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The McGee Project

The Disease of Addiction

When a person has the disease of addiction, they cannot control their use of a chemical substance. They become dependent on drugs or alcohol to cope with their daily life, even though it causes them harm.

Harmful substances such as heroin or cocaine aren't the only addictive substances. Opioid addiction has become a crisis in Utah and throughout the United States. In fact, the overuse of prescribed opioid painkillers causes 115 deaths every day in the United States.

Most people do not plan on becoming addicted. Experimenting with drugs and alcohol may seem like a harmless activity. However, if you have addiction in your genetic make-up, you may have reduced self-control.

Signs of Addiction

The main indications of addiction are:

  • Unable to stop engaging in drugs or alcohol use no matter how harmful it is to the person or the people around them.
  • Loss of interest in other activities.
  • Difficulties with relationships and employment.
  • Attempts to hide the substance abuse.
  • Noticeable changes in appearance, such as an abandonment of hygiene.
  • Increased risk-taking to access the substance.


When a person has an addiction and they stop taking the substance, they may experience symptoms that are difficult to handle. These symptoms include:

  • Anxiety or irritability
  • Shaking and tremors
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite

If a person has regularly used alcohol or benzodiazepines, and they stop suddenly or without medical supervision, withdrawal can even be fatal. Ask for help!

There IS Hope

Treatment for addiction can take a long time and may be difficult, but it can be done! Often successful treatment involves counseling and medication. It's also important to get support from family, friends, teachers, and counselors. If you want to make a change, reach out to someone you trust and start becoming the person you want to be!

You CAN Change.

The McGee Project

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