One of the first steps to understanding and addressing addiction, is to attain a basic definition of addiction, and then utilizing this definition to examine one’s life to see if addiction has become a shackle in your life. One way to define and view addiction, is continuing any action – alcohol, marijuana, illicit drugs, sex, video games – despite the negative (life) consequences that result from that action. Addiction can hijack the brain and alter or perceptions, life priorities, and abilities to invest in life. This is what often baffles and confuses people about addiction, it seems to defy all logic and reason. Sometimes loved ones of people struggling with addiction(s) do not always comprehend why they don’t just stop. Or, perhaps the individual themselves cannot comprehend or understand the grip addiction has on their lives. We at Ancora strive to support folks in understanding the power of addiction and moving forward to take back control of your life.
Most often people think about drugs and alcohol when consider addiction, however, addiction can manifest in many forms in our lives. Pornography, gambling, sex, money, even exercise and tanning beds, can be addictions in our lives. Another example of a misconception of addiction is the notion of a “functioning addict” the belief that people can alter their lives and routines to accommodate for addiction. Over time the addiction takes up more and more real-estate in our lives, and can take over our goals, dreams, and aspirations.
Many things can influence the development and maintenance of addiction; coping with past traumatic events, recreational use, attempting to increase enjoyment in life, or coping with symptoms of mental illness, all can be a part of a vast list of influential factors in the development of addition. In addition, addiction can influence different areas of the brain; such as: neurotransmitters, limbic system/amygdala, and prefrontal cortex. When these areas of the brain are impacted by addiction, not only are our abilities to solve problems, regulate emotions, self-awareness, and making healthy decisions are impacted, but also the severity, impact, and entrenchment of the addiction as well.
Here at Ancora, we aim to support folks in understanding the power of addiction, identifying what purpose addiction has served to help us cope with life, and to provide support along the road to recovery. We observe a dual-diagnosis approach when supporting folks in addressing their addictions, as we believe the mental health and addictions have a close relation and can influence on another. Addiction and mental health can go hand in hand, and at times can be difficult to identify which came first once a person is in the throes of addiction; it is our belief that mental health is such an integral part of a person’s overall health and recovery, and feel it is imperative that it be treated along with addiction when both are at play. If you are ready to start your journey towards recovery and getting you power back, give us a call as we would honored to accompany you on your journey of healing and wellness.