Understanding Drug Abuse and Addiction


Drug abuse and addiction is a complicated topic for people to understand. Most of the time people think that who abuse drugs lack will power or moral principles to stop using drugs by simply just making a choice. However, in reality drug addiction is a much more deeper problem than just a choice, it is a complex disease, where quitting takes a lot more than just intentions or strong will. Hence the difficulty for people who are addictive to just quit, drugs have affected the brain and change the way how it operates ever since the first dose of rugs they've taken. 

What is drug addiction?

Addiction is a chronic disease that is compulsive and hard to control. The first time sone take drugs is a voluntary decision for most drug users, but repeated used after can lead to brain changes that challenge an addicted person's self control and interfere with their ability to resist intense urges to take drugs or do other things to subitize for drug uses. These brain changes can become persistent, even when a person quit using drugs they can still go back to the use of it. 

What happens to the brain when a person take drugs?

Most drugs affect the brain's "reward circuit" in other terms it is know as short term gratification. This causes euphoria as well as flooding your brain with dopamine which is typically released only when you are doing activities that make you happy. Since taking drugs release dopamine a lot faster than doing other activities that actually reward you, this surge will cause your brain to continue to do unhealthy behaviors like consistently taking drugs. 

As the brain now perceive drugs a way to release dopamine, everything else you do may not feel as appealing as it should be. The brain slowly adapts to this short term gratifications and cause the person to become less able to derive pleasure from other things they once enjoyed, like food, sex, or social activities.  

Long-term use may cause bigger in the brain chemical systems and circuits as well, affecting functions like: 

  • Learning
  • Judgment
  • Decision-making
  • Stress
  • Memory
  • Behavior

Why do some people become addicted to drugs while others don't?

There isn't a single variable to determine if a person is going to be addicted to drugs, since their is more influences from others than the drug itself. Some key factors can be:

  • Environment: A person's environment plays a huge role in ones drug addiction, if they are surrounded by people who abuses drugs daily such as friends and family, they are tend to be peer pressured or fall into that exact same category of abusing drugs. Other factors to keep in mins is the physical, sexual abuse, early exposure to drugs, stress and parental guidance can also affect a person's likelihood of drug use and addiction. 

  • Development: The age of a person when they first started taking drugs is another key factor to consider. Taking drugs at a younger age around your teenager years can cause teens to be become more addicted to drugs compared to adults who's brains are more developed than teen brains. 

Can Drug addiction be cured?

Addiction is curable and can be successfully manageable through the person perception and actions. people who are typically recovering from an addiction will be at risk for relapse for years and possibly for their whole lives. Some treatments for addiction would be therapy to ensure the best chance of success for most patients. Treatment approaches are tailored to each patient's drug use patterns and an co-occurring medical, mental, and social problems can lead to continued recovery. 



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