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?

Most Recent Blogs on Addiction

Addiction Recovery Help: Can I Avoid Another Relapse?

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If you’re in addiction recovery, you’re probably haunted by one question over and over: will I relapse again? There’s no one-size-fits all solution when it comes to staying clean, but there are some things recovery experts recommend that could go a long way toward helping you avoid further relapse into..Read more

Why do Bad Things Happen?

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This Guest Post comes from Everystudent.com, a safe place to explore questions about life and God. We thank them for allowing us to share their response to the very hard question everyone has asked at some point in their life…”Why does God allow bad things to happen?” How do we explain..Read more

Breaking Free from Self-Harm

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This guest post is written by Amanda Turner, the founder and head writer of Breaking Free Indeed.  Her hope is that by sharing her own story and the truths God has shown her, others might not feel so alone on their own journeys and can also find help in these..Read more

Consequences of Cutting

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I have been, for the last several weeks, blogging about cutting. It is not easy, or pretty. But neither is cancer, and we deal with it everyday. Cutting is a nasty, horrific addiction. There is nothing quite like it, short of suicide. Though most cutters would claim they don’t want..Read more

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Schalk’s Story: The Buildup of Emotional Strain

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I Only Ever Loved One Woman The heartbreak broke me completely and so badly that I went and did drugs, something I was against completely. Before she left me and after she left me, I died inside and I tried to take my life a few times after we broke..Read more

Jasman’s Story: Self-Harm

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Jasman’s Story: When I was about 7 years old my parents got divorced, but as far back as I can remember they were always fighting and arguing. I started to self-harm when I was 12.  I thought that there was no one out there who cared, knew what I was going..Read more

Struggles With Self-Harm

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Self-harm stems from pain so deep it feels as if there is no other way to take away the emotional pain.  Whether you have been abused, hurt, rejected, abandoned, or anything else that has caused you emotional trauma and you have turned to self-harm to cope…we are here for you.  If..Read more

I Was Going to Self-Harm

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Do You Struggle With Self-Harm Like Lucy? Lucy wrote to us at TheHopeLine® about a chat she had with a HopeCoach.  I was about to self-harm and I didn’t know where to turn so I went on here (TheHopeLine.com/gethelp) and this girl, a HopeCoach named Emily, talked with me. I..Read more

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Verses of Hope

Free eBooks

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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 […]

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