Substance Abuse

Addiction, in general, is a term that RRW™ believes refers to both the physical and psychological dependence on a substance or behavior. It’s important to state that there is a great deal of debate within eating disorder treatment, medical and research communities regarding this issue. Views expressed here should be considered those of RRW™ and not the only perspective available on such topics.

Whether one’s addiction is to drugs, alcohol, prescription medications, diet pills, smoking, sex, exercise, self-injury, eating disorders or another substance or behavior, it’s a fight against what one’s body is either physically addicted to or the uncontrollable compulsion towards unhealthy behaviors that have detrimental effects on one’s health.

An addiction is less about the substance or behavior that is being used and more about why it’s being used. Addictions are unhealthy coping mechanisms used to mute or cover up other underlying issues that drive and feed the compulsion. It is the manifestation of an inner battle being ignored. In some cases, depression, feelings of inadequacy and a personal history containing emotional trauma, loss, abuse or other hardships are often behind these dependencies. Rather than dealing with the pain and struggles head on, the habit of numbing one’s feelings with something else can seem like a much easier, much faster method of relief.

Unfortunately, these seemingly quick fixes are only temporary. Once the sought after effect wares off, an abuser is yet again faced with whatever aspect of his or her life that was being avoided from the beginning. As time goes on, a user continues to depend on this method of coping. As tolerances to a substance or behavior increase, the need to fill an ever-growing void also grows, digging deeper and deeper into an abyss within a person. The longer the addiction goes on, the harder it becomes to see oneself being able to cope without his or her chosen substance or behavior.

The Adderall Trend

Addictions to prescription medications originally meant to treat afflictions one does not actually have is not a new trend. Unfortunately, a newer, dangerous trend within the Hollywood community has spread across the country and onto college campuses. Many people are seeking psychological counseling and then knowingly lying about having ADD and ADHD (Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) in order to obtain drugs like Adderall. The goal is to gain the known side effects – a heightening of one’s ability to focus, increased energy and an appetite suppressant, which can ultimately lead to increased productivity and weight loss. In a world that pressures us to be super-achievers and maintain unnaturally slim figures, it isn’t hard to imagine how Adderall’s popularity took rise. Sounds like a magic pill, right? Unfortunately, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

As an individual’s improper use of the medication turns to abuse, his or her body develops a tolerance to the drug, usually resulting in users continually increasing their dosage level in order to experience the desired side effects. As it is with most substance abuse, it is a harsh cycle that accelerates and repeats itself. The longer the abuse continues, the more difficult coming off of the drug becomes. A reality that is true for any and all addictions.

Addictions and substance abuse reach far across international borders, socio-economic status, race, age and gender. We hope that you will look into the resources we have provided in order to learn more about how you can help yourself or a loved struggling with addiction:


* Please see the sections on ‘Body Image and Eating Disorders as well as ‘The Pro-Ana Underground for more information on Eating Disorders and their relation to the issue of addiction.