Addiction is a complex disease that takes more than just good intentions or a strong will to stop. Drugs change the brain in ways that make quitting hard, and many people seek addiction counseling and substance use disorder (SUD) therapy because the issue is more than a physical dependence. As with substance addiction (alcohol, prescription or over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, marijuana, cocaine), process addictions (food, the internet, sex) can be just as debilitating.
Once the physical dependence on substances and process addictions has been successful, there are dangers of a relapse. Many reasons can cause a relapse, including stress; people or places connected to addictive behavior; negative or challenging emotions; reminders of addictive behavior; and times of celebration. Thriveworks in Buffalo, NY offers addiction counseling to help individuals experiencing dependency, as well as methods to avoid relapses and move on to an enjoyable life with meaningful relationships without the use of substances or other addictions.
Addiction counseling and therapy at Thriveworks in Buffalo, NY has helped clients learn new ways of thinking and practicing healthy habits that can take the place of addiction. The therapists and substance abuse counselors at Thriveworks know how drugs and other addictions affect the brain. They have found treatments that can help individuals recover from addictions and lead successful and productive lives. It starts here.
Each case of addiction will be explored with the help of a professional therapist who can guide individuals through tough times and seemingly insurmountable odds.
What Causes Addiction?
Some of the most widely recognized reasons for addictions are the following:
Genetics play a significant part in addiction. For example, if an individual has parents with alcoholism, it makes them four times more likely than other children to become alcoholics. One study examined 861 identical twin pairs and 653 fraternal (non-identical) twin pairs. When one identical twin was addicted to alcohol, the other had a high probability of being addicted. However, if one non-identical twin was addicted to alcohol, the other did not necessarily have an addiction. The study showed that 50 to 60 percent of addiction is due to genetic factors.
Another study researched 231 people who were diagnosed with drug or alcohol addiction and compared them to 61 people who did not have an addiction. Then, it explored the first-degree relatives—parents, siblings, children—of those people. The study discovered that if a parent has a drug or alcohol addiction, the child had the chance of developing an addiction eight times greater.
Although everyone has the potential for addiction, some people are more predisposed to it than others. While some individuals drink alcoholically from the beginning, others start out moderately and then become alcoholics later on.
Scientists have found that abuse or neglect of children, persistent conflict in the family, sexual abuse, and other traumatic childhood experiences can shape a child’s brain chemistry and make them vulnerable to addiction. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 40 percent of people who begin drinking before they are 15 years old develop alcoholism.
Stress and Addiction
Science shows that stress and addiction are so closely tied that in order to recover, people with addictions must learn new ways of coping with stress. Stress is a normal and inevitable part of life, and individuals experience situations and emotions that activate stress responses. Sometimes stress is mild, such as becoming stuck in traffic that may make a person late for work. Other times, it is severe and prolonged, such as people with emotional, physical and sexual abuse. Some people can manage stress with regular exercise. Others may feel overwhelmed or defeated, and their inability to cope with unrelenting or a lot of stress can lead to substance or process addiction.
Schedule an Appointment with a Compassionate Addiction Counselor at Thriveworks in Buffalo, NY
These examples are only a few of the many reasons people turn to addictions. Whether the addiction is drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, the internet, food or shopping, there is help. Call Thriveworks in Buffalo, NY at (716) 541-0841 to schedule a session or to find out more about how addiction counseling and therapy can help you get on the road to a healthier, stronger you.