When you use legal or illicit substances in ways you shouldn’t, you’re engaging in drug abuse. You might take more pills than prescribed or use someone else’s prescription. You may take drugs to make you feel better, relieve stress, or escape reality. However, you can generally modify your bad habits or quit using them entirely.
Addiction is a disorder that affects both the brain and the behavior of the individual. When you’re hooked to drugs, you can’t stop yourself from using them, no matter how dangerous they are. The sooner you seek treatment for your drug addiction, the more likely you are to prevent some of the disease’s more serious effects.
It’s not only about heroin, cocaine, or other illicit substances when it comes to drug addiction. Alcohol, nicotine, sleep and anti-anxiety medicines, and other legal substances can all lead to addiction.
How can you get addicted to drugs?
As worried family members, we frequently wonder, “Why do some people become hooked to drugs while others do not?” It’s a reasonable question, and many drug users believe they won’t become addicted. The truth is that anyone may get addicted to drugs, and there are a number of variables that increase their chances. The following are some of the most common risk factors or probable causes of drug addiction:
- Early life stressors, such as being mistreated or witnessing a traumatic event
- Physical or sexual abuse in the past
- Vulnerability to genetic mutation (i.e. other family members struggle with addiction)
- When a baby is exposed to alcohol or other drugs while still in the womb, it is called prenatal exposure.
- During adolescence, there is a lack of parental control or monitoring.
- Peer pressure from friends or social circles, or association with drug-using peers
- Depression and anxiety are examples of mental health problems.
As you can see, a person’s vulnerability to addiction is influenced by a combination of hereditary and environmental factors. Genetics accounts for roughly half of a person’s chance of developing an addiction, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Stress, trauma, abuse, a lack of education, low-income areas, and high school parties are all examples of environmental risk factors.
The effects of drugs on brain
Drugs can affect our mood, memory, intelligence, perception, thinking abilities and even our personality. Some of these effects are almost immediately while others take time to show up.
Diverse regions in our brains govern different physical systems, permit thinking and reasoning, trigger emotional reactions, and so on. Three of the major brain areas that medicines can affect are:
– limbic system – its function is to make us feel pleasure when we eat, communicate or have sex. It affects our emotional responses to help us to differentiate positive emotions from negative ones.
– cerebral cortex – helps us to process and explain different information from different sources using the senses of sight, smell, taste, sound and touch. All of our thinking and cognitive processes take place in the frontal cortex, which is located in the front of the cerebral cortex. This region of the brain aids in reasoning, decision-making, problem-solving, assessing the risks and benefits of our behaviors and activities, and communicating with others.
– brain stem – Many of the body’s autonomic reactions, such as breathing and keeping our hearts pumping, are controlled by the brain stem. It also acts as a connector between the brain and the rest of the body, conveying impulses and information to and from the brain via the central nervous system.
The effects of drugs on the human brain encourage drug misuse and addiction as a learnt behavior. Certain areas of the brain may be trained to recall what makes us happy and enjoyable, as well as what does not. Drug abusers and addicts’ brains have learnt that taking various sorts or combinations of substances provides them with pleasure.
When a person develops an addiction, the brain desires the substance’s reward. This is due to the brain’s reward system being overstimulated. As a result, many users continue to take the drug, which can result in a variety of euphoric emotions and odd behavioral patterns. Long-term addiction can have serious consequences, including brain damage and even death.
The brain encourages hazardous behaviour as a result of drug addiction. It promotes drug addiction by keeping the user in a loop of highs and lows; the user may feel as if they’re on an emotional roller coaster, feeling desperate and depressed without their drug of choice. There are severe mental, physical, and emotional consequences when someone abruptly ceases using. People may experience unpleasant feelings that they can’t ignore when using certain drugs; withdrawal symptoms are generally worse for some drugs than others.
What is the difference between addiction, abuse and tolerance?
You have an addiction if you can’t stop. Not when your life is on the line. Not if it causes financial, emotional, or other problems for you or your loved ones. Even if you wish to stop, the desire to obtain and use drugs might take almost every minute of the day.
Physical dependency or tolerance is not the same as addiction. Withdrawal symptoms occur when a drug is abruptly stopped in situations of physical dependency. When a dosage of a drug becomes less effective over time, it is called tolerance.
Let’s take opioids as an example. If you use opioids for pain for a long time, you may develop tolerance and even physical dependency. This does not imply that you are dependent. Addiction occurs in just a tiny proportion of persons when opioids are administered under good medical care.
Drug Addiction Recovery
If you or a loved one need help with a drug problem, we can facilitate urgent or pre-booked admissions for a drug detox and recovery programme, today.
Do not waste another day being the slave of drugs. Rehab Today by PCP (Perry Clayman Project) can help you to overcome this addiction and live a better life. Call or contact us for more information on how we can help!