What is an addiction?
Addiction refers to the continuous use of a substance or engagement in a behavior that causes physical or psychological harm while leading to withdrawal when stopped. Against the popular belief that states otherwise, addiction is not only related to substance abuse such as alcohol, drugs, or tobacco, but can also be related to behaviors such as gambling, gaming, and eating.
The DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition) lists 9 types of substance addictions. They are as follows:
- Sedatives, hypnotics, and anxiolytics
As per the American Society of Addiction Medicine, an addiction is “a treatable, chronic medical disease involving complex interactions among brain circuits, genetics, the environment, and an individual’s life experiences. People with addiction use substances or engage in behaviors that become compulsive and often continue despite harmful consequences.”
What is the biology behind an addiction?
When one indulges in the addiction, the pleasure/ reward circuits in their brain get triggered leading to the addict feeling a sense of relief and gratification while wanting more at the same time. At the same time, an addiction triggers the emotional-danger sensing circuits leading to the addict experiencing anxiety if their want is not fulfilled. Research has suggested that genetics and the environment in one’s childhood also play a role in being prone to addictions.
What is withdrawal?
Withdrawal’s literal meaning is ‘to withdraw’ or to remove something. In the case of addictions, withdrawal refers to the physical and mental symptoms that occur when one stops, or reduces, indulgence in their addiction. Every individual experiences withdrawal differently. While the process is largely impacted by the severity of the addiction, there is no scale that can pre-determine the magnitude of withdrawal one might face. Common withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, fatigue, nausea, depression, and hallucinations. In extreme cases with substance abuse, when the substance is quit cold turkey without professional help, withdrawal can also prove to be fatal.
What are the ways to battle an addiction?
Addictions are treatable and can be overcome with determination. Most people battling addictions are given medication along with behavioral therapy and counseling. Rehab facilities function on providing addicts with the necessary tools to assist them in their battles. Support groups help patients find others like them who can understand exactly what they are feeling, as well as those who used to be like them and have now recovered. It is also essential to identify the company that makes one indulge and stay away from them. Professional help assists in combating both psychological and physical withdrawal symptoms as well.
What are the addiction helplines in India?
The national toll-free drug de-addiction helpline is 1800-11-0031.
The tobacco quit helpline is 1800-11-2356, and the timings are 8 am to 8 pm for the same. A missed call can also be given to 011-22901701 for registration.
https://rehabs.in/ is a website that provides information about over 1500 alcohol and drug rehabs across the country.
Source for helplines: https://www.indianhelpline.com/De-Addiction-Helpline/