There is a difference between addiction and dependence to drugs or alcohol. Addiction is a behavior that continues despite any harmful consequences. Drug or alcohol misuse can lead to serious physical and mental health problems. It can cause heart attack, liver failure, seizures, ulcers, hallucinations, psychosis, overdose, and early death.

The substances take the brain hostage and change the brain chemically and physiologically, which leads to a dependence. When drugs or alcohol controls the brain, it can be extremely difficult to change the addictive behavior.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Addiction is characterized by an inability to stop using a drug; failure to meet work, social, or family obligations; and, sometimes (depending on the drug), tolerance and withdrawal.” The tolerance and withdrawal symptoms reflect the physical dependence in which the body adapts to the drug, requiring the person to use more of it to achieve a certain effect and withdrawal symptoms occur if the drug or alcohol use stops. The physical dependence does not constitute addiction, but it often accompanies addiction.

The addiction cycle can stop with the help of a good treatment program. The brain needs to be re-trained to function normally without the control of toxic substances. A genetic component predisposes a person to mental health issues and addiction. Environmental factors also contribute to the risk of developing a mental illness or a drug or alcohol dependence.

Addiction causes frustration and anxiety, and dependence causes withdrawal symptoms when a person stops using drugs or alcohol. Addiction makes a person obsess about using drugs or alcohol and develop feelings of guilt, shame, and low self-esteem.

In treatment, you will learn how to live without drugs or alcohol and make lifestyle changes for success in recovery. When you are substance-free, you can make clear decisions, use critical thinking skills, and develop strategies for staying sober.

If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction or substance use disorder, get help today. Addiction is isolating, but you are not alone. Although addiction is not curable, it is treatable and there is hope in recovery.

Cypress Lakes Lodge specializes in addiction treatment and is located in a serene, remote, lush-green, oxygen enriched environment. The program encompasses holistic addiction therapy and offers yoga and meditation for the mind, body, and soul. The focus is on physical, mental, and emotional well-being by generating the balance of life-enriching treatment, wellness, and healthy, sober, sustainable relationships. Call us to get started: 409-331-2204