Almost all alcoholics who have been chronic, heavy drinkers will experience some level of withdrawal symptoms when they suddenly stop drinking. These symptoms can range from mild shakes and discomfort to life-threatening delirium tremens -- which can include confusion, hallucinations, convulsions, autonomic instability, and death. Long-time, heavy drinkers who decide to quit drinking should seek medical assistance first.

Over time, most users need more and more of the same drug simply to achieve the same effects they experienced when consuming a lower dosage less frequently. Eventually, the user must have the drug simply to function and avoid feeling sick or terrible; this is one of the hallmarks of addiction. Stopping use of the drug often causes intense cravings, which is another symptom of withdrawal and addiction.
After physical dependency comes addiction. At this stage, you are drinking because you have a physical and psychological need to do so, and not for pleasure or because you want to. You will crave alcohol and it will be interfering with your ability to enjoy life. It is likely to be having a negative impact on your relationships with others as well as on your health and finances. Even knowing the harm that it is causing will not be able to stop. You will be compelled to drink and will be powerless to resist.
Most drugs affect the brain's "reward circuit," causing euphoria as well as flooding it with the chemical messenger dopamine. A properly functioning reward system motivates a person to repeat behaviors needed to thrive, such as eating and spending time with loved ones. Surges of dopamine in the reward circuit cause the reinforcement of pleasurable but unhealthy behaviors like taking drugs, leading people to repeat the behavior again and again. A One Hour Journey Through the 12 Steps with Tommy Rosen
Changes in the brain that support physical and psychological dependency on mind-altering substances are the direct cause of addiction, but those changes do not occur at random. Addiction experts believe drug addiction emerges from an interplay of genetic and environmental factors, although one factor or the other may be strong enough to make a person vulnerable to addiction in some instances. Overcome Any Addiction: Dopamine Receptor Repair & Addiction Healing (sound therapy)
Psychoanalysis, a psychotherapeutic approach to behavior change developed by Sigmund Freud and modified by his followers, has also offered an explanation of substance abuse. This orientation suggests the main cause of the addiction syndrome is the unconscious need to entertain and to enact various kinds of homosexual and perverse fantasies, and at the same time to avoid taking responsibility for this. It is hypothesized specific drugs facilitate specific fantasies and using drugs is considered to be a displacement from, and a concomitant of, the compulsion to masturbate while entertaining homosexual and perverse fantasies. The addiction syndrome is also hypothesized to be associated with life trajectories that have occurred within the context of teratogenic processes, the phases of which include social, cultural and political factors, encapsulation, traumatophobia, and masturbation as a form of self-soothing.[39] Such an approach lies in stark contrast to the approaches of social cognitive theory to addiction—and indeed, to behavior in general—which holds human beings to regulate and control their own environmental and cognitive environments, and are not merely driven by internal, driving impulses. Additionally, homosexual content is not implicated as a necessary feature in addiction.

Addiction is an all-consuming disease, using much of an individual’s time, energy and resources. There are many physical, mental and emotional signs of addiction. If you or a loved one are experiencing a combination of these signs, treatment may be a stepping stone for long-term recovery. Looking for signs and symptoms of drug abuse can be the first step toward identifying an addiction: Inside NHS detox centre - Victoria Derbyshire
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