How to Understand and Help Your Loved Ones

When you think of addiction, you probably think of drugs and alcohol. But addiction isn’t limited to substances. People can become addicted to gambling, shopping, sex and even work or exercise. Despite the varying forms of addiction, they all share common characteristics, causes and consequences. Understanding the causes and circumstances of addiction can help you better support and assist yourself or your loved ones who may be struggling with addiction.

Addiction is characterized by a compulsive, obsessive behavior that is difficult to control. It is a chronic, progressive illness that affects the sufferer’s physical, mental and social wellbeing. People with addiction have a compulsive need to use a substance or engage in an activity despite the negative consequences it may have on their lives. For example, a person with an addiction to gambling may continue gambling even if it severely strains her relationships with family and friends or causes her to rack up huge debts.

Addiction is rooted in neurotransmitter pathways and patterns in the brain. Neurotransmitters are chemicals in the brain that allow nerve cells to communicate with each other. Addictive substances and activities cause changes in the brain’s natural reward pathways and functioning. Over time, it can be difficult for a person to resist the urge to engage in their addiction since they experience such a pleasurable response when doing so.

In addition, there are several risk factors that can contribute to the development of addiction. The most significant risk factor is genetics, with those who have a family history of addiction having an increased risk of developing an addiction themselves. Other factors such as psychological issues (such as anxiety, depression, stress, etc), environmental factors (such as exposure to drug traffickers or those who abuse alcohol and drugs), and certain lifestyle factors (such as poor coping skills and harsh life circumstances) also increase the likelihood of developing an addiction.

It is essential to understand that addiction is a complicated and multi-faceted issue. It is important that those who are suffering from addiction, or those close to the addict, don’t blame themselves for the addiction or feel guilty. Instead, it is important that those affected look to gain the right assistance and to understand the addiction and acknowledge the need for treatment and help.

A great first step in supporting a loved one with an addiction is learning more about addiction. Taking the time to read up on the impacts of addiction and the treatment currently available is a great way to start. You can also speak with a healthcare professional, a counselor, or a therapist to gain valuable information on addiction and support.

Educating yourself and utilizing the right resources can help you and your loved one find treatments and solutions. There are many available treatments and supports such as cognitive behavioral therapy, contingent rewarding, and 12-step programs designed to help those affected understand and work through their addiction. Many facilities also offer group therapy and support services, allowing those suffering from addiction to interact and learn from each other and grow together.

Finally, it is important to remember that addiction is a serious illness that requires specialized treatment plans in order for the afflicted individual to have a successful recovery. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, as everyone is different in their needs and experience. Therefore, it is important to understand the circumstances surrounding the addiction and the available treatments in order to provide support that is both informed and effective.

By becoming educated about addiction, you can help yourself or your loved one identify the available strategies and treatment options to help them along the path of recovery. Support, empathy and understanding are essential ingredients to any successful recovery program.

What Are The Health Complications Of Heroin Use?


After abusing heroin the body of the user will automatically begin trying to return to its normal, everyday functions, but long term health complications may persist for some time after heroin abuse.

Examples of complications arising from the abuse of Heroin include:

  • Scarred and collapsed veins
  • Pneumonia
  • tuberculosis
  • …and many other diseases of the kidney and liver.


Heroin on its own is deadly enough, but the heroin found on the street is not pure heroin. Rather, it is often cut with various substances and additives so that drug dealers can make more money off less heroin. This introduces a number of risks to abusing this substance. The first risk that emerges is that users are unable to properly gauge doses as the potency will vary greatly from one batch to the next. An amount of heroin that a user believes is safe can be deadly because of the variability in potency. Additives that heroin is cut with, including fetanyl, can be extremely risky in and of themselves. There are no rules or regulations to keep users safe, the dealers can mix just about anything in the heroin.

What Is A Drug Rehab Center?

A drug rehab center is a place that you can go in order to get help. There are many different kinds of drug rehab centers, and there are drug rehab centers that are located wherever you are. There is no shortage of places to help people with their drug addictions and so you should be able to find one whenever you are ready to deal with your drug addiction and its associated problems.

At a drug rehab center, you will learn a lot about yourself, and you will spend a lot of time talking through your problems and figuring out how to stay clean and sober after your treatment is over. Also, at a drug rehab center you will learn how to deal with the pressures of life after recovery, and figure out how to avoid chronic relapse.

Addiction Treatment

One of the principle pillars of any drug rehab program is education. The education component is crucial to maintaining a clean, drug abuse free lifestyle by providing the necessary life skills to avoid slipping back into addiction. Once an individual overcomes their addiction in a treatment facility they will have to return to the wider world. When the recovering addict does this, they will require tools to constructively overcome the hurdles they encounter along the way.

There is ample evidence to suggest that the earlier an individual is taught these crucial life skills, the less likely they will be to fall into drug abuse. The sooner these skills are imparted the better. But it is never too late to learn these best practices, or to simply reinforce them as a bulwark against unforeseen future challenges, whether drug related or not.


Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse

Many people can use alcohol with out abusing alcohol. Alcohol Abuse is when and individual drinks more then the recommended amount of alcohol in one sitting or over a period of time. For example one glass of wine consumed at dinner is considered alcohol consumption not alcohol abuse. However if a female consumes more that 3 alcoholic drinks or a male 4 alcoholic drinks in an evening then it is considered alcohol abuse.

Many people abuse alcohol on the occasional wedding or night out, this is not considered alcoholism. You can consume alcohol without abusing alcohol or you can abuse alcohol without being addicted to alcohol.

Alcoholism is the prolonged and continued abuse to alcohol. This typically includes an addiction to alcohol. The use of the alcohol continues despite any negative consequences of the consumption. Money, lost work time or jobs, lost friends, lost self respect, and the loss of health mean nothing to an individual in the grip of alcoholism.

Many alcoholics deny having a problem with alcohol or even other drug addictions. If you have a family member or a loved one in denial you may have to stage an intervention. There are many sources available on the internet, you local doctor, or local drug rehab centers that you can get intervention and treatment information from. If you know someone addicted to alcohol and any other drug getting informed and involved maybe that persons only hope of a positive outcome of the addiction. Addiction usually ends in one of three ways treatment, jail, or death.



Are You Losing A Loved One To Drug Addiction or Alcoholism?

Addiction in general, and alcoholism in particular, touches all aspects of a user’s life, including their family life. The family often suffer greatly seeing their loved one succumbing to addiction. When parents or grandparents reach a certain age they begin transitioning into a new phase of their life that often involves the foundation of their old life crumbling. This can be due to a job change, a child being born or moving out, aging and questioning your place in society and other factors. During these transition stages the allure of drug and alcohol can be great. The user does not know how to cope, and so they turn to drugs and alcohol. In young people the period in which they are more vulnerable are when they reach the transition to adulthood in their late teens and adulthood. During this time everything is up in the air, they are leaving old circles, leaving family behind often and being exposed to new influences and people that will influence their choices. During this time they will face a great deal of stress paired with the new influences, and this can lead to drug and alcohol abuse, unfortunately.


Whatever the age of the loved one the common factor is that the individual is experiencing a transition in their life of some kind. For this reason it is important that family be supportive and attentive to the needs of their family members.