BenchmarksThis post is taken form the website www.addictionandrecovery.org

Approximately 10% of any population is addicted to drugs or alcohol. Addiction crosses all socio-economic boundaries. 10% of teachers, 10% of plumbers, and 10% of CEOs have an addiction.

Addiction is more common than diabetes, which occurs in approximately 7% of the population.

The Definition of Substance Abuse Some people aren’t addicted to drugs or alcohol, but abuse them. The American Psychiatric Association (DSM-IV) definition of substance abuse is at least one of the following four criteria.

  • Continued use despite social or interpersonal problems.
  • Repeated use resulting in failure to fulfill obligations at work, school, or home.
  • Repeated use resulting in physically hazardous situations.
  • Use resulting in legal problems.

The Consequences of Addiction People only stop using when they’ve suffered enough negative consequences. When you’ve suffered enough pain and enough regret you’ll be ready to stop. After all why stop before that? Addiction feels good.

You’re ready to stop your addiction when the two competing qualities of addiction collide. On the one hand, addiction feels good which makes you want to use more. On the other hand, addiction feels so good that you’re willing to sacrifice part of your life to have more, and you’re willing to experience pain in order to continue using. After a while something has got to give.

The purpose of websites like this is to show you the potential negative consequences of addiction so that you’re ready to quit before you’ve lost everything. You don’t have to hit rock bottom. You can imagine what it would be like to hit rock bottom. And that can be enough to motivate you.

The most important consequences of addiction are social, emotional, and psychological. People usually think of the physical and economic consequences of addiction. “I don’t have a serious addiction because my health is fine, and I haven’t lost my job.” But your body usually repairs itself quickly. The health consequences of addiction are often the least important.

As far as work is concerned that’s usually the last thing to suffer. You need your work to pay your bills, so that you can continue to use. When your work begins to suffer, you’ve slipped from being a functioning addict to a non-functioning addict.

The damage addiction does to your relationships and self-esteem takes longer to repair. You’ve hurt friends and family. You’ve disappointed yourself. You’ve traded important things in your life so that you could make more time to use. You’ve lived a double life. You’ve seen the hurt in your family’s eyes, and the disappointment in your children’s faces.

You may read more at www.addictionandrecovery.org.