Everything you need to know about drug addiction
Drug addiction is a serious illness and should be treated as such. It can affect your life in immeasurable ways and have cataclysmic effects on you and your loved ones.
It’s widely misunderstood, and stereotyped, which leads to many people suffering from drug addiction to not reach out or get the proper help that they need and deserve – if you are looking for help then check out Help Me Stop.
For this reason, we’ve decided to give a brief overview of drug addiction, and how you can get help/help those in need.
Let’s dive right in.
Why do people take drugs
As an outsider, it can be easy to judge and ask “why do they take the drugs?”, it can in extremely hard to understand.
There’s a myth that people addicted to drugs don’t have willpower or principles, or that they could easily stop. The reality is, drug addiction is a really complex illness – quitting often takes a lot more than willpower.
Drugs affect the brain’s “reward circuit”, which causes euphoria, as well as increasing the levels of dopamine in the brain.
An average reward system will motivate a person to repeat behaviours necessary to thrive in life. Think, eating or spending time with loved ones. When the brain is on drugs, it can cancel out these healthy thoughts and lead to people repeating the same behaviour again and again.
Long term usage can cause changes in the brain that affects the judgement, decision-making, memory and learning sections of the brain.
Why do some people get addicted and others don’t?
There’s absolutely no way of knowing if somebody will get addicted to drugs. However, some factors do play a part.
- Genes – Genes are reportedly accountable for half the person’s risk of drug addiction. For example, if you have a history of addiction in your family, it could be more likely for you.
- Biology – Gender and ethnicity also play some part. Also, other mental illnesses may also influence the risk of drug addiction.
- Development – The earlier somebody starts taking drugs, the higher the risk of addiction. This is particularly problematic for teens that are introduced to drugs or raised in a toxic environment.
- Environment – Lastly, the person’s environment from family, friends to economic status and the general quality of life can also influence the chance of addiction.
All this being said, somebody with no family history, a positive environment, with no biological issues, can still get addicted to drugs.
Can drug addiction be cured?
Without dismaying you, there isn’t generally a cure to drug addiction – it is always an ongoing battle. However, it is completely treatable and can be successfully managed.
People that suffer from drug addiction will always be at risk of relapsing, but this won’t generally reduce the quality of life in any way.
Drug use and addiction are preventable, too. Prevention programs in families, communities, the media, and schools have proven to be effective for reducing drug use and addiction.
If you have any more questions, make sure to contact somebody or reach out for help.