What Does Addiction Feel Like?

Alcohol and drug addiction is a problem that affects the entire family. It can be difficult to understand how substance abuse treatment works, how family interventions can be a first step to recovery, and how to help children from families affected by alcohol and drug abuse. Companies that hire drug addicts may be seen as encouraging this type of behavior, but it is important to remember that decision-making is often driven by stigma. When trying to overcome an addiction, it is important to consider what life is like for an addict.

The pleasure, pain, and constant urge to consume more of the drug can be difficult to imagine for those who have never experienced it. Drug addicts with withdrawal may need additional medications to control the symptoms of eliminating addictive substances. Addiction is much more than just a pleasure, as described in my article on The Most Neglected Aspect of Addiction Recovery. It can be helpful to spend time with people who understand the experience of addiction and feel the same way.

It is important to learn about the wide variety of evidence-based addiction treatment and recovery options available. Everyone experiences addiction differently, but there are some universal characteristics of addiction. Understanding how difficult the recovery process can be will help you support other people who are struggling with an addiction. Drug users may go to great lengths to avoid the embarrassment and shame of their addiction.

Stigma only serves to further isolate people suffering from addiction, deepening the sense of self-loathing. Sal Raichbach PsyD of the Ambrosia Treatment Center explains that addiction is more than just a desire or a bad habit. A person who is physically addicted and stops using a substance such as drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes may experience withdrawal symptoms. Being physically addicted means that a person's body becomes dependent on a particular substance (even smoking is physically addictive).

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