What Constitutes an Addiction?

By Marty Lythgoe, CADC II, NCAC II, ICADC

What makes addiction, or dependency, especially difficult to recognize is that it is a subtly progressive condition characterized by denial of that very condition. In other words, as the symptoms of addiction begin to materialize, both the addict and those around him or her (family, friends, co-workers) lose their ability to recognize the truth of the situation. Over time some observed behaviors come to be seen as “normal.” The behavior is also sometimes difficult to observe because the addict has typically retreated into isolation in an attempt to conceal their behavior.

The good news is that addiction is an extremely treatable condition! Treatment begins with exposing the secrecy and lies and denial that accompany addiction.

Once exposed, the treatment is a combination of education, individual and family counseling and ongoing support and accountability. A study published by the Butler Center for Research (part of the Hazelden Foundation) in 1998 shows that the recovery rate and relapse rate for addiction is virtually the same as for other chronic illnesses like diabetes and hypertension. What is usually required to reach sustainable recovery is the help of an experienced addiction professional.

Marty Lythgoe has successfully treated many men, women, and families afflicted by addiction reach sustainable recovery and develop healthy purpose-filled and joyful lives.  Please call for an appointment.