Substance Addiction! What Is It & How Can It Be Cured?

In the post below we will discuss what substance addiction is, what substances people can get addicted to, as well as what makes some of us more vulnerable to addiction than others. We’ll also look at the different types of addiction treatment that are available, and examine the question of whether substance addiction can ever be fully cured.

What is addiction?

In a nutshell, addiction is a type of dependence on a substance that you feel you must consume, even if it harms you. The harm addiction can cause is not limited to the body, but ranges from psychological to issues holding down a job, maintaining relationships and being able to provide for yourself.

This type of addiction tends to be characterized by a powerful urge or need to take a substance, and often the belief that you will not be able to cope without it.

There are many different kinds of substances you can get addicted to including but not limited to:
  • Alcohol
  • Nicotine
  • Opiates
  • Amphetamines
  • Barbiturates
  • Benzodiazepines
What makes someone vulnerable to addiction?

When it comes to substance abuse it's important to remember that it's a disease and not a moral failing. Indeed, many factors can make an individual more vulnerable to developing an addiction at some point in their lives.

Dual diagnoses

The first of these factors is when someone has a dual diagnosis. This means they not only have an addiction but an additional physical or mental health disorder including anxiety, depression, GAD, OCD, PTSD, PTSD and the like.

Dual diagnosis situations can be risky because using a substance exacerbates the condition, but often having the condition leads to people self-medicating through addictive substances. In this way, an individual falls into a vicious cycle.


Another major risk factor for substance addiction is our genetics, something that we have no control over whatsoever. Indeed, the chemical makeup and functioning of our brains vary significantly from person to person, which means some people are much more at risk of developing a substance addiction than others.


Lastly, the type of environment that you find yourself in can make a vast difference to your risk of developing a substance addiction. For instance, individuals that spend time in prison may find themselves exposed to greater levels of harder drug use than they would if they lived on the outside.

High levels of drug use in the community in which you live can also increase your risk, as substance use is normalized, and substances are easily available most of the time.

For young people, peer pressure, as well as a lack of parental involvement can also put them at greater risk of substance use and addiction.

What are the different treatments for addiction?

There are many different types of treatment for substance addiction available.

Outpatient treatment

This is the lowest level of treatment for substance addictions that is on offer. Although don’t be fooled into thinking that it's not as effective as the others, because a high-quality outpatient substance addiction program like the one offered at can help you get all the support you need, and get your life back on track. All without the inconvenience of having to put other areas of your life and work on hold.

Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)

Another option for those struggling with substance addiction is to go into PHP treatment. This is a type of treatment that is best suited for those with a slightly higher level of addiction problem and that need the support of being in a drug-free safe to begin their treatment. It also is a good choice for people that need medications for addiction treatment administered or medications for dual diagnosis.

Residential rehab

This is a type of treatment where the individual goes to a residential facility to get more intensive treatment. The benefits include access to comfortable surroundings, as well as access to more intensive daily therapies. Patients can also benefit from peer support as they will be surrounded by others going through the same experience, and they will be taken out of their regular environment which for some people can greatly aid their recovery.

Can addiction ever be fully cured?

The question of whether or not addiction can fully be cured is a highly debated one. Some people believe that once the physical or psychological dependency has been eliminated, an individual is free of addiction. However, others consider addiction to be a lifelong condition that must continue to be managed even when a person is not actively using it to help them stay healthy and happy.

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