Addiction can affect almost every aspect of an addicts life. Not only will their family life be thrown into disarray but their physical health also remains at risk for every second that they choose not to seek help for their addiction. Almost any substance or activity that the body registers as a reward can be addiction forming and each one can put the addicts family and body at risk.
THE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE BRAIN AND ADDICTION
Addiction can affect the mind and body in many ways and several of these side effects depend entirely on the drug or activity. The most powerful effect addiction has on the body, and one that all addictions share, is its effect on the brain. Each pleasure is registered in the brain in the exact same way, regardless of whether it is caused by drugs, alcohol or an event like shopping or a sexual encounter. There is a small group of nerve cells known as the nucleus accumbens and the brain registers pleasure by releasing dopamine into this cluster. Drugs can flood this pleasure centre of the brain with massive amounts of dopamine in a short period of time, rewarding the body for its addiction. Eventually the pleasure subsides but the memory of the pleasure remains and addicts attempt to recreate this surge by continuing their actions at an increased rate.
HOW ADDICTION IMPACTS FRIENDS AND FAMILY MEMBERS
People who suffer from addiction are rarely alone in their struggles. Whether they realize it or not their addiction may have a serious impact on their friends and family members who have to witness their loved ones battle their demons. An addiction can alter the entire family dynamic. Children may look at a parent with a substance abuse in a new way, refusing to see them as a role model or authority figure and choosing to disregard them completely. The addicts partner will be put through severe emotional trauma as they try and hold the relationship together with somebody who may have other objectives.
THE EFFECTS OF ADDICTION ON THE BODY
Addiction, especially drug and alcohol abuse, can have dire health consequences, with almost every organ at risk of suffering complications. The immune system will weaken to the point where it can no longer fight off infections or viruses, liver failure can occur and far-reaching damage can be done to the brain. Many people who suffer from an addiction and do not choose to seek help will eventually notice their attention span deteriorating, their memory fading and their decision-making skills permanently altered.
The only way for an addict to keep their health in tact and their family together is to seek assistance in a qualified rehabilitation facility. These clinics dedicate their lives to helping people overcome their addictions before it is too late and they have helped numerous addicts get their lives back. It is not an easy road to take, but it is the only one that ends in a positive manner for everybody involved.