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Far too many people, especially those who have never been addicted to anything, consider addiction a “life-style choice” — something an addict could stop if he or she “really wanted to” and wasn’t so “weak-willed.” Such opinions show ignorance of the scientific addiction literature and the experience of a drug detox professionals.

Long-term use of addictive drugs and alcohol “re-wires” an addicts brain — a popular, albeit over-simplified term that tries to explain why addicts are not so much “weak-willed” as they are driven by potent physical forces, as well as the mental and emotional factors playing a part in their addiction. Almost any drug detox specialist will confirm that addicts react quite differently to addictive substances than non-addicted people do — and quite differently than they did before they became addicted. These changes in brain chemistry are the main physical component driving ongoing drug addiction

But many addictive drugs when abused long enough — and alcohol to an even greater degree than many other drugs — can cause alterations in the structure and function of other organs and tissues in the body. These can result in chronic pain and serious discomfort, and often real illnesses, that affect mood, outlook and behavior. These complications only add to the complexity of the addiction, and of the cure. Add to these the guilt and shame that addiction often creates, plus the addicts original emotional and mental problems that contributed to the addiction in the first place, and you begin to see how drug detox providers have quite complex situations to untangle.

Some addicts are lucky enough to find the will-power to get themselves into drug detox. But many cannot. Most serious addicts need someone they can trust to help make the drug detox and rehab decision.

If someone you know has a substance dependence or an alcohol addiction or a drug addiction, don’t hesitate to contact a drug detox counselor right away. Use your will-power to help them get the help they need, and get that person into a drug detox program.

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