The definition of addiction is the continued use of a substance or engagement in a behavior regardless of negative impacts such as problems in relationships, health problems, harm and negative consequences.
Why can’t someone just stop?
In our everyday life, the consequences of actions usually do not occur until the somewhat distant future. This can make the decision to stop easy to ignore.
Ignoring the decision to stop can become a loss of control.
Loss of control can look like:
Setting a limit for how many drinks you'll have in a night and not being able to stick to it.
Not being able to keep track of how much substance has been consumed.
Not being able to stop regardless of repercussions - maybe that is a spouse angry, missing work the next day, or failing to fulfil major obligations.
What’s happening during this loss of control?
In the brain, serotonin is a chemical messenger that helps boost your mood. Serotonin is also the reaction from a substance - by using a substance an individual is tricking the brain to release that feel good chemical. After repeated use, we have trained our brain to become accustomed to serotonin from substance use and it no longer releases serotonin in the natural healthy ways.
This is why treatment is so vital to recovery. With support and strategies we are able to re-train the brain to release serotonin, endorphins and other feel good chemicals without substances.
If you or a loved one need help for an addiction and want to know more about treatment programs, feel free to contact us.