What is Drug Addiction?
Some sources will define addiction as a chronic brain disease that is subject to relapse and characterized by compulsive drug use and drug seeking behaviors. These actions occur no matter what the consequences may be for the user. Chronic addiction is considered to be a brain disorder because the substance use causes permanent or long-lasting changes in the brain’s structure and how it functions.
Why do People Start Taking Drugs?
There are several causes of drug addiction. Below is a quick look at a few of the causes of addictive behavior and why people start using drugs.
- Because it feels good. Abused drugs make individuals feel great pleasure, even more than they can feel normal. In some cases, the next feeling a person experiences when using drugs is satisfaction, power or relaxation.
- To self-medicate certain medical or mental disorders. Individuals with anxiety, chronic pain, stress, or mental health issues like bipolar disorder and depression may start taking drugs to feel better.
- To improve their life or work performance. Some sports or work-related people start taking drugs to improve their mental or athletic performance. Unfortunately, this behavior can lead to substance addiction or abuse.
- Because others are using drugs. Peer pressure, especially during adolescence, can be a strong factor in determining whether a person tries drugs. If a teen is trying to impress their chosen social group or prove their independence, they may experiment with drug use. Here again, experimentation can lead to addiction.
Is Addiction a Choice?
In the beginning of drug or alcohol use, the drug user has a choice of whether they take their chosen drug or not. After the person becomes an addict, the urge to use becomes so strong, and the body becomes so addicted that the drug user becomes very strongly compelled to use their drug of choice.
Sadly, the person who used drugs changes their brain function when they use a significant amount of time. This fact is especially true if they start using drugs when they are teens.
The most commonly seen behaviors of a person who may start substance abuse are:
- Telling lies. Because a person has to continually lie about where they’ve been and what they’ve been doing to use drugs, they get good at lying. Strange things keep happening to this person that doesn’t make any sense. The stories get stranger by the minute. That’s because they are lying to cover up drug activity.
- Manipulation. The addictive thinking of the person won’t go for help because they have it all together and don’t need help. Or it is your entire fault that the person is addicted or unhappy. Whatever their reason for using, it is never their fault.
- They have a criminal record or are in trouble with the law. The addictive thinking has gotten so bad that the drug-addicted individual can’t function in life. The only way they can get their next fix or drink is by doing something illegal.
- They may become abusive. Whether a person becomes verbally or physically abusive, a person exhibiting addictive disorders behavior can become abusive and even violent.
Alcohol Addiction Symptoms
The main symptoms of alcohol abuse remain:
- The individual has no control over the amount or when they drink.
- More alcohol is needed to get drunk.
- As soon as the addict quits drinking, withdrawal symptoms emerge.
- Most of the addict’s life is consumed by drinking or recovering from drinking.
- No matter what bad things happen in their lives, drinking continues.
- The alcoholic tried so conceal the amount they drink.
- Their only resource to deal with problems involves drinking.
- They try to stop drinking, and can’t.
Symptoms of Drug Abuse
Substance abuse facts about addictive disorders include symptoms such as:
- Changes in sleep patterns.
- Weight changes.
- Coordination or sleep problems.
- Changes in appearance or grooming.
- Changes in work or school attendance.
- Changes in behaviors relating to money.
- Problems with the law.
- Changes in personality or actions.
There is Hope
Addictive issues need treatment as soon as possible. Both outpatient treatment and inpatient treatment plans are available for those we love that need help. Or if you see yourself in these symptoms and behaviors mentioned above, you can choose an outpatient or inpatient program that suits your location and needs. Look for a treatment program with a detox program, individual counseling, group counseling, dual diagnosis treatment and a strong aftercare program.
Choosing the right program remains the crucial first step to gaining addiction recovery. As hard as it sounds, recovery is possible. Take the first step to your recovery today with a treatment program.
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