Addiction is a chronic neurological disorder that causes a person to compulsively use harmful substances that cause physical and psychological dependency. The causes of addiction are not completely understood but have been found to involve changes in the way the brain’s learning, memory, and reward systems work. A person’s environmental and social context are also big contributors to the development of an addiction.
Alcohol addiction, commonly called alcoholism, is the most well-known form of substance addiction, but other widely-abused substances include opioid painkillers, stimulants such as methamphetamine and cocaine, and anxiety-reducing drugs like alprazolam.
What are the Ramifications of Addiction?
The ramifications of addiction are wide-ranging and often catastrophic, but to understand how some of these consequences come about, it’s important to know that addiction and alcoholism are progressive disorders that produce tolerance and dependence.
When a person develops tolerance to their drug or drugs of choice, they will require an ever-increasing amount of the drug to get the same effect as their initial dosages provided. That means an addicted person will spend more and more money on drugs. This escalates the physical, psychological, and personal damage they’re accumulating.
When a person has becomedrug dependent, their body has come to rely on having that substance in their system at all times. Without their substance of choice, an alcoholic or addict will experience withdrawal, a painful, sometimes dangerous condition that requires medical intervention.
How to Avoid the Ramifications of Addiction
It is the combination of drug tolerance and drug dependence that causes the negative ramifications of addiction to spiral out of control, leading to the following consequences of addiction:
Legal issues – The legal consequences of addiction may stem from buying or possessing illegal substances to indirect legal issues from things like traffic violations, such as DUI/DWI, to lawsuits and legal charges from the actions a person carries out while under the influence of intoxicating substances, including causing damage to property or injury to other people.
Marital issues – Lying and deceptive behaviors are common for a person struggling with addiction, which destroys trust in a marriage. An addict’s world revolves around their drug of choice, pushing everyone else aside.
Financial issues – People in the grip of addiction will eventually spend most or all of their money on drugs. Addictive substances aren’t cheap, and as a person’s need for drugs or alcohol increases, their money woes increase far past their wallet’s breaking point.
Common Consequences of Addiction
Debt-Spending money on drugs or alcohol rapidly drains a person’s financial resources, causing them to run up debt. Debt from alcohol use or drug addiction can easily wreck a person’s financial status. This includes the ability to pay essential bills, such as their rent or mortgage, utilities, and so forth.
Homelessness Addicts exhaust all their financial resources and alienate people who might otherwise be inclined to help them. They lose family, friends, and every semblance of a support system. With such a lack of resources, people have no one to turn to for help when they can’t pay their rent or mortgage. Many homeless persons are suffering from alcoholism or addiction and living homeless on the streets is where many addicts hit rock bottom.
Health complications– The health problems caused by addiction are extensive and severe, affecting a person both directly and indirectly. Direct effects result from the impact an addictive substance has on a person’s body; indirect effects include things like injuries sustained from a fall or car accident while intoxicated.
When using, it’s only a matter of time before the ramifications present themselves. Even sporadic “recreational” drug use or “social drinking” can lead to a disastrous outcome.
Treatment Questions Answered
How do I know if I need treatment?
If your use of a substance or alcohol is negatively affecting your daily life, you will benefit from treatment.
Is treatment a cure for addiction?
There are no known cures for addiction, but with treatment, addiction can be managed. Proper care can help a person achieve the life they want, free from addictive substances.
Do I need detox?
Most addictive substances, including alcohol, opioids (painkillers), and tranquilizers (benzodiazepines) require medical detox.
What Kind of Treatment is the Right Choice?
A person’s unique needs determine which treatment is right for them. Knowing the full scope of an individual’s substance abuse can be critical in ensuring they receive comprehensive treatment. That includes factors such as duration and type of addiction, along with any co-occurring physical or psychological complications. To ensure a successful recovery journey, many types of professional support are available. This includes medical detoxification programs, and residential care options which are tailored to one’s specific needs.
Avoid the Ramifications of Addiction with Agape
If you’re concerned about the ramifications of addiction, Agape Treatment Center in Fort Lauderdale is available to help. Please give us a call—we are ready to help around the clock, every day of the week. Our admissions counselors will work with you in determining your treatment options. This includes the cost of treatment and setting up a date and a time for intake.
Stephanie Catalano is an accomplished Clinical Director at Agape Behavioral Healthcare. With a Master of Social Work degree, LCSW license, and extensive training in Rapid Resolution Therapy under her belt, she brings a wealth of expertise to her role. Her unique combination of education and experience allows her to provide exceptional care to clients and lead her team with confidence. Stephanie’s joy comes from witnessing the moments when her patients creatively connect the dots and bravely move toward reclaiming their power. Her purpose is to help individuals understand their past so they can create a future full of hope, growth, and success. Stephanie attributes a large portion of her success to the supportive culture and strong sense of community fostered by the Agape team.