What is addiction?

Addiction is a brain disease of compulsive substance use or behavior despite harmful consequences. People suffering from addiction have an intense focus on using a certain substance(e.g alcohol/drugs) or behaviors(e.g gaming, gambling), to the point that it takes over their life. They keep using the substance or behavior despite knowing it will cause them problems.

What substances can people get addicted to?

  • Alcohol
  • Cannabis
  • Opiates
  • Caffeine
  • Tobacco
  • Cocaine

What behaviors can people get addicted to?

  • Videogames
  • Pornography
  • Multimedia(TV & Movies)
  • Excessive information seeking on web

How does addiction start?

People take substance or start addictive behaviors for 4 reasons:

  • Enjoyment, “high”
  • Relieve stress
  • Performance enhancement
  • Curiosity/Peer pressure

It is normal for all of us to utilize things for enjoyment, stress relief, improve performance and socialize. However, addiction becomes a problem when we are unable to stop the behavior and the substance/behavior causes problems with work, family, and friends.

People suffering from addiction have strong cravings and urges to partake in the substance/behavior. They often struggle with cutting back on the substance/behavior despite attempts in the past. The addiction can cause difficulties at work, school, and at home. Often times there is tolerance (needing larger amounts) and withdrawal (negative emotional/physical effects).

How is addiction treated?

The 1st step to recovery is to admit there is a problem. Recovery can be challenging if the patient denies having a problem or underestimates the severity of the problem. There are many medication treatment options for addiction, however medications alone won’t be enough for long-term sobriety.

Dr. Memon is board certified in addiction medicine and psychiatry. A garden psych, we perform a comprehensive substance use evaluation. Each individual substance and behavior have a variety of medications that are available for treatment. In addition, there are certain therapies such as motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioral therapy, and alcohol anonymous which can be very useful for long-term sobriety. After your substance intake evaluation, specific treatments can be discussed to target the individual addiction.

To help yourself or a loved one fighting an addiction please make an appointment by contacting us at 609-601-4161