What Is Drug Addiction?

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Drug addiction is a disorder that is characterized by the compulsive urge to use drugs. People will continue to use the drug despite the fact that it has several negative consequences. It is also referred to as substance use disorder.

Symptoms of an Addiction

  • Craving a certain substance or drug
  • Recurrent use of the drug despite the fact that it has negative consequences at home and school
  • Tolerance, which means that a person has to increase their usage of a drug in order to experience the same effects
  • Neglecting personal responsibilities because of the drug
  • Withdrawal symptoms, which are unpleasant symptoms that occur because one stops using the drug

What Can Cause An Addiction?

Drugs affect the reward circuit inside of the brain. This causes euphoria, and it also helps the body creates more endorphins. Many people keep using the drugs because they like the way that it makes them feel. Drugs can also make other activities less pleasurable.

Furthermore, even if a person only intends to use a drug once, the euphoric feeling that one experiences can cause them to want to use it more often. Habitual drug use can eventually lead to an addiction.

Risk Factors

Anyone can become addicted to drugs. This is something that affects people of all ages, races and socioeconomic backgrounds. However, there are many risk factors that put people at risk for developing an addiction.

Experts have found that genetics play a role. People who have a family history of addiction are more likely to develop one themselves. There are also environmental factors that play a role in the development of addiction.

Peer pressure is one environmental factor. Many young people have stated that they tried drugs or alcohol because of pressures from their peers. A lack of family support can also lead to drug addiction. Early drug use can also lead to a drug addiction.

Treatment for Addiction

Most people will not be able to overcome an addiction without the proper treatment. There is no one-size-fits all approach when it comes to addiction. However, treatment will typically consist of the following.

  • Detoxification and withdrawal-This is done under the supervision of a healthcare professional. Withdrawing from a drug without medical help can be dangerous
  • Chemical dependency treatment program-There are several elements of a chemical dependency program. It typically includes a combination of medication and counseling.
  • Behavior therapy-This is done with a counselor, psychiatrist or psychologist. The purpose of behavior therapy is to address the harmful behaviors and help a person develop healthy ones.
  • Self-help groups-There are several support groups that can help people overcome an addiction.

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