Nailing Down an Addiction Definition

young man muses over the addiction definitionAddiction is a very cunning disease. In today’s society, the opioid epidemic is becoming increasingly dangerous. For many suffering with an addiction, it takes control of their every waking minute. It’s important to understand the addiction definition so you can help yourself or someone you know recover. Understanding what addiction is can also help you have empathy for individuals with this serious illness.

Addiction Definition and the Brain

Whether it’s an opiate addiction, meth addiction, food addiction or gambling addiction, the problem is all the same. In fact, in the last decade or so, many people have started to go to treatment for a technology addiction. The brain is extremely complex and helps us survive. One responsibility of the brain is to tell us which acts to repeat for both pleasure and survival. Those who develop any type of an addiction have a brain that has problems with regulating function.

To make this a little easier to understand, you can break the brain into two different parts: the stop system and the go system. The go system helps us by telling us that we should eat to subdue hunger or drink to get rid of thirst. This releases a chemical in the brain called dopamine. On the other side of the coin, the stop system tells us when seeking pleasure might get us in trouble. Those who struggle with an addiction have a brain with a stop system that doesn’t function properly.

This part of the brain is also responsible for:

  • Making logical decisions
  • Impulse control
  • Emotional regulation
  • Self-awareness
  • Empathy

Addiction Definition and Dependence

Another responsibility of our brain is to constantly find a balance so we feel well. Drugs and alcohol greatly throw this process off, eventually causing the user to develop a mental and physical dependence. Many people have a misconception that addiction is only a physical dependence. However, stimulants like cocaine, meth, and amphetamines only cause a psychological dependence.

The physical and mental dependence are the most difficult parts of early recovery, but detox helps. Medical detox helps users rid themselves of physical dependence. In turn, long-term addiction treatment helps people overcome psychological dependence. During drug and alcohol rehab, different types of addiction treatment therapy help to retrain the brain into knowing that you no longer need substances.

Let Us Help

Silver Pines Treatment Center is located just outside of Hazleton, PA, and we’re here to help you or a loved one. We have a 50-bed facility that treats both men and women who struggle with an addiction to drugs or alcohol. Our facility has a wide range of programs to help clients find the type of addiction recovery that works for them. We understand that each of our clients is unique and requires specialized, individual treatment in order to recover.

Give us a call today at 866-345-2147 to find out more about our amenities, dual diagnosis treatment, alumni program and much more.