Watching loved ones derail or ruin their lives due to addiction is painful. Addiction can be confusing, but knowing what addicts wish you knew can help them feel supported and help them get they need.


Addiction is a complex disease

Addiction grabs hold of a person and changes who they are. It is not a lifestyle, choice, or character flaw. It is not a personal weakness or a lack of willpower. Addicts wish they could escape the control substances have on them.

Addiction looks different and is not the same for everyone. It is a chronic but treatable disease. 


Addiction doesn’t discriminate

Race, sexual preference, skin color, or social class don’t matter when it comes to addiction. The face of addiction can take any form: neighbors, professionals in the community, peers, colleagues, children, or parents.


Social stigma

Social stigma around addiction prevents many people from admitting and seeking the help they need. Part of the social stigma is due to a lack of understanding about addiction and preconceived ideas of what it means to be an addict. Addiction has physiological and psychological effects.

Non-addicts have a false belief that willpower alone will be enough to stop the drug use. Adding to the stigma are fears of abandonment and being criticized for asking for help. Shame can lead to social isolation. 


Causes for addiction

There is usually not a single easy explanation for why someone becomes an addict. Often, people turn to substances to cope with mental health issues, abuse, trauma, or other problems.

It becomes an unhealthy coping mechanism to help numb the pain, avoid obstacles, and check out of life for a while. Addiction is an attempt to escape discomfort. 



Addicts do not intentionally set out to hurt themselves or their loved ones. They are battling a disease that changes their personality and appearance.

Quitting or becoming sober doesn’t make their problems go away. Treatment addressing the underlying root of addiction is necessary to help put the addict on the road to recovery. 


What you can do to show your support

Addicts need encouragement, understanding, support, and above all else, love. They need your acceptance and patience. With proper treatment, recovery is possible.


At Alta Loma Transformational Living, you will meet knowledgeable, compassionate professionals that understand addiction in all its forms.  Alta Loma uses an integrative and holistic approach to treat addiction and mental health issues. No treatment is one-size-fits-all, where you will have a team of experts prepared to create your customized treatment plan.  

We offer care for your mind, body, and spirit, so that you can heal from the inside out and look forward to a lifetime of sobriety and wellness. If you are ready to take the first step in your recovery, please call us at 866-457-3843.