Drug and Alcohol Treatment | XLDrugRehabBlog.com

Seek Drug and Alcohol Treatment When You Have An Addiction

Posted on 28. Aug, 2014 by in Alcohol & Drug Abuse

The truth is that we are all addicted to something. The essence of having an addiction is the perpetual seeking after that which you can only get from within, such as self-love, self-acceptance, or approval. And in our society, it can be difficult to find those inner resources when everything tells us that to be loved we need to wear the right dress or the right cologne or have the right amount of money. We are frequently bombarded with the message that what we truly need – self-love and self-acceptance – can be found externally.

However, that is simply not true. Self-love can only come from within. Despite knowing this on an intellectual level, there are a myriad of ways that we seek what we need from outside of us. We might drink, use drugs, have sex, work harder or compulsively clean all for the sake of attempting to satisfy something from within.

Fortunately, drug addiction treatment not only means going through drug detox; it’s also a time to learn about the thought patterns and behavior that contribute to the cycle of addiction. And there’s no question it’s a cycle that continues to perpetuate itself. An addiction is the repeated activation of the brain’s reward system, which is the key to the drug abuse cycle. You experience a high, or rush in the brain, which leads to ongoing physical and psychological cravings. These cravings get so strong that alcohol and/or drug becomes the sole focus of your life to the exclusion and detriment of other life-activities. Drug and alcohol treatment is a way to pull back the fingers on that grip addiction has on you. It’s a way wriggle out of the suffocating grasp that the compulsion of drinking has on your life.

The following is a list of criteria that psychologists use to determine whether an individual might have an addiction. This is pulled from The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), published by the American Psychological Association. It’s the standardized text and clinical reference used by psychologists and therapists across North America to diagnose their clients.

According to the manual, if you have 2-3 criteria your addiction might be mild; 4-5 criteria indicate a moderate disorder; and 6 or more of the 11 criteria indicate a severe disorder.

  1. Taking the substance in larger amounts or for longer than the you meant to
  2. Wanting to cut down or stop using the substance but not managing to
  3. Spending a lot of time getting, using, or recovering from use of the substance
  4. Cravings and urges to use the substance
  5. Not managing to do what you should at work, home or school, because of substance use
  6. Continuing to use, even when it causes problems in relationships
  7. Giving up important social, occupational or recreational activities because of substance use
  8. Using substances again and again, even when it puts the you in danger
  9. Continuing to use, even when the you know you have a physical or psychological problem that could have been caused or made worse by the substance
  10. Needing more of the substance to get the effect you want (tolerance)
  11. Development of withdrawal symptoms, which can be relieved by taking more of the substance.


As you might imagine, entering a drug addiction treatment facility isn’t an easy choice. You’re finally laying down your lies and your longing to get drunk or high. You’re finally saying no to those cravings and turning the other way. You’re turning away from the monstrous grip of addiction and instead of trying to fight it; you’re walking in a new direction – towards recovery.


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