Individuals who struggle with addictions do not set out to destroy themselves and everyone and everything in their path–rather, these cataclysmic consequences are the effect of the vicious cycle of addiction. Addictions may serve to avert emotional and physical pain by providing the user with a temporary and illusionary escape from or way to cope with life’s realities.
In fact, more problems–serious ones–are created by addictions. Over time, a person’s ability to choose not to engage in addictive behavior can become compromised. Soon enough, the person rationalizes this need consistently and will do anything to repeat the behavior whether it is drug use to get high, gambling or sexual behavior.
Drug addiction is complex. It’s characterized by compulsive–at times uncontrollable–drug craving, seeking, and use that persists even in the face of extremely negative consequences. For many people, drug addiction becomes chronic, with relapses possible even after long periods of abstinence.
Effective drug abuse and addiction treatment programs typically incorporate many components, each directed to a particular aspect of the illness and its consequences.
Many people equate addiction with simply using drugs and therefore expect that addiction should be cured quickly, and if it is not, treatment is a failure. In reality, because addiction is a chronic disorder, the ultimate goal of long-term abstinence often requires sustained and repeated treatment.