What is Addiction?

Need help with an addiction?

We see addiction as a disease in which you have become dependent on a substance or a habit. It is a disease that manifests itself in different ways in different people. That is why we believe that customized care is the only solution. We therefore always look at the personal circumstances of our clients and tailor the treatment accordingly.

Addiction is a disease with both physical and social causes and consequences. It is a chronic and progressive disease, but fortunately also treatable. The sooner you intervene in an addiction, the greater the chance of a quick and successful recovery.

Types of Addictions?

Addictions are usually divided into two types: substance or substance addiction and behavioral addictions. There is often overlap between the two. A substance can be both mentally and physically addictive. And in many behavioral addictions we see that certain substances are released in the brain that are linked to physical addiction.

At Castle Craig, we specialize in substance addiction. We also treat additional problems, but substance addiction is central. Do you notice that you are (too) dependent on a substance? Or do you know someone who is struggling with (a starting) addiction? Please contact Castle Craig for professional and effective help and support.

Why is addiction a brain disease?

When using addictive substances, substances are released in the brain that give a pleasant feeling (dopamine). These substances are also observed in behavioral addictions. Due to hereditary factors or long-term use, these substances can change the chemical composition of the brain. More and more is then needed to activate these substances in the brain.
That is why we speak of a brain disease: your brain no longer functions properly after long-term use and that affects your well-being.

What are the characteristics of an addiction?

Below are a number of characteristics that may indicate an addiction:

  • You always need a larger dose of an agent to achieve the same effect.
  • You have withdrawal symptoms when you are not using. These symptoms decrease when you use the medicine again.
  • You use more often and more than planned.
  • You want to control your usage, but there have been few successful attempts to reduce usage.
  • You spend a lot of your time using or obtaining the drug.
  • You give up activities such as work, hobbies and leisure because of the use.
  • You use even though you know that it causes physical or psychological problems.
  • You can no longer meet obligations at work, school or at home.
  • You use a substance in situations where this is dangerous.
  • You use constantly even though it causes problems in relationships.

Consequences of an addiction

The consequences of an addiction differ per user. It depends on the habit and / or the substance itself: which substance is it? How much is it used and how often? But environmental factors also play a role: does the addict have a job, a family and social contacts?
Below are a number of categories with the associated consequences of an addiction:

  • Mental consequences
    In an addiction you are preoccupied with the substance. Because you are constantly working on the drug, interests in other matters decrease. This can cause your development to come to a standstill. In addition, depressions can develop and worsen, and you can lose grip on reality because you are constantly living in a daze.
  • Physical consequences
    Physical problems can arise because the substance used can put stress on your body. This causes your health to deteriorate and someone who is addicted in most cases already takes bad care of themselves. Stimulant drugs such as cocaine en speed can cause physical exhaustion and problems with the heart and blood vessels.
  • Financial consequences
    An addiction can also cause money problems. Using it can cause you to malfunction, causing you to lose your job or job. Substances such as alcohol and drugs also cost a lot of money. Because you no longer have any income, high debts can arise.
  • Social consequences
    An addiction can have a major impact on your behavior. Interests for and in others can decrease because you are mainly involved with the substance. You can then prioritize the need at the expense of a relationship with your partner, friends or family.

Need help? Contact us

The care we provide will be excellent assessed by our (former) patients. This applies to both outpatient care in the Netherlands and to clinical care in Castle Craig Hospital. Do you want to take the first step towards recovery yourself? Sign up or call 088-770 70 77.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Addiction?

An addiction is a disease in which your body and / or mind has become dependent on a substance or habit. This can be alcohol, drugs or medication, but also gambling, sex or gaming.

What does an addiction do to you?
An addiction means that a person has become dependent on a particular substance. An addict's behavior is focused on either obtaining the substance or acting on the habit. In a person suffering from an addiction, the substance or behavior has the highest priority.
Are you 'suddenly' addicted?
The use often starts innocently under the guise of trying or socializing. But as time goes on, an increasing need arises, until the moment that you can no longer function normally without the drug.
Why does someone get addicted?

Addiction can be the result of biological, personal and social causes. Nobody expects to become addicted: in the beginning, for example, you sporadically use a stimulant or narcotic for fun.
It is difficult to identify an addiction because it develops gradually. Shame and denial can also play a role in this. But over time, an increasingly strong need arises that in many cases can no longer be hidden. For example, if you can no longer function properly without a substance.

Which people become addicted?

It's a myth that addiction only occurs in people who are weak, lacking in self-control, or "depressed" people. Addiction is a common problem in all walks of life.
In fact, it's a harmful notion that addiction only occurs in people who are badly off, or that you don't really have problems with addiction until you live under a bridge. Because of these persistent stereotypes, people often try to hide their problems so as not to be seen as an 'addict'. Shame and fear form a high threshold when seeking help and the addiction is given free rein.

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