What Is Addiction

Addiction is a disease involving continued substance use despite significant substance-related problems. Addiction involves loss of control over substance use, social and occupational problems, risky use, and physical problems.

The What is Addiction video is an introduction to the topic of addiction for those who don't understand. It covers the basis of addiction. The ultimate explanation to why society finds itself so addicted to its culture whether its drugs, alcohol, sex, or something as technological as a mobile phone.

Please review the video below:

1. Explain addiction in your own words.

2. "Don't try and escape from your pain, but be with it." How have you positively coped with trauma and/or emotional pain?

3. Have you ever looked for instant relief in a substance to ease emotional pain?

Addiction Facts

Addiction is a disease. Addiction causes changes in the brain's structure and functioning. It is not caused by poor willpower of character flaws.

Addiction can grow slowly and isn't always easy to see. Many people with addiction continue to function in some parts of their life, but have problems in other areas.

Relapse means returning to regular substance use after a period of sobriety. A lapse, on the other hand , is an isolated incident of use without returning to old patters of substance use.

Relapses can happen at any point during recovery, which is a lifelong processes. Those who are in recovery are at heightened risk during periods of stress.

Addiction Treatment

Individual Therapy 

A therapist helps change substance-related thoughts and behaviors while increasing motivation for change.

Group Therapy

Led by a therapist, member encourage and support one another in making meaningful life changes.

Support Groups

Meet with peers who are also in recovery and participate in a socail environment free of substances.


Used in specific cases for symptom management, medication is most effective when paired with therapy. (MAT)

Signs Of Addiction

Loss of Control Over Substance Use

  • Using more of the substance than intended

  • Difficulty reducing substance use

  • Significant time spent obtaining, using, or recovering from a substance.

  • Having cravings: strong desire to use a substance.

Social/Occupational Problems

  • Not fulfilling major obligations at work, school, or home.

  • Social problems caused by continued use of a substance

  • Decreasing or giving up important social or occupational activities.

Risky Use

  • Using the substance in situations where it is physically dangerous.

  • Physical or psychological problems caused by continued use of the substance.

Physical Effects

  • Building tolerance: Needing more of the substance to achieve desired effect.

  • Experiencing withdrawal: Physical or psychological symptoms when not using the substance.

4. How can addiction treatment help change negative thought patterns?

5. What are some of the warning signs you have encountered throughout you substance use history?

6. What defines addiction as a disease?

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©2019 by Christopher Thompson.