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September 7, 2023

The Basics of Addiction and How to Overcome It


Addiction is a chronic and progressive disease that significantly affects a person’s quality of life. If you are struggling with a substance abuse disorder, it can be a difficult condition to overcome. Addiction is complex and requires a multi-faceted approach. The key to overcoming addiction is knowing the basics of addiction and understanding the science of addiction as a whole. Once addiction is understood, the transformation that occurs in addiction before and after treatment is tremendous.

This article focuses on the basics of addiction and the importance of peer recovery support services in helping people overcome substance abuse. If you are newly recovering and looking to preserve your hard-earned sobriety, call The Nook toll-free today. Our Southern California sober living network features evidence-based programs and clinical and peer recovery support that is second to none.

Call us today and step up your recovery game.

What Are the Basics of Addiction?

While the science of addiction itself is complex, it can be broken down into four components referred to as the 4 C’s of addiction:

Compulsion—having an overpowering urge to use substances that is absolute and completely takes over the addict’s thought processes.

Craving—intense urges to use substances that can manifest as insomnia, restlessness, and a lack of appetite.

Consequences—people continue to use substances despite the consequences they face, whether legal, personal, or financial.

Control—addicts attempt to reduce or eliminate the use of substances but are unsuccessful in stopping their use.

Understanding the basics of addiction in this manner helps explain the behaviors that addicts display as a result of their drug and alcohol intake. In addition to legal issues as mentioned above, an addict’s work and school performance decline. They will use in isolation and become defensive if confronted about their substance use. Additionally, an addict’s physical appearance changes over time and they may lose or gain a significant amount of weight, have a poor diet, and don’t practice proper hygiene.

The Way to Conquer Addiction

For those addicted to drugs and alcohol, the best and most effective way to conquer addiction is through a comprehensive evidence-based drug treatment program. Since every addict is unique in their needs and goals, drug treatment programs must have the ability to be personalized to meet each addict’s needs. The components of an effective treatment program include the following:

  • Medical detoxification
  • Individual, group, and family counseling
  • Medication management
  • Life and coping skills training
  • Nutrition and exercise therapy
  • 12-step group support
  • Aftercare programs

While each of these components is essential, counseling is perhaps the most important piece of the treatment puzzle. Counseling allows clients to take a deeper look at themselves and the roots of their addiction in a safe and non-judgmental environment. The basics of an addiction counseling program include open-ended listening, asking open-ended questions, genuineness, and the therapist having unconditional positive regard for the addict.

An important component of counseling is empathy. Being empathetic is having the ability to understand another’s feelings but not taking those feelings on themselves. Empathy shows the counselor is listening and understanding a client’s experience and can work with the client in developing a healthier set of coping skills.

As stated above, aftercare is another essential part of the recovery process. Aftercare programs such as sober living allow clients to connect and network with others who share similar stories in recovery. Aftercare programs allow clients to put into practice the healthy coping skills learned in rehab while receiving continued support from treatment staff. Sober living and other aftercare programs give clients extra confidence and motivation needed to work their own recovery program as they resume their normal daily lives.

Strengthen Your Recovery With Help from The Nook

It is often said that staying sober is more difficult than getting sober. If you have completed a rehab program, a sober living program can act as an insurance policy to protect your sobriety. As of one Southern California’s premier sober living networks, The Nook has helped countless people strengthen their sobriety and improve their lives. We offer men’s and women’s housing programs that are evidence-based, effective, and feature top-notch clinical support. Start living your best life and call The Nook Sober Living right now.

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