Addiction is one of the most prominent illnesses in our country. It takes over the body and the brain. I call addiction “the inability to abstain from a mind altering chemical”.
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 19.7 million American adults (12) and older battled a substance use disorder in 2017. Almost 74% of adults suffering from a substance use disorder in 2017 struggled from Alcohol use disorder. About 38% of adults in 2017 had an illicit drug use disorder. In 2017 8.5 million American adults suffered from both a substance use disorder and a mental health disorder or a co-occurring disorder. Drug abuse and addiction costs more than 740 billion dollars annually in lost workplace productivity, health care expenses and crime related costs.
When the addict has a problem due to his or her addiction they usually put the blame on anything but their addiction. They tend to say : I have control” of their drug or alcohol use. I feel that deep down inside of the addict that they really want help but don’t know how to get it. Most addicts have been in a treatment program several times before they really try to quit. Most addicts need several months of treatment before they really see the need for recovery. Why addiction is a disease is not accepted by family members. Some people say that if the addict really wanted recovery bad enough they would just quit. But this is not the case because it is a disease it is very difficult to see the need to quit. The addict can come up with many excuses.
Addiction to Food
When the addict quits using their drug of choice, they will sometimes go to another addiction. One of which is food. It is not uncommon for the addict to gain a lot of weight when they quit using. According to Wikipedia a food addiction is a behavioral addiction that is characterized by the compulsion or consumption of high fat and sugar foods markedly activate the reward system in humans and animals despite adverse consequences. Psychological dependence has also been observed with the occurrence of the withdrawal symptoms when consumption of these foods stops by replacement with foods lower in sugar and fats. People who are addicted to food suffer some same results as a drug addicted person by not avoiding negative choices.
Unfortionally it is up to the addict to make choices to stop his addiction. They need to have some type of desire to quit. So many of them will quit for a short time and resume their addiction soon after that. There are very many programs out there for the addict to choose from but they are costly. This makes the addict feel stuck in their situation. Some treatment centers are not easy to get into and they can cost a lot per month.
Alcohol Addiction for Women
According to the Center for Disease Control, approximately 46% of adult women report drinking alcohol in the past 30 days. Approximately 12% of adult women report binge drinking 3 times per month averaging 5 drinks per binge. 90% of people who binge drink are not alcoholic or alcohol dependent. About 2.5% of women and 45% of men met the diagnostic criteria for alcohol dependence in the past year. Excessive drinking in women may disrupt the menstrual cycle and increase the risk of infertility. National Surveys show about 1 in 2 women of child bearing age (18-44) drink alcohol and 18% of women in this age group binge drink. Women who binge drink are more likely to have unprotected sex and multiple sex partners. This increases the risk of unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease. Other health concerns are : liver disease, impact on the brain, impact on the heart, cancer and sexual assault.
Symptoms of Sexual Addiction
The main symptoms of sexual addiction are, unable to control sexual decisions and failure to stop uncontrolled sexual behavior. This leads to lack of control and decreased social interactions. Most sex addicts ignore the risk factors. They may have physical effects, withdrawal and needing more to satisfy their need. When someone has an addiction, they will do anything to get their needs to be met. They will lie and manipulate their friends and family until they have used them up.
Sex addiction statistics estimate that 3%-5% of the US population suffer from sexual addiction disorder. These numbers are from those seeking treatment. Like most addicts sex addicts seek the next high through increased risks. This may include having multiple sex partners and increase the likelihood of sexually transmitted disease.
How to Stop Addiction
There are many trials and errors in recovery from addiction. The addict may enter a program but not complete it due to his lack of approach or wanting to use again in spite or what they may learn. Most addicts will go through several treatment facilities before they are serious about their recovery. When a person goes through detox they may feel physically good and they may think it’s OK to use now as they may think they have control of their drug. They may use workbooks to help with self assessment. This may also include an assessment of their mental health. This is called dual diagnosis when there is an addiction and a mental health disorder. The 12 step program through Alcoholics Anonymous or Cocaine Anonymous is a popular recovery source. The addiction recovery process involves many things like: giving up on their denial, accepting that they have an addiction problem, seeking help, detoxifying from their drug or alcohol, working their recovery program and then maintain their sobriety.