Home Blog Press Releases WHAT IS ADDICTION?


Addiction is a chronic, relapsing brain disease defined by a physical and psychological dependence on drugs or alcohol. When an addictive disorder has formed, a person will pursue their toxic habits despite putting themselves and others in harm’s way.

An addiction heavily impacts the way a person thinks, acts, and feels. Many people with addictive disorders are aware of their problems but have difficulty stopping on their own. While it can be tempting to try drugs or alcohol for the first time, it is very easy for things to take a turn for the worst, especially in cases of alcohol and drug abuse. When a person consumes a substance repeatedly over time, they begin building a tolerance. Tolerance forms when you begin to need larger quantities of drugs or alcohol to achieve the same effects as when you started.

Prolonged substance abuse can result in a vicious cycle of addiction, where an individual needs to continue using drugs or alcohol in order to avoid the uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal. By the time a person realizes they have a problem, drugs or alcohol have already taken control, causing them to prioritize their use over everything else that was once important in their lives.

Understanding and Recognizing Addiction

Identifying a substance abuse problem can be a complicated process. While some signs of addictive behaviors are obvious, others are more difficult to recognize. Many people who realize they have a problem will try to hide it from family and friends, making it harder to tell whether someone is struggling. Media, television, and film often portray those with substance abuse issues as criminals, or individuals with moral shortcomings. The truth is, there’s no single face of addiction. Anyone can develop patterns of abuse or risky behaviors, no matter their age, culture or financial status.

Warning Signs of Addiction

Addictions begin with experimentation with a substance. There are many reasons someone might initially try a drug, including curiosity, peer pressure or stress and problems at work or home.

If you are concerned that someone you care about is battling an addiction, there are several red flags to look out for. However, it is important to remember that everyone is different, therefore it may be harder to spot addiction in some people than in others. Here are some general warning signs to be aware of:

  •  Ignoring commitments or responsibilities
  •  Problems at work, school or at home
  •  Unexplained absences
  •  Hanging around a different crowd
  •  Financial problems
  •  Staying up later than usual or sleeping longer
  •  Difficulty concentrating 
  •  Being secretive about parts of personal life
  •  Withdrawal from normal social activities
  •  Mood swings
  •  Apathy 
  •  Weight loss or changes in physical appearance

The supervised detoxification and residential treatment programs at Asana Recovery are offered in a supportive, relaxing, and inspiring environment. We’re deeply committed to ensuring your long-term recovery and guiding you on your path to a healthier and happier future. There is no better time than now, and we’re always available to speak with you. Call us at (949) 438-4504 to learn more about our comprehensive drug and alcohol addiction treatment program today.


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