Is There Such a Thing as a Minor Addiction?

Is There Such a Thing as a Minor Addiction?

When others are urging you to seek addiction treatment, it is easy to want to find excuses to say no. Addicts often deny the treatment they need because they believe their addiction is only minor and is not a real concern. However, there is no such thing as a minor addiction. An addiction is an addiction, regardless of severity, and it will be present for the rest of your life. The only difference is that the addiction might be early, functional or managed, making it seem minor.

Early, Functional and Managed Addictions

Often, addicts refuse to acknowledge that they have a problem until it has begun to interfere with their lives. This unfortunately results in a failure to seek treatment until the addiction is severely advanced. However, even the earliest stages of addiction should be acknowledged as a problem.

A large number of addicts fit into the classification of functional addicts. These individuals are able to manage their responsibilities, despite the presence of a hidden addiction. Functional addictions frequently go unnoticed by others and are often ignored by the addict. He or she may believe that there is no true problem, since there have not been any noticeable consequences of the substance use. Even a severe physical dependence on a substance may seem to be minor when that person does not fit the stereotypical image of an addict.

Similar to functional addictions, managed addictions are those that have been brought under control. This may have been from previous treatment or a strong personal effort that did not lead to a complete recovery. Those with managed addictions may falsely convince themselves that their addiction is minor because it is not as bad as it once was.

Treating Addictions, Both “Major” and “Minor”

While the treatment components of all addictions remain similar, there may be differences in how a more serious addiction is treated in comparison to those that are just starting to develop. One key difference is the detoxing process. A formal detoxification program is often required when an addict suffers from a more severe addiction. This program ensures safety and comfort in the early stages of recovery when withdrawal symptoms may be present. When the addiction is early in development, the withdrawal symptoms are considerably milder and may last for a shorter period of time. For this reason, a formal detox may not be required for early addictions. However, it is essential that you speak with your healthcare provider before foregoing a formalized detox program.

After detoxification, those in treatment for addiction typically enter rehabilitation. Rehab programs may be either inpatient or outpatient and last a variable length of time. Some people with “minor” addictions find that they have a relatively easier time in rehab than others. However, some may find that it is actually more difficult. This is especially true of those with functional or managed addictions. When addicts are able to live functionally with an addiction, they may not understand the gravity of their problems until rehab reveals it to them.

Get Help for Addiction

Addiction to drugs or alcohol may cause damage to both physical and psychological health, regardless of how severe the addiction is. Therefore, if you or a loved one has become addicted to drugs or alcohol, please call our toll-free helpline today. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have about addiction treatment options.