Nobody truly understands alcohol and drug addiction unless they have experienced it. We should know.

Our team of therapists, psychologists, counselors, nurses, and support workers has spent over 150 years in recovery. Most of us, at one time or another, have experienced the fears and frustrations of addiction.

But we made it through the other side.

We recovered.

And now we want to help people who are going through the same thing. Perhaps that’s you or someone you love.

That’s why we’re different from other drug and alcohol rehab treatment centers in Indiana. We know what someone who suffers from addiction is going through.

The compulsive behavior.
The dependence.
The tolerance.
The withdrawal.
The relapses.
The reluctance to get help.

So we’re in an excellent position to help you understand addiction. What it does to your behavior. How it affects your brain. How it can destroy your spirit.

Here’s how to understand drug addiction and alcohol addiction.

“Always remember that your present situation is not your final destination. The best is yet to come!” — Zig Ziglar1

Addiction, Explained

Drug and alcohol addiction means different things to different people, and there is no universal definition. However, it’s typically characterized by a compulsive dependence on some kind of chemical substance. Addiction happens in the brain, but it can infiltrate someone’s entire life and influence their behavior, finances, and relationships. Co-occurring disorders might worsen or contribute to someone’s addiction. These disorders include bipolar, anxiety, depression, and borderline personality disorder.

Here are several definitions of addiction:

  • “Addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drug seeking, continued use despite harmful consequences, and long-lasting changes in the brain. It is considered both a complex brain disorder and a mental illness.” — National Institute on Drug Abuse2
  • “An addiction is a chronic dysfunction of the brain system that involves reward, motivation, and memory. It’s about the way your body craves a substance or behavior, especially if it causes a compulsive or obsessive pursuit of “reward” and lack of concern over consequences.”  — Healthline3
  • “Addiction is an inability to stop using a substance or engaging in a behavior even though it is causing psychological and physical harm.” — Medical News Today4

What Are the Signs of Addiction?

Recognizing the signs of addiction is the first step of recovery. Here are some of the most common physical, psychological, and behavioral signs of drug and alcohol addiction.

Physical Signs

  • Insomnia
  • Small/enlarged pupils
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Sudden weight loss/weight gain
  • Slurred speech
  • Unusual body odors
  • Feeling agitated
  • Coordination problems
  • Hallucinations
  • Excessive sniffing
  • Runny nose
  • Poor hygiene
  • Changes in dietary habits
  • Repetitive speech patterns

Psychological Signs

  • Feeling irritable
  • Unable to manage stress
  • A lack of interest in people and activities
  • Defensiveness
  • Denial
  • Confusion
  • Rationalizing behavior
  • Placing someone else for an addiction
  • Not admitting to the seriousness of the addiction
  • Changing conversation topics to avoid talking about addiction

Behavioral Signs

  • Obsessive thoughts/actions
  • Denying or hiding an addiction
  • Missing social events/engagements
  • Missing work or school
  • Legal issues
  • Financial issues
  • Relationship issues
  • Problems at work or school
  • Disrupted sleep patterns
  • Conversations centered on alcohol/drug-related topics

The road to recovery starts with a better understanding of addiction. If you want to know more about drug or alcohol addiction, let’s talk. Email us or call (855) 928-1987 for a 15-minute assessment with a professional at our Indiana rehab treatment center.

What Causes Addiction?

There’s no simple answer to why some people become addicted to drugs and alcohol. However, one common theory is that some of us have a genetic predisposition5 to addiction. That means we might become addicted to drugs or alcohol because of our genetic makeup.

Other theories suggest people become addicted to drugs or alcohol because of a brain deficiency. For example, a drug user might have fewer receptor sites6 in the brain. Some people might use drugs to self-medicate or get relief from anxiety or depression. While substances like drugs and alcohol might be an escape for some users, society rarely talks about the root causes of addiction.

Here at Cardinal Recovery, we take a holistic approach to drug and alcohol addiction with a broad range of therapies that uncover the cause of this condition. We welcome patients from all walks of life who want to start the recovery process and overcome addiction for good.

Who Does Drug and Alcohol Addiction Affect?

Addiction affects both the substance user and their loved ones. This condition can affect relationships, making it difficult for some people to get the treatment they deserve. Without a support system, these substance users often feel abandoned or alone.

While addiction can break down relationships, reconciliation is always possible. Our family therapy services, for example, benefit substance users and their loved ones. Therapy sessions allow both parties to address their concerns and uncover the cause of addiction in a safe and neutral environment.

If you or a loved one are struggling to cope with or understand addiction, you are not alone. We have helped thousands of people just like you.

Is Drug and Alcohol Addiction a Disease?

Medical organizations like the American Medical Association and the American Society of Addiction Medicine define addiction as a disease7,psychological%2C%20environmental%20and%20biological%20factors. like cancer or diabetes. That’s because it’s manifested by compulsive behavior that the substance user often can’t control. People who have other family members that use alcohol or drugs have a higher chance of developing an addiction, which causes changes to both the brain and body.

Like other diseases, there are ways people can treat and manage addiction. Treatments might include:

If left untreated, addictions can cause other physical and psychological disorders. That’s why it’s critical for substance users to get the help they need.

We provide that help.

Cardinal Recovery, part of the Zinnia family, provides solutions for those with alcohol and drug dependency issues and their loved ones. Our holistic, evidence-based treatment programs help people from all backgrounds who want to live a life free from addiction. Call (855) 928-1987 NOW for a 15-minute assessment with a member of our team. 

Are You Addicted to Drugs or Alcohol?

There are many misconceptions about people addicted to drugs and alcohol. However, no two substance users are the same, and there are both functioning and high-functioning “addicts.” Someone can maintain a full-time job and family commitments and still have a problem with alcohol or drugs, for example. Remember, addiction is a disease and, like other diseases, it can affect everyone differently.

When someone questions their alcohol or drug use, they might worry about an addiction issue. While regular substance use might not lead to addiction, emotional and physical symptoms could indicate a bigger problem. If someone’s drug use makes them feel uncomfortable, for example, they might want to seek help and deal with the issue.

What Is an Overdose?

There are also misconceptions about drug and alcohol overdose. From our years of experience as substance use specialists, we know an overdose can occur when someone consumes too much alcohol or takes too many drugs. We’ve helped people who have overdosed on alcohol, illegal drugs, prescription medications, and other substances.

Sometimes, an overdose results in a fatality. However, if someone receives medical treatment quickly after an overdose, a doctor can save their life. While an overdose is one of the scariest things someone can experience, life can still go on, and that person can recover.

How Cardinal Recovery Helps

For years, we have tried to help people understand drug addiction and alcohol addiction. We continue to provide resources for substance users and their loved ones dealing with the frustrations of addiction. We will continue to do so.

Once someone understands that alcohol and drug addiction is a disease, they can seek the right treatment and start the recovery process. Our personalized treatment programs help people overcome addiction and lead happier and healthier lives.

Whether you are suffering from addiction or know somebody who is, we can help. We provide ongoing support to those at every stage of addiction, including people who might still be in denial.

Here are some ways our Indiana rehab treatment helps people learn how to understand drug addiction and alcohol addiction:

  • Our holistic therapies improve physical and emotional well-being. We treat every patient that walks through our doors with the respect they deserve, and we judge no one for the decisions they have made.
  • Our high-quality care helps substance users and their loved ones understand the root cause of addiction so everyone can move on with their lives. Our professional team of nurses, therapists, psychologists, and support workers are here to help.
  • Our intimate environment provides substance users with respite and can prevent relapse. We have state-of-the-art facilities that make the recovery process much easier.
  • We also treat any co-occurring disorders that might influence someone’s drug or alcohol addiction. These disorders include bipolar, anxiety, depression, trauma, attention deficit disorder, and borderline personality disorder.
  • Our high patient-to-staff ratio ensures every single patient gets the attention they need.

What People Say About Cardinal Recovery

  • “A very great place to come for treatment. I think the staff is very good and open about changing addicts’ and alcoholics’ lives and helping them become productive citizens in society. They are champions in this fight against the disease of addiction.” — Clarence P.
  • “This is the only rehab I have been to and my second time in this rehab and I couldn’t be more thankful to them. They have really helped me understand the boundaries that I need to have and taught me what it is like to be loved. There is a ton of love in this place from each and every staff member and I couldn’t be more thankful for them. They treated me like family and never judged me once! Thank you Cardinal Recovery for giving me the tools to turn my life around for myself and my son!” — Felicia L.
  • “This place is awesome. They have helped me out so much. Especially my caseworker, Megan. She helped me get so much accomplished. And Courtney did a great job running this program. I would like to thank Cardinal Recovery for helping me get my life together. I can’t thank this program enough. I love you guys.” — Shaun C.
  • “I really appreciate how much the staff seems to care about everyday situations that occur while outside the building. Miss Nesetta has really taught me how to become more vulnerable in my recovery journey.” — Scooter S.
  • I am so thankful for Cardinal Recovery! When I finally made that call for help, I had reached my bottom. After drinking for 35 years, I had enough and knew I had to take this seriously. I felt broken and alone. The decision was not easy but necessary. I stayed at Cardinal for 30 days and felt so welcomed. Everyone I came into contact with at Cardinal was caring and made everything I was going through a little easier. We had group sessions and learned about the 12 steps, and we would break it down and discuss our own feelings.” — Carol L.

Learning how to understand drug addiction and alcohol addiction is the first step of recovery. Our Indiana treatment center caters to substance users who want to beat addiction and lead more fulfilling lives. Email us or call (855) 928-1987 for a 15-minute assessment with an alcohol and drug addiction treatment specialist. 


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