Whether it is alcohol, heroin, marijuana, or crack cocaine, the substance of addiction is merely the symptom of an underlying problem. The individual and unique development of addiction is the manifestation of an extreme coping mechanism for the thoughts and feelings that an individual cannot, and often does not, want to deal with. Substance use is often broken down into a person’s "drug of choice" and there are a number of different theories that offer scientific explanations for the reasons certain people gravitate towards certain substances.
Neurotransmitters in the brain are strongly linked to the development of an addiction in each and every substance issue, of which it is universally agreed dopamine is the primary candidate. At The Liberation Place we believe that most people have developed a “drug of choice” because when they participate in the use of this substance it creates a feeling of being normal. It allows the individual to no longer experience the sensations of confusion, anger, anxiety or depression, and for a fleeting moment, everything in the world seems ok. This feeling, along with the dopamine levels experienced by the user, keeps driving the individual back to the substance for more.
The problem is that this feeling of normality and euphoria only lasts for a fleeting moment, and for the vast majority of addicted people there is no ability to turn off the desire for more and more of the substance in question. Hence the addiction is born, and it can no longer be seen as “a choice” to use or not for people in this situation. In almost all cases like this, they have crossed the invisible line from substance abuse into substance dependence, ultimately stepping into the world of addiction.
In order to recover from this state, the individual has to make a conscious choice to change. Whether we are working with an abstinence-based model, or a harm reduction approach, both circumstances require a desire and a motivation for change. At The Liberation Place we aim to educate and support each individual on their entire journey. From the individual struggling with the addiction to the family member attempting to make sense of it all, we offer a total package of support for each and every person open to the change. Substance use is the most well known of addictions, and often the most stigmatized, even by those closest to it. With education and new awareness, we can work together to alter these beliefs, and ultimately support each individual on their unique recovery journey.
If this sounds familiar to you and your behaviours, or those of a loved one you are concerned about, and you would like to make some changes in your substance use behaviours, take a look at the information contained in our website and the external resources for substance addiction that we offer here The Liberation Place. If it's time to make a change and reach out for the support, recovery is a journey that starts with just one step, and only you alone can choose to take that step, but remember you are not destined to be alone when you choose to take that step with The Liberation Place!