Frequently Asked Questions
Addiction is a condition characterized by repeated, compulsive seeking and use of drugs, alcohol or similar substances despite adverse social, mental, and physical consequences. It is usually accompanied by psychological and physical dependence on the abused substance and the appearance of withdrawal symptoms when the addictive substance is rapidly decreased or nonexistent.
A person gets locked into addiction through a combination of three factors: Guilt, depression and cravings. These factors, unrelieved, create enormous pressure that can drive a person back into drug or alcohol use when they try to quit, unless they get help.
No one wants to be an addict. No matter what an addict says, deep in his or her heart is a wish to live clean and sober again. A person may realize the damage they are doing and wish to get clean and sober, but not have the strength to overcome the guilt, depression and cravings created by the ongoing substance abuse. But there is another scenario where this reversal can occur. An addicted person generally feels that the only way she can function or feel normal or the only way she can feel anything good in life is to be high. In a desperate attempt to continue to take addictive substances, she may try to manipulate those around her and tell them whatever they want to hear, just so they leave her alone. But even this person, if she could be completely honest, would prefer to be clean and sober again.
When addictive substances are taken repeatedly, the body develops a tolerance and needs greater amounts to get the same effect. As dosages are increased, the body begins to depend on these drugs to replace natural chemicals the body would normally produce. As this pattern repeats over time, the body and mind of the person begin to be locked into an addictive pattern. The body will crave the drugs if they are missing and withdrawal symptoms will kick in. The person will begin to suffer from depression, exhaustion, anxiety and similar conditions if they don’t have the addictive substances. This change can happen very quickly, as in the case of oxycodone, crack cocaine, methamphetamine or Ecstasy, or it can be slower, as is often the case with alcohol or marijuana.
When a person becomes trapped in addiction, it is as though the addiction makes decisions instead of them. For an addicted person, the need for drugs or alcohol is like the worst hunger they ever experienced and all they can think about is getting the substance they crave. It seems like life itself depends on getting the drug they need and using it. This is why an addicted person can ignore or abuse his or her own loved ones; they are not in control, the addiction is.
One of a person’s qualities that is routinely lost during addiction is one’s personal integrity. It’s like the addiction takes over and forces decisions and actions that the person themselves would never have committed when not addicted. Without effectively addressing and remedying this lost integrity, addiction treatment can fail. Addiction recovery must result in a reduction or elimination of cravings, a restoration of self-esteem and integrity, and an alleviation of depression, in order to have a lasting benefit.
New Start Clinics is NOT a pain clinic.
If you or someone you know is dependent on opioids and suffers from withdrawals if not taken, they need to come and see us. Opioid addiction is a chronic disease and a medical condition that someone deals with for a lifetime, much like heart disease or diabetes. Unfortunately, it cannot be cured, but it can be managed.