Midlife Crisis: Developing an Addiction as an Adult
With age, the body’s capability to tolerate addictive substances decreases as it becomes more susceptible to the negative effects of drugs and alcohol. For these reasons, the same level of alcohol that is tolerated in adolescence may lead to an addiction in older adults. Therefore, adults can develop an addiction more easily in comparison to younger people.
We all agree that different stages of life come with a particular set of circumstances that may or may not play a part in paving a path towards addiction. But the risk of substance abuse is greatly increased during mid-life due to a number of factors like added responsibilities, financial insecurities, personal relationships with friends and family, issues relating to work, personal or family illnesses etc.
All of these factors play a major part in increasing the stress levels, which can lead to substance abuse. The body’s guards are already more vulnerable, making middle-age individuals more vulnerable towards developing an addiction.
Once an addiction develops, it can have serious repercussions on your life that usually last for a long time. Keep in mind that the addictive behaviors affect a number of areas of your life. Let’s have a look at how substance abuse can affect the lives of adults and those surrounding them.
Addiction and Brain
The brain is in charge of a number of important and life-sustaining functions like respiration, metabolism, etc. Furthermore, it interprets the sensory images and influences your thoughts, emotions, and actions. In short, it is the central processing unit of the body that affects your behavior.
Drugs affect the brain in a way that changes the manner in which it sends, receives and processes information from the sensory division. Other drugs work to activate the pleasure centers in the brain, creating a false illusion of happiness or euphoria. The receptors are fooled into interpreting the drugs as the brain’s natural chemical.
Now, when a person takes drugs, they activate the pleasure centers of the brain and release a large amount of dopamine. This reward is so powerful that it motivates the user to repeat the experience, even when the consequent effects are not pleasurable. Eventually, this turns into an addiction and the body starts to display the withdrawal effects when the intake of drugs is hindered.
Addiction and Family Life
Addiction is a family affliction that affects every member of the family. It is important to realize that, as humans, we are social beings and are highly dependent on each other. Even if you don’t realize it, your familial and personal relations affect you deeply and even play an important role in your personality development.
Every family evolves over time as members develop particular ways of interacting with each other. These behavioral patterns of the families add conformity and organization to the lives of the individual members. Either consciously or subconsciously, each family member is assigned a role to which they adhere to at all times.
A drug addiction can bring an abrupt change in these subconsciously defined roles because of the changes in the family system due to the addictive behavior of one member. It usually causes a change in all parts of the system.
The inverse effects of substance abuse on the family are evident through a number of studies that are done in this regard. More often than not, an addiction can increase the risk of an unsatisfying family life. In fact, it is one of the leading causes of divorce nowadays. This is because an addiction changes the behavior towards family, leading to a number of disputes that often end in separation, a custody case, or divorce.
Furthermore, children of the family are highly affected. Studies show that children who are exposed to drugs and alcohol at an early age have a higher chance of developing issues related to substance abuse in the future. It has also been observed that children of the parents who struggled with drug and alcohol abuse are more likely to become dependent themselves.
Addiction and Financial Problems
Catering to an addiction as an adult can have grave consequences. A major financial loss is one of the most common repercussions of an addiction. In fact, it is common to see people going bankrupt or under huge debt because of their addictive behaviors.
A lot of people believe that addiction stems from financial problems in the first place. But it is important to keep in mind that the opposite is also true. The financial issues caused by addiction can ruin lives! And not just the life of the individuals displaying the addictive behaviors, but their whole families.
This happens because withdrawal can put an individual in a frenzied state in which they are ready to do anything to get the next fix. Most people are even willing to use manipulative ways in order to get the money to cater to their addictions. This highly affects the bank balance of the individual and budget of the family, leading to disputes and distrust.
Addiction and Work
Addiction leaves no stone unturned. It affects all parts of the life and work is just one of them. It is a given that you have to be at your best behavior when working in an organization or dealing with people while on the job. But as we know, addiction can lead to several behavioral issues. As with personal relations, the behavioral effects of an addiction can severely impact your professional relationships.
Furthermore, an individual who is drug or alcohol dependent will naturally find it difficult to fulfill their responsibility. Add in the erratic and moody behavior, an addiction can easily lead to job loss. Unemployment causes money-related issues that increase the stress factor; consequently, leading to further substance abuse. And the vicious cycle continues.
If you have developed an addiction or know someone who is struggling with one, keep in mind that all is not lost. Anyone can overcome an addiction: all you need is a little help and a lot of patience and determination. A rehabilitation facility like Arizona Addiction can help you in this regard. Remember, dealing with an addiction as an adult is hard but you always have the power to overcome it. Our help is always available.
Content for Arizona Addiction by Cohn Media, LLC. Passionate and creative writing and broadcasting, covering the following industries: addiction rehab, health care, entertainment and technology. Advocate of clear communication, positivity and humanity at its best. www.cohn.media
Content for Arizona Addiction Recovery Centers created by Cohn Media, LLC. Passionate and creative writing and broadcasting, covering the following industries: addiction rehab, health care, entertainment, technology and advocate of clear communication, positivity and humanity at its best. www.cohn.media
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