What is Addiction?

What Is Addiction?

What is addiction?1:31
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How does addiction affect your brain? Your brain is a control center that sends out powerful signals to the rest of your body to tell it what to do or how to feel. When you are addicted to a substance or behavior, your brain sends out unhealthy signals, making you believe that something harmful is okay because it makes you feel good for a time.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, find help at addictionrecovery.lds.org.

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    Some people with addictions really want to quit. They try to do it on their own, cold turkey, but it usually doesn't work. Some people think they can simply choose to recover--just need the right consequences, motivation, or circumstances. But eventually they slip up and have to start over again.

    Addictions are so hard to quit because they are a brain disease. Even if you know what you're doing is wrong, you still feel a strong, overwhelming urge to keep taking a substance or participate in a behavior. Your brain is like your control center. It sends out powerful signals to the rest of your body that tell it what to do or how to feel.

    When you have an addiction, your brain sends out different, unhealthy signals, telling you that something that is harmful is really OK because it feels good for a time. It gives you a temporary rush of positive emotions. But over time, the high is not as strong, and you need the substance or behavior to keep from feeling bad.

    Usually addiction gets worse. You start to keep secrets, lie, and believe that no one could love you. That is not true, and you don't have to continue to feel that way.

    Quitting an addiction is hard, but it is possible. If you or someone you love has a problem, get help. Want to learn more about addiction? Find help at addictionrecovery.lds.org.