4 Best Ways to Educate Yourself about Addiction

4 Best Ways to Educate Yourself about AddictionThe topics of drug and alcohol addiction have been circulating with much controversy for many years. People continue to have different points of view on what addiction is and how it starts, but the government and the professional medical community agree on what addiction actually is, a treatable brain condition characterized by persistent drug abuse despite the consequences. In other words, addicts are unable to overcome their drug cravings, because drug abuse has altered their brain functioning.

Past stigma has slated addiction as nothing more than a weakness of people who have low moral values, but that stigma could not be further from the truth of what addiction is and how it works. Drug and alcohol addictions affect millions of people from all walks of life, but the only real way of discovering the truth about addiction is to become educated about it. Four of the best ways to learn about drug and alcohol addiction are listed below.

Research Online

Carole Bennett is a professional substance abuse counselor who suggests that simply researching online is a great way to learn about addiction. Because everyone has their own opinions, it is best to stay away from personal blogs written by non-professionals when first studying this topic. To get started, AddictionsAndRecovery.org has a great article that explains what addiction really is and how it works. The article even provides a short video that discusses addiction and how it affects people. The article explains that, according to the American Psychiatric Association and the World Health Organization, a person must meet at least three of the following criteria to be diagnosed with an addiction:

  • Tolerance to the effects of a drug
  • Withdrawal symptoms present when drug use suddenly stops
  • Limited control over drug use habits
  • Negative consequences as a result of drug use
  • Significant time or energy spent thinking about, obtaining and/or using a drug
  • Desire to cut down on drug use with repeated failure

The article goes on to explain that addiction is more common than diabetes, which exists in about seven percent of the population. Addiction does not primarily exist in any one socio-economic category, but proves to be a major problem among all people groups.

Talk to an Addiction Specialist

DrugAbuse.gov suggests that talking to a doctor or addiction specialist is the first place to start when seeking help or information about a possible struggle with addiction. People tend to trust doctors, especially if the doctor is one of the 3,500 board-certified physicians who specialize in addiction. Some doctors have not studied addiction as much as others, but they can refer patients to other doctors who are experienced in this field. Furthermore, doctors are trained to present information to patients without making them feel uncomfortable, and they are also subject to confidentiality with their patients. In other words, you can feel comfortable to know that the information you present will not be shared with others, even if you or your loved one abuses illegal substances.

Go to an Al-Anon Meeting

Al-Anon is a group that provides education, information and support for the family members of alcoholics. They provide group meetings around the country to help families of alcoholics better understand what their loved ones are going through and why they behave the way they do. This help can be a great way for family members to learn about their loved one’s addiction, because they can also connect with the many other people who experience the same problems with their loved ones. People also can listen to firsthand experiences with alcoholic family members, including the successes and failures of how to get them the help they need. This type of education can be essential when searching for a way to help your loved one begin addiction recovery.

Attend a 12-Step Meeting

12-step group meetings are free to attend and designed for people with or without an alcohol problem. Many people who attend one of these meetings simply want to learn more about alcoholism and how it affects people. Attending a meeting can be an eye-opening experience for an alcoholic who is still unsure if he actually has a problem and needs professional help: when a problem drinker or drug addict attends a 12-step meeting, he can see firsthand how other people have struggled with his own problem and how it damaged their lives. Newcomers may also learn how professional treatment can turn a person’s life around and initiate a long-term recovery plan.

Education about addiction is invaluable, because it can be the difference between an addict overcoming drug abuse and continuing to go downhill in life. Seek help now to begin recovery as soon as possible.

Find Professional Treatment for Drug or Alcohol Addiction

If you or someone you love is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, then please call our toll-free helpline now. Our admissions coordinators are standing by 24 hours a day to help you find a professional treatment program that will work for you. Break free from addiction and call us today.