About Drug Addiction



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About Drug Addiction -- What is Drug Addiction?

Drug addiction is a chronic disease affecting the brain, and because everyone's brain is so unique, just about everyone is different when it comes to addiction. How it effects them can be different, and which treatments are best for them is also usually unique to the individual. Drugs affect different people in different ways. One person can take and abuse drugs, yet never become addicted, while another merely has one experience and is immediately hooked.





About Drug Addiction -- What is Drug Addiction?

Drug addiction is a chronic disease affecting the brain, and because everyone's brain is so unique, just about everyone is different when it comes to addiction. How it effects them can be different, and which treatments are best for them is also usually unique to the individual. Drugs affect different people in different ways. One person can take and abuse drugs, yet never become addicted, while another merely has one experience and is immediately hooked.

We are learning A LOT from recent research

More research is being done about drug addiction and the more the is learned the more complex the problem becomes. Each person's brain is so unique that it's impossible to point exactly why one person can use and not become addict and another cannot. The 12 Step program is the most effect program to treat addiction and probably will be until we learn a lot more about drug addiction.

Drug addiction is characterized by a person using because they HAVE to regardless of the harm it does to them or their loved ones. If they don't use then withdrawal symptoms start right away. That's why an alcoholic begins to drink in the morning; because without alcohol they shake really badly. The bottom line is that the brain NEEDS alcohol.

When the person is no longer in charge of their life, regardless of the triggering mechanism, they are addicted. The addiction can take over a person’s entire life. Nothing else matters.

The first question many people ask: Is there a cure?

The short answer is, sadly, no, once you HAVE to use a drug you will always be addicted to it. Drug companies and researchers are working on a cure, but most believe it is a VERY long way off. There is currently no pill you can take to remove your addiction to drugs or alcohol.

In order to get a more complete understanding of why there is no cure, you first have to take a deeper look at addiction to learn how to live with it.

Are Addiction and Drug Abuse the Same?

No. Understand that addiction and drug abuse are not the same, because not all people who take drugs or use alcohol become addicted, but some do.

The most commonly used drug is alcohol, and alcoholism, like drug addiction, progresses in stages, as a person descends into drug or alcohol dependence, they begin to use more and more and can't stop because dangerous withdrawal symptoms begin. It’s a process.

Not everybody that uses drugs/alcohol is on the path to becoming an addict. Some people can abuse drugs, but not become addicted, while others try drugs or alcohol once and are immediately hooked.

Alcoholics talk about the “click,” that experience of satisfaction when taking the first drink. Drug users experience a “high” or a kind of euphoria. In either case, they want to feel good, and the drugs make them feel good. But it gets out of hand.



What Causes Drug Addiction?

There are several factors and causes to consider about drug addiction. First there is a genetic component, that is, what is passed on to you through your family.

  • If your blood relatives had a predisposition to become addicted, chances are you have that same tendency.
  • Personality contributes to drug addiction.
  • Peer pressure is huge, both for teenagers and adults alike.
  • Mental health problems like depression, anxiety, trauma (PTSD) can cause a person to start using.

Drug addiction occurs when the pathways in the brain (brain chemistry), the brain’s communication system, are altered by repeated use of a substance. Some of the brain’s nerve cells, called neurons, use chemicals called neurotransmitters, which are released into the gaps, called synapses, between nerve cells.

Take it to an extreme. There is normal brain chemistry activity, but when that activity is affected by the drug, the internal communication is altered, creating an otherwise abnormal affect.

If you were to abuse the pain medication by going <b>way over </b>the prescribed limit and frequency, because you need that drug, you are becoming addicted.

Addiction is a chronic condition, making the chances for relapse great. The drug takes over and the person loses control and will do anything to get the drug, regardless of the consequences.

What might have started as a decision to use the drug for a proper, medical purpose now becomes a spiraling, out-of-control experience for the user. Otherwise intelligent, rational people lose their ability to make good decisions.

The drug/alcohol has taken over.

Drug/alcohol Addiction causes permanent changes in brain chemistry

Because of the change in the brain’s chemistry and function, it’s very difficult for people who are addicted to stop using; that's the issue about drug addiction.

Treatment centers around the country have found that a combination of medications, along with behavioral therapy is the most effective way of helping the patient manage the disease.

Treatment centers will tailor-make a program to meet the needs of patients seeking help. We are body, mind and spirit. Medicine can effectively treat the body and the mind, but medicine alone does not treat the spirit.

Relapse is common

Are there going to be setbacks? Yes. Human beings make mistakes, but that doesn’t mean a person can’t get back on course.

People who relapse need to be reinstated to the program, to get back to sanity and allow therapists to make necessary adjustments to their meds, or seek help in making modifications to their lifestyle. Perhaps an alternative treatment is called for. Again, everyone is different, and so treatment programs must meet the needs of the individual. The more you understand about drug addiction the more you realize why it is so difficult to treat.

Many people believe that relapse is part of the disease of addiction/alcoholism. That in fact, you MUST relapse at least once in order to truly stop using the drug/alcohol. When a person relapses they begin to realize just how much they NEED the drug. That understanding can lead to the addict taking the treatment MUCH more seriously.

What are the signs of drug/alcohol abuse or addiction?

The symptoms vary quite a bit. Perhaps it’s just trying something with friends at a party, or maybe a person hurts and they want to numb the pain.

It can start most any way, and some drugs are more addictive than others, but once the progression reaches the point where a person needs the drugs because of a physical dependence and compulsively works to get them, regardless of the impact on their friends and family, their job and their community, that person’s life is out of control.

The more you know about drug addiction the more your realize that it does not discriminate. It affects men and women of all ages; seniors, career-aged, young adults, teenagers and even children. The affects of drug and alcohol addiction impact all of society. Prescription drug addiction is on the rise now because so many people think that pills will help what ever ails them.


That concludes our page about drug addiction, please visit our home page for more information.


and Finally Remember:

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."
- Matthew 7:7-8






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