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Alcohol and Drug Addiction Affects Us All

Addiction is a biopsychosocial disease. That means the disease is biological, psychological and social. Alcohol and drug addiction are often described as a family illness.

This is due to the fact that they impact the addict’s family, friends, and anyone that comes into contact with the active addict.

Addiction is characterized by an overwhelming need to consume drugs or alcohol in order to “feel of normal” or “function” despite often very erratic behaviour and negative consequences.

It is the toxins created by certain substances, which produce feelings of well being or feeling “high” which lead to physical and psychological dependence.

The addict becomes convinced that he or she needs the drugs or alcohol to function. Neuroscience tells us that this is not far from the truth. When someone has become dependent on a mood-altering substance the chemistry of the brain does actually change, and the brain does in fact need that substance to function in a way that feels normal.

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Ice is a methamphetamine, part of the amphetamine family of drugs which includes speed. Ice is the most pure form of ampthetamine. The ‘high’ experienced from Ice is extremely intense. This means the mind and body’s reactions to the drug are equally as intense.

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The aim of ‘drug rehab’ or ‘drug rehabilitation’ is to give men and women addicts some tools to enjoy life, to say no to drugs, and to live purposeful lives. Drug rehab is by no means a cure for addiction. However, quality treatment can stop the disease progressing, and release the addict from it’s grip.

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Healthcare professionals tend to differentiate between an ‘abuser’ and an ‘addict’ of a given substance. It is commonly understood that an ‘abuser’ still has some degree of control over their behaviour whilst the ‘addict’ does not.

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Alcoholism combines all the behavioural symptoms of alcohol abuse with a physiological dependence. An alcoholic becomes physically dependent on alcohol. If someone needs alcohol to function or is physically compelled to drink then they could be described as being an alcoholic.

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If someone has serious concerns about their behaviour when drinking, or the impact drinking is having on their family, or their own health, they should consult their doctor immediately. Alternatively, there are many national helplines and organizations that can provide help.

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‘Social’ drinkers will rarely suffer any major symptoms of withdrawal. Drinkers who tend to suffer severe adverse symptoms are typically those who have spent many years recovering on a daily basis from excessive use. In some subgroups of these drinkers, they may be at some level of intoxication for the whole time.

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It is the most widely used recreational drug. The UN (The United Nations) estimate that approximately 4% of adults worldwide used marijuana on an annual basis. This equates to approximately 180 million people. Marijuana is a mind and mood-altering drug; it interacts with the chemistry of the brain.