What Is Addiction?

Drug and alcohol addiction doesn’t always begin the way most people expect. It’s not as easy to see as needles and empty liquor bottles. Sometimes it is prescription painkillers given by a doctor, or a few beers every night, that grows into what we know as addiction. It can be hard to see the signs at first, especially in a loved one. That is why addiction is so harmful to the families of the afflicted.


Addiction is defined by a physical and mental dependence for drugs, alcohol, or behavior. It can change completely how a person lives their life, even when they know they have a problem. Often it is thought that people who have addictions are just in denial to their issues, but knowing you have a problem doesn’t mean you can fight it alone.

Often addiction starts with gaining a tolerance by repeated use of alcohol or drugs. What started as a “just for fun” activity can quickly turn for the worse. Our bodies build a tolerance after a while, which means people need to use (drugs, alcohol) more to get the desired effect.

Life Spinning Out Of Control

Soon, life can spin out of control with a cyclical need for drugs or alcohol to combat withdrawal. Withdrawal is the bodies response to its dependence on the substance one is addicted to. Withdrawal is often the first reality check for an addict. Having your body betray you can be a shock to your system.

Easy To Hide

Addiction can be hard to identify because those who have it often try to hide it. Addiction is a pattern of abuse in which a person abuses a substance. It can be hard to single out that someone is struggling because there are so many different ways it presents itself. Addicts are adept at hiding their problem.