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How Does It Feel to Be Addicted to Drugs or Alcohol?

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Have you ever wondered how it feels to be addicted to drugs or alcohol?  It can be hard to comprehend, especially if you don’t use the substances.  As a result, it’s easy to minimize the suffering that an addicted person endures.

Addiction is often viewed as a moral failing or lack of willpower.  This viewpoint is due in part to the stigma surrounding addiction.  This widespread lack of understanding about substance abuse and its consequences prevents many individuals from receiving the treatment they need.

Addicted to Drugs: Seen From a Personal Perspective

Addicted to DrugsAcross the U.S, millions of people suffer from addiction every day.  But, few people realize the full impact addiction has on a person emotionally, physically, and spiritually. 

Seeing addiction from a personal perspective can be uncomfortable.  It’s easier to look at the impersonal statistics and hope somebody finds a solution.  By knowing the facts about addiction and how it feels on a personal level, people can develop a more compassionate or empathic perspective.  

When a person struggles with addiction, they typically experience the following feelings that can be hard to manage or express:

Loss of Control

A loss of control is something most people with addictions experience.  Drugs or alcohol take away their normal level of self-control making the person feel powerless.  Some people say it feels like a war inside their heads.  They know what they are doing is harmful, but they can’t stop.  

The lack of control makes them feel like a failure and they despise the person they’ve become.  Sadly, these individuals are judged by others as being selfish and weak.  

Self-Loathing and Isolation

Isolation and addiction often coexist.  Isolation is a way to avoid criticism and judgment.  It’s also a way to hide from shame, guilt, and self-loathing.  

In some cases, addiction is a result of self-loathing.  People with low self-esteem often turn to drugs or alcohol as a form of self-medication.  

The Need-Hate Relationship

People with addictions are often tortured by the desire to stop but are unable to do so.  They hate themselves for not being able to control their substance use.  Despite knowing that it is hurting their loved ones, they can’t stop.

Short-Lived Pleasure

When a substance is ingested, the warm, euphoric feelings last for only a few minutes.  Then comes the need for more of the drug.  It’s a cycle that results in self-hate and another dose is needed to make the feeling disappear even for a short time.  

Most of the time, using drugs is more about escaping pain than enjoying pleasure.  Tragically, short-term relief comes with long-term costs.

Insatiable Cravings

Substance use results in intense cravings that won’t go away.  It’s impossible to think about anything else.  The person cant eat or sleep or feel pleasure and will do anything to get another fix.  Anything to make the misery disappear.  This is how one person who is addicted to opiates described the feeling:

“Opiates are like a warm hug. The blanket that makes you feel safe and stops the cravings.”

But, those warm feelings are temporary and the consequences can be long-lasting with  damages to a person’s mental and physical health that are devastating.

What You Can Do If You’re Addicted to Drugs

Prolonged substance use will have increasingly destructive effects on every area of your life.  If you feel trapped in a need-hate relationship with drugs or alcohol, seek professional treatment right away.  It’s not likely that you can stop using the substance on your own.  

Cravings and other symptoms should be medically supervised and managed to ensure a safe withdrawal process.  The cravings are nothing like the kind of desire you’d have for ice cream or chocolate.  A drug craving is a symptom of your body acting as if it cannot function without the substance.  Some of the symptoms of withdrawal can be life-threatening, so professional detox is recommended. 

Overcoming drug and alcohol addiction involves more than simply stopping the use of a substance.  Recovery is dependent on simultaneously treating the mental, physical, and spiritual elements that contributed to your substance use.  Seeking the expertise of specialists who understand the complexities of addiction is your best option.  

Get Help for Addiction to Drugs at Design for Change Recovery

Would you like to make some positive changes in your life?  If so, contact Design for Change Recovery today.  We understand how it feels to be addicted to drugs or alcohol.  That’s why we offer a comprehensive, fully-accredited addiction treatment program that can be customized for your specific needs.  

At Design for Change, you’ll enjoy a comforting, secure environment staffed with skilled professionals. Our compassionate counselors and personnel will make sure you don’t feel alone during your stay at our facility.  Their primary focus is on giving you the support and guidance you need throughout your time with us.    

Reach out to our Lancaster, CA facility for more information about our programs.   One of our representatives will be available to answer your questions and recommend a treatment plan that is right for you.


How Does It Feel to Be Addicted to Drugs or Alcohol?