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What Is Drug Addiction?


What Is Drug Addiction? Addiction is a disease that affects your brain and behaviour. When you’re addicted to drugs, you can’t resist the urge to use them, no matter how much harm the drugs may cause.

Drug addiction isn’t about just heroincocaine, or other illegal drugs. You can get addicted to alcohol, nicotine, opioid painkillers, and other legal substances.

Drug addiction is a complex neurobiological disease that requires integrated treatment of the mind, body, and spirit. It is considered a brain disease because drugs change the brain structure and how it works.

Individuals struggling with drug addiction often feel as though they cannot function normally without their drug of choice. This can lead to a wide range of issues that impact professional goals, personal relationships, and overall health. Over time, these serious side effects can be progressive, and if left untreated, fatal.

Addiction vs. Abuse

Drug abuse is when you use legal or illegal substances in ways you shouldn’t. You may abuse drugs to feel good, ease stress, or avoid reality. But usually, you’re able to change your unhealthy habits or stop using altogether.

Addiction is when you can’t stop. Not when it puts your health in danger. Not when it causes financial, emotional, and other problems for you or your loved ones. That urge to get and use drugs can fill up every minute of the day, even if you want to quit.

Effect Addiction has on Your Brain

The drugs that may be addictive target your brain’s reward system. They flood your brain with a chemical called dopamine. This triggers a feeling of intense pleasure. So you keep taking the drug to chase that high.

Over time, your brain gets used to the extra dopamine. So you might need to take more of the drug to get the same good feeling. And other things you enjoyed, like food and hanging out with family, may give you less pleasure.

Who’s Most Likely to Become Addicted?

Not everyone who uses drugs becomes addicted. But it can happen to anyone and at any age. Some things may raise your chances of addiction, including:

  • Family history. Your genes are responsible for about half of your odds. If your parents or siblings have problems with alcohol or drugs, you’re more likely as well. Women and men are equally likely to become addicted.
  • Early drug use. Children’s brains are still growing, and drug use can change that. So taking drugs at an early age may make you more likely to get addicted when you get older.

Signs of Addiction

You may have one or more of these warning signs:

  • An urge to use the drug every day or many times a day.
  • You take more drugs than you want to and for longer than you thought you would.
  • You always have the drug with you, and you buy it even if you can’t afford it.
  • You keep using drugs even if it causes you trouble at work or makes you lash out at family and friends.
  • You spend more time alone.
  • You don’t take care of yourself or care how you look.
  • You steal, lie, or do dangerous things like driving while high or have unsafe sex.
  • You spend most of your time getting, using or recovering from the effects of the drug.
  • You feel sick when you try to quit.

There is No Cure for Addiction, But People Can and Do Recover, speak to us to find out more.

RESOURCES

https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/drug-abuse-addiction#1

https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/drug-abuse-addiction#1