Alcoholism and Drug Addiction

Alcoholism and drug addiction are disabling diseases. People can be addicted to illegal drugs, such as heroin or cocaine, and prescription drugs, such as pain killers.

People who are addicted to drugs and alcohol have very strong cravings to use drugs or alcohol despite the negative effects. This craving can be as strong as the desire for food and water.

With alcoholism, the body also needs alcohol to function, and the user goes through withdrawal when drinking is stopped. This is called physical dependence. Some drugs cause addiction without physical dependence (such as cocaine). But this does not make them less harmful.

Addiction to drugs or alcohol can be treated, but it is a life-long disease. Someone who has been treated for addiction should never use alcohol or drugs again.

Abusing drugs and alcohol can limit your ability to work or take care of yourself or others. Health problems related to drug and alcohol abuse and addiction also can affect everyday living. Years of alcohol or drug use may cause disabling problems even for people who are recovering from alcoholism or drug addiction.

If you have or had alcohol or drug use disorders, you might wonder if you are protected by law as a person with a disability. Whether any one person has a disability is decided on a case-by-case basis. But generally, people who currently use illegal drugs, people whose alcohol or drug use puts others in danger, or people whose alcohol or drug use does not greatly impair a major activity of daily living are not considered disabled.

Am I an addict or an alcoholic?

Girls drinking alcohol
Ask yourself the following questions:
• Do you drink or use drugs alone?
• Have you ever had a complete loss of memory as a result of drinking or drug use?
• Has your physician ever treated you for drinking or drug use?
• Do you drink or use drugs to build up your self-confidence?
• Have you ever felt remorse after drinking or drugging?
• Have you ever been to a hospital or institution because of drinking or drug use?
• Do you lose time from work due to drinking or drug use?
• Is drinking or drug use making your home life unhappy?
• Do you drink or use drugs because you are shy with other people?
• Is drinking or drug use affecting you reputation?
• Have you gotten in financial difficulties as a result of drinking of drug use?
• Do you turn to lower companions and an inferior environment when drinking or using drugs?
• Does your drinking or drug use make you careless of your family's welfare?
• Has your ambition decreased since drinking or using drugs?
• Do you crave a drink of drugs at a definite time daily?
• Do you want a drink or drugs the next morning?
• Does drinking or using drugs cause you to have difficulty sleeping?
• Has your efficiency decreased since drinking or using drugs?
• Is drinking or using drugs jeopardizing your job or business?
• Do you drink or use drugs to escape from worries or troubles?
Answering 'Yes' to three or more questions indicates that either abuse or dependence is present and corrective action needs to be taken.

KZN Addict recovers at Tranquility: This is Dinesh story:
“I used all the following substances and couldn’t stop, I was addicted to all of them; Cocaine, alcohol, CAT, Weed, prescription pills, but the one I was most fond of was CAT.

My drinking started at the age of 17. I used weed and pills through my earlier days. In the last 5 years I started with coke and got hooked on CAT, and alcohol.

After my break up with my ex-girlfriend, being in a 7 year relationship my addiction got to a state of madness. Using 5 days in a week and not caring about anything or anyone. My life started to slip away to a state where I couldn't function mentally and emotionally. Isolating myself from the world,I got to a point where I couldn't handle the chaos that had corrupted my inner being. All the keys on a keyboard piano all at once and suffocating any rational thinking or thought process. I got to a point where I lost the will to live.

I felt that everyone, friends and family were “out to get me” My isolation to my world around me fell apart, and somehow I created a new reality in my mind. I skewered, sick reality that was like a living hell. My thoughts were so chaotic. I tried to stop so many times, but I felt it was too late, and my life had become so unmanageable, and I would end up using again.

Ever since I walked into the doors of Tranquility Home Rehab, a new way of thinking was born in me. My life has been reformed in every aspect – words can’t describe.

I found myself again. I found my inner purpose, and most of all I found my connection to my Higher Power. My God. I thank everyone at Tranquility, all the staff, and most of all the friendships created with my fellowship, we forged a bond that will never be broken.

I’m sad to walk out today, but I know that we are a family, and the love we have for each other is so precious, no money can buy. It’s priceless.

Thank YOU!!!"

Sources:
1) Questions are courtesy of John Hopkins University Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
2) Womenshealth.gov
3) Tranquility Home Rehab Clinic on Facebook

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