good to have medical supervision in a residential treatment program so that medications may be given to you to help with some of the discomfort of withdrawal.