Addiction is a complex disease, often chronic in nature, which affects the normal functioning of body and brain. It can result in serious damage to an individual’s family, relationships, educational institution and workplace. Addiction can be of various types:

  • Alcohol Addiction
  • Substance Addiction
  • Behavioral Addictions

Drug addiction is a major cause of worry in our country with Alcohol (21.4%) being the most commonly used substance followed by Cannabis (3.0%) and Heroine (0.7%). Other types of addictions include certain compulsive behaviours such as excessive social media browsing, exercising, eating, gambling, playing video games etc. So, how does one know if a person is addicted? The following are some of the indicators to help you recognize problematic behaviours in individuals:

  • A great deal of time is spent using substances or engaging in the problematic behavior.
  • The inability to cut back or quit using or engaging in such behavior.
  • A strong and persistent desire to use or engage in such behavior.
  • Relationship or social problems resulting from constant use of such behavior.
  • Previously enjoyed hobbies are abandoned in favor of use or behavior.
  • Strong tolerance to the substance.
  • Withdrawal symptoms upon cessation of use or behaviour.

But how can one help oneself or a friend overcome substance addiction? There are five key steps which have been found to facilitate recovery in alcohol and drug dependence.

  • Remind yourself or your friend of the strong reasons you want to change.
  • Think about the past attempts at recovery, if any. What worked? What didn’t?
  • Set specific, gradual and measurable goals, such as a start date or limits on the use of drugs.
  • Remove reminders of addiction from your home, workplace, and other places you frequently visit.
  • Tell friends and family that you’re committed to recovery, and ask for their understanding and support.

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