Relationships and marriage can be complicated and stressful, and addiction or alcoholism aren’t always problems that are apparent at the beginning of a committed relationship. In some relationships, addiction is a problem that develops after months or years together, or the problem may have been there all along but your partner hid it from you.
Researchers have found that a stomach hormone known as ghrelin stimulates strong alcohol cravings in people who are alcohol-dependent heavy drinkers.
Her husband was no alcoholic, but the wife thought he drank too much: a bottle of wine each night instead of a glass or two. When they went to see Mark Willenbring, MD, founder and CEO of Alltyr, an addiction treatment center in St. Paul, Minnesota, he diagnosed the husband with mild alcohol abuse and prescribed naltrexone.
It’s a common belief that the majority of people struggling with addiction take drugs like heroin and cocaine and that addiction treatment centers are primarily filled with these addicts, with the main issue being getting more illicit drug users into treatment. In reality, the picture is much more complicated, and looking at treatment utilization in terms of the drugs people abuse is surprisingly illuminating. Additionally, the evidence on the proportion of who needs addiction treatment versus those who receive it may help us answer difficult questions about how to improve access to treatment and even discover whether access to treatment is the core issue.
Substance abuse is a choice—that’s what most people believe when they think about addicts—so why don’t they just stop using? Stigma is a huge problem because it prevents people from getting the help they need. To avoid the shame and embarrassment of having an addiction, many people who need treatment will never seek it.
Studies have shown that exposure to child abuse is a strong predictor of substance abuse. The self-esteem and resiliency of child abuse victims can be permanently damaged by their terrifying and painful experiences, and a significant number may attempt to cope with their feelings of powerlessness by turning to drugs or alcohol.
When people decide to make a commitment to recovering from drug or alcohol abuse, sooner or later they wonder how long it will take to recover from addiction. There’s no simple answer to this question, because the amount of time needed to get better depends on many different factors, including what you were addicted to and for how long. There are other factors that may also come into play, such as whether you are suffering from another mental or physical illness and how supportive your family and friends are.
Addicts and alcoholics frequently believe that they are not hurting anyone but themselves. This is far from the truth. While addicts and alcoholics are abusing substances to avoid feeling their feelings, family members and close friends are experiencing a world of hurt and pain. Every day they watch their loved one slip further and further away from them and deteriorate before their eyes.