On The Edge of Addiction
Addiction is so rampant today that many who habitually use drugs think it is normal. These are the people living on the edge of addiction. Once addiction set in there is no question that the obsessive, compulsive, uncontrollable use of drugs is not a normal or healthy way to live. Yet, many remain, sometimes for years, in denial. The problem with living on the edge of addiction is that it is easy to bypass the addiction stage and fall directly into a fatal drug overdose situation.
The question is how much and how often do you have to consume alcohol or drugs to be considered an addict? The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) support the belief backed by decades of research that addiction is a disease of the brain that compels people to be singularly obsessed with obtaining and using drugs despite life threatening and other adverse consequences. While this description may be difficult to relate to for those in denial the following question may help.
- Stages of Addiction
- Are you a recreational user who only drink or use drugs when you are in the company of friends?
- Do you enjoy feeling high so much that you not only indulge with friends but also by myself when you feel like it?
- Has drug use become a part of your daily life but you think you are okay because it doesn’t really affect how you function at home and work?
- Do you need to use drugs or drink every day to feel normal?
- Are you aware that important areas of your life such as your job, relationships and health are being impacted by substance abuse?
The preceding questions indicate the natural progression of addiction. The NIDA also characterize addiction as a progressive, relapsing condition. If you consider yourself a recreational user, you may not notice the shift from recreational to occasional use. Tolerance levels typically start to build during occasional use.
When drugs and alcohol become habitual, tolerance levels have already developed which leads to chronic use then addiction. The danger of addiction is hidden within these subtle transitions.
Unfortunately, there are thousands of people at the edge of addition who still believe that they are drink or use drugs just for fun. The push that takes most people over the edge is not necessarily an obvious one. It is often gradual, like the gentle shoves that take you by surprise when you suddenly discover there is no ground under your feet.