What is Addiction?
Addiction is a complex illness that creates a compulsion to pursue and use alcohol and/or drugs, and to continuously engage in a maladaptive behavior, despite it posing a danger to your health and wellness.
Addiction is considered a brain disease because it has chemically altered the brains neural pathways. Neural pathways are the brains communication system, and even after you have ceased using the substance, those changes still remain. To put this in relatable terms, think of the path you drive to work everyday. You know those roads like the back of your hand; every turn, every stop light, and every bump in the street has been imprinted in your brain. It has become a preferred route to travel. Well, the same is true for your brain’s neural pathways, and once the substance is taken away, the brain must form new neural pathways, and this takes time and where treatment comes in.
In the throws of addiction, and even in early recovery, it can seem like getting sober is an impossible goal. But with commitment and professional support, long-term recovery is attainable for anyone.
At GraceWay, our individualized recovery program combines individual counseling, accountability, structure, career training, 24/7 coaching, 12-step immersion, and support groups to give you the most effective recovery experience and set you up for maintaining lifelong recovery.
GraceWay offers you a homelike environment in a renovated Victorian style home, and is situated in serene South Georgia. Our program is the perfect place to learn how to live sober, develop new life skills, and reconnect you with life.
GraceWay is situated in heart of South Georgia, and is the perfect place to learn how to live life without addiction.
What are the Different Types of Addiction?
Addiction is classified in two types, substance addiction and behavioral addiction, and both are often inter-weaved with one another.
What is Substance Addiction?
Substance addiction simply means that there is an addiction to substances such as opiates, alcohol, marijuana, methamphetamine, and other prescription drugs with mood or mind-altering effects. These drugs alter the way that you feel and lead to a desire to continue using them to get the same effect. What happens overtime, is that your tolerance to that drug increases, so you use more to get the same effect. This means that your body has changed to adapt to the increased tolerance, and when you stop using that drug your body goes into withdrawal. Withdrawal can cause both physical and psychological symptoms to appear.
What is Behavioral Addiction?
There are many behavioral addictions such as gambling, sex and love addiction, and eating disorders. Eating disorders are classified as binge eating, anorexia, and bulimia, and are just as serious, and sometimes even fatal, as substance addiction.
Binge eating is when a person has frequent episodes of binge eating and during the episode feels a sense of lost control followed by marked distress over what just took place. Binge eating is different from bulimia because the person does not purge or compulsively exercise to remove the calories consumed during the episode.
Bulimia is similar to binge eating because during an episode the person consumes a large amount of food and calories and feels a sense of lost control followed by marked distress. However, the person will take immediate action to dispose the body of the food consumed by purging, fasting, or compulsively exercising.
Anorexia is when a person consistently and obsessively reduces calorie which leads to an acutely low body weight and dietary deficiency. The person relentlessly pursues new levels of thinness, body image dysphoria, and has an intense fear of gaining weight.
As is typical with substance addiction, behavioral addiction causes feelings of shame, rejection, loneliness, and anxiety.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Addiction?
Behavioral Signs and Symptoms of Addiction
- Uses substances to intoxication and cannot stop when using (more is never enough)
- Takes substances at times when it interferes with responsibilities such when driving, going to work, or attending school
- Using substances as a coping mechanism for stressors
- Calling out of work or missing classes due to being hungover or intoxicated
- Uses substances despite it causing damage to relationships with others
- Borrowing money, or stealing, from work, family, or friends to support the addiction
- Exhibiting a secretive and defensive demeanor about whereabouts and personal possessions
- Bizarre, and sudden, changes in mood; sudden bursts of anger, incessant feelings of anxiety and/or depression
- Changes in sleeping habits; up all night or asleep at inappropriate times
- Shift in friend group
- Loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyable
- Engages in dangerous or risky behavior to attain substance
Physical Signs and Symptoms of Addiction
- Sudden weight loss or weight gain
- Staggering or slow walk
- Strange bruises without an explanation for acquiring them
- Red, glazed, large or small pupils, distant or blank stare
- Nodding off
- Extreme hyperactivity and excessive talkativeness
- Looking sick; runny nose, cough, nausea, vomiting, sweating, clammy hands
- Needle marks body
- Unusual nose bleeds
- Strange odor
- Decreased energy
- Lack of personal hygiene