How To Recognize & Recover from Addiction

If you can’t stop using substances or engaging in behaviors that harm your mind, body, and relationships, don’t give up hope. You’ve found a place to get help for your addiction.

How Do I Know if I Have an Addiction?

According to The American Psychiatric Association (APA), addiction (also known as severe substance abuse disorder) goes deeper than series of negative behavior:

“Addiction is a complex condition, a brain disease that is manifested by compulsive substance use despite harmful consequence.”

If you have addiction, your focus on using addictive substances or behaviors to cope is so fixed that it takes over your life. In fact, you continue to do so, in spite of how it’s hurting you, your relationships, your work/academic performance, and your ability to connect with others.

TheHopeLine supports many people addicted to drugs and alcohol, but addiction can manifest itself in other ways. You could have an addiction to:

While all of us make choices that influence our lives, addiction is more than a string of bad choices. Understanding some of the reasons addiction happens is key to freeing yourself from shame and shifting your focus to recovery.

Why Do I Have an Addiction?

We are responsible for our choices. But addictive behavior feels so difficult to stop because your brain is wired differently.

According to the same report by the APA, “Changes in the brain’s wiring are what cause people to have intense cravings for the drug and make it hard to stop using the drug. Brain imaging studies show changes in the areas of the brain that relate to judgment, decision making, learning, memory and behavior control.”

This atypical wiring may be there because of genetics or a diagnosis of mental illness. But continually using the addictive substance (or engaging in the addictive behavior) can also further cement those neural paths.

Can I Recover from Addiction or Relapse?

With what we know about addiction, it can seem like you’re trapped by substance use or destructive behaviors once you start down that path. But the truth is far more freeing. You can recover from addiction (and after relapse into addiction). And you can start today.

Admit you have an addiction: Understanding you have an addiction, and that it harms you and your relationships, is a critical step toward recovery.

Know what tempts you toward addiction: For every temptation, there is always a way out.

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13). Knowing the people, circumstances, places, actions, and feelings that trigger your addictive behavior can help you make a plan to stop and turn you toward healthier coping strategies.

Ask for support: There are many caring experts and professionals uniquely qualified to mentor and support people with addictions. If you’re looking for help from people who have proven results with lasting addiction recovery, you’ve come to the right place.

We are here. We support you. And you can be free. It’s time to get the help you need to break the cycle and heal from addiction.

Learn more about addiction and recovery by searching our blogs, ebooks, podcasts, and other resources:

  • Can people truly recover from addiction?
  • How does addiction develop over time?
  • What do I do if I’m in a relationship with an addict?
  • How do I succeed in addiction recovery?
  • What do I do when I want to get clean and sober?

FAQ on Addiction:

What Should I do to get rid of addictions?

Getting rid of addiction is more of a journey than a one-time decision, and it requires a support network that can encourage you as you decide each day to not use addictive substances or engage in harmful addictive behaviors. It takes courage to admit that you struggle with addiction, but talking about it is an important first step. You can visit a local support group (like AA or Narcotics Anonymous) for in-person support.

Learn more

Most Recent Blogs on Addiction

The First Steps to Addiction Recovery

dawson-blog-featured-image

Break Free From Addiction If you live with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, to pornography, to cutting and self-harm, I know you must be scared and hurting. But there is hope. There is help. And you can start on the path to addiction recovery. Recovering from addiction will not be an..Read more

6 Ways to Have Fun Without Drinking

dawson-blog-featured-image

If you struggle with substance abuse, or simply find that you’re more dependent on alcohol than you want to be, it can be a frustrating journey to growth and recovery. It seems like every social media post and every ad for food and drink features drinking at its center, surrounded..Read more

Someone I Love Has an Addiction: Can I Help?

dawson-blog-featured-image

  I’ve talked with a lot of people whose lives have been impacted by addiction. It can be a roller coaster of ups and downs, depending on where someone is in their recovery process. If you love someone with an addiction, one question is likely on your mind often: can I help?..Read more

Addiction Recovery: What to Do After a Relapse

dawson-blog-featured-image

If you live with an addiction to substances like drugs and alcohol, or harmful behaviors like self-harm or pornography use, it feels terrible to relapse or slide back into those unhealthy patterns after you’ve started on the road to recovery. I’m here to tell you that addiction recovery is never..Read more

View More >

Podcasts about Addiction :

Videos on Addiction:

eBooks on Addiction :

Ask Dawson:

Stories on Addiction :

Life as a Mother of an Addict and Felon

dawson-blog-featured-image

I am the mother of a 34-year-old son who is an addict and a felon. He has been in more rehabs and diversion programs than I can count. He has lived on the streets, been an absconder, and is presently incarcerated for the 9th time. Life as a Mother of..Read more

Don’t Lose Hope In Tough Times. There Is More.

dawson-blog-featured-image

Chatting with your HopeCoaches seriously brought me through some of the darkest seasons in my life. Don’t lose hope in tough times. I have used TheHopeLine several times. It was a really powerful tool that actually helped me vent out stuff that had piled up for years, and now, I..Read more

Struggling with Self-Harm: Finding Hope and Help

dawson-blog-featured-image

Self-harm stems from pain so deep it feels as if it is the only way to take away the emotional pain.  If you have been abused, hurt, rejected, abandoned, or experienced anything else that has caused you emotional trauma and you have turned to self-harm to cope…we are here for you...Read more

Depression and ADHD: The Saving of My Son

dawson-blog-featured-image

Life Looked Good Our high school son was a high energy, 3 sport athlete, life of the party, good grades sort of kid.  His two younger brothers looked up to him.  Life appeared great. It all came crashing down One night, he was out with friends during his Junior year..Read more

View More >

Resources for Addiction :

Spiritual Perspective :

Verses of Hope

Free eBooks

ebook-resources

Free eBook: Understanding a Relationship with God

A guide to understanding the basics of Christianity and a meaningful relationship with God.  Do You Feel Like Life is Meaningless? Are you wondering what your purpose is? Do you have questions about what Christians believe or what it means to be a Christian? At TheHopeLine we believe real and lasting HOPE can only come […]

View More >

Additional Resources

View More >