Alcohol and Drug Dependence
WHO CAN BE CALLED ALCOHOL OR DRUG DEPENDENT?
A dependent is one who continues to use alcohol or drugs despite receiving negative consequences. A person who has problems in any area of his life, e.g., family, relationships, job, health or financial etc, and continues to drink alcohol or use drugs despite them.
Initially, alcohol and drugs give pleasure. Problems arise but the person is unaware that alcohol and drugs are causing the problems. He or she mistakenly believes that if the problems disappear he or she will stop drinking alcohol or using drugs. The dependence on alcohol or drugs prevents the person from seeing the problems.
WHAT IS THIS DEPENDENCE?
The person develops physical and psychological dependence on alcohol and drugs. The body gets so used to the presence of alcohol or drugs over a period of time the when he or she suddenly stops taking it he or she experiences withdrawal symptoms, which range from tremors, sleep disturbances and nervousness to cramps, disorientation and hallucinations. Alcohol and drugs become central to thoughts, feelings and activities and the person is unable to think of anything else. The person is constantly thinking and struggling with thoughts of how, when and where to get their next drink or fix.
ADDICTION LEADS TO ASSOCIATED PROBLEMS
It has been well established that addiction to alcohol and drugs leads to physical, emotional, interpersonal and financial problems. These associated problems can be solved only if the addiction is addressed first.
ADDICTION IS A PROGRESSIVE DISEASE
Unless the person abstains totally from all mood altering substances the condition will deteriorate progressively. The person has to make a decision to stop taking alcohol and other drugs and seek help and support for moving from dependence to independence.
ADDICTION IS INCURABLE BUT TREATABLE
Addiction to alcohol or drugs can be treated. In the process of treatment the addict or alcoholic will receive medical help, which will enable him or her to stop taking alcohol or drugs without experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms. The withdrawal symptoms are made less painful and less unpleasant. After this, the person is given psychological therapy. which will help the person lead a comfortable life without feeling the need for alcohol or drugs.