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What is Addiction?

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Recovery is a team effort

Did you know teens as young as 12 face substance abuse problems? That said, it’s important to ask what is addiction and how can you treat it. Most importantly, how do you prevent relapse?

What is Addiction According to Scientists?

A young boy wonders what is addictionTeens and young adults suffering from addiction need medical assistance. Addiction is neither a parental failure nor the result of moral weakness. So, what is addiction? According to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, it’s a chronic disease affecting the body and brain.

An overwhelming amount of people struggle with addiction. However, specific cases aren’t always identical. Some teens and young adults have moderate addiction problems while others have a severe, unrelenting condition. Even so, common symptoms include an inability to control drug use and failure to permanently stop using.

A Closer Look at the Brain and Body Connection

The chemicals in drugs affect neurotransmitters. Typically, they target the cognitive reward center, which includes the nucleus accumbens. Drug use leads to the temporary chemical flooding of this system which mimics euphoria. During this process, drugs rewire the brain to halt chemical release until they enter the system again. This is why people with addiction don’t feel euphoric unless they’re using.

For this reason, it’s fair to say drug use affects teens and young adults physically and psychological. The body learns that it needs drugs to produce feelings of happiness. The mind then adapts to this cycle and the subsequent rewards. Undoing chemical cues takes medical intervention involving therapists and addiction medicine experts.

How Teens and Young Adults Overcome Substance Abuse Problems

What is addiction if not the opportunity for healing? Since the condition is a chronic disease, there’s no cure. However, like other illnesses, the possibility for treatment and remission is always available. Addiction treatment programs that work with younger clients include:

  • In-depth intake assessments that help you choose the best treatment
  • Comprehensive treatment including early intervention and intensive outpatient care
  • Talk therapy sessions that work with the client’s school or work schedules
  • Family therapy allows loved ones to heal alongside clients

In particular, patients have difficulty recognizing when adolescents need outside intervention. Although you love your children, sometimes additional therapy promotes change. However, your support is still necessary. Most importantly, you, yourself, may need help coping with a loved one’s addiction.

For this reason, it makes sense to enroll in a program offering family involvement. Getting help for everyone provides the necessary support for healing and recovery. Above all, doing so helps prevent future relapse.

Making the Program Work for You

If you or a loved one is struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction, don’t wait. Catching the addiction early makes treatment easier. Even if your loved one is abusing substances, an intervention may be sufficient.

Never underestimate the power of love and support. Everyone has the potential to reach successful recovery. Reach out to Zelus Recovery in Meridian, Idaho today by calling 208.518.0797.