Addictive disordersAddictive disorders can manifest themselves in very different ways: Als addiction to drugs, alcohol or medication, but also as an addiction to work or sexuality. Today, addictive diseases are also referred to as Dependence diseases (z.B. alcohol dependence). The dependence can be of a physical and/or psychological nature in this case.
Addiction cases in Germany
587.342 cases in 2019
608.486 cases in 2022 ( forecast )
How are addictive diseases classified?
The various forms of addiction caused by addictive substances that can be distinguished include:
– Alcohol (alohol addiction) – Tobacco (nicotine addiction) – Opiates (z.B. sedation-. Sleeping pills such as z.B.B. Benzodiazepines (Valium® or Tavor®) – Cocaine and other stimulants (amphetamines, ecstasy, speed) – Hallucinogens (LSD, mushrooms)
When is there a dependence or. Addiction?
A dependence on an addictive substance exists when At least 3 of the following 6 symptoms are present:
– a very strong craving for the addictive substance, which can hardly be resisted – a loss of control, d.h. a diminished control with regard to. the onset, cessation, and amount of consumption (z.B. not being able to stop drinking until you get a strong high) – withdrawal symptoms when you stop using the addictive substance (z.B. restlessness, trembling, anxiety) – development of tolerance, d.h. an increase in the amount consumed to achieve the same effects – Progressive neglect of other interests (z.B. family, friends, work) in favor of the addictive substance – continuation of use despite harmful consequences.
Harmful use or abuse of a substance exists when the dependence criteria are not met, but the use leads to physical or psychological problems.
Psychological and physical dependence
Psychological dependence is understood to be the Strong, irresistible craving for the substance. Physical dependence is the state of the body in which a tolerance has occurred against the substance and, as a result, it must be constantly supplied to prevent the occurrence of To prevent withdrawal symptoms. The degree of psychological and physical dependence varies among different addictive substances.
What are drugs?
Drugs used to mean herbal medicines at first, and later all kinds of synthetic drugs as well. Today, drugs are substances that cause Effect on the brain have and therefore Producing dependence can. Often the term drugs is equated with illegal drugs (i.e. z.B. heroin, cocaine, amphetamines) and distinguished from alcohol and tobacco as "legal drugs".
How common are addictive disorders?
In Germany, addictive disorders are among the most common mental disorders. Among addictive disorders, alcohol-related disorders clearly dominate, being about six times more frequent than all other drug-related disorders.
The percentage frequency of different dependence diseases can be stated as follows: Alcohol 70 percent, multiple dependence (polytoxicomania) 20 percent, medications 5 percent, and drugs 5 percent. For Germany, approximately the following figures apply:
– About 7.8 million Germans have risky alcohol consumption (16 percent), 2.4 million (4 percent) show alcohol abuse and ca. 1.5 million (3 percent) are addicted to alcohol – 2 million people in Germany consume cannabis – 1.5 million Germans are addicted to medication, of which ca. 1.2 million of tranquilizers (benzodiazepines) – 1 million Germans frequently consume amphetamines such as z.B. Ecstasy, the latter with an upward trend – Approximately 150.000 people in Germany use heroin
How do addictive diseases develop?
Various factors play a role in the development of addiction. These factors include:
Genetic factors (hereditary factors)If parents or other relatives are dependent, the risk of becoming dependent increases, even if one does not grow up in their immediate environment. Behavioral and learning factors: Those who grow up or live in an environment with dependent persons have an increased risk of becoming dependent themselves. Social factors: The social compulsion (z.B. drinking or smoking) can promote the development of addiction. Simultaneous existence of other mental illnesses (v.a. Anxiety disorders, depression, personality disorders): Anyone suffering from another mental or physical illness has an increased risk of becoming addicted, especially if at the beginning the addictive substance was used to relieve symptoms (z.B. anxiety) is used.
Here it becomes clear that the development of addictive disorders is not simply a weakness or failure of the person concerned, but the Consequence of a long development, from which the patient can only find his way out with professional help. Addiction is a disease!
How are addictive disorders treated?
The therapy of dependence illnesses proceeds in principle in four levels:
Contact phase: Here the patient first comes into contact with professional helpers such as family doctor, specialist in psychiatry, psychologist, counseling center o.a. Detox phase: In this case, detoxification from the addictive substance takes place in a psychiatric or internal medicine hospital (duration approx. 1 to 3 weeks). Weaning phase: Here the withdrawal from the addictive substance takes place in special specialized clinics for addicts (duration: ca. 2 to 4 months). Aftercare phase: Here we try to maintain the success of the detoxification and withdrawal phase. Important here are the family doctor and specialist in psychiatry, addiction counseling centers and self-help groups (duration: lifelong).
The goal of every therapy is the complete Renunciation of the addictive substance. If all phases are passed through, the prospect of being able to live permanently without addictive substances is highest. The first point of contact is always the family doctor, who can quickly establish contact with the appropriate treatment facilities and counseling centers.