What is Drug Addiction and how can you avoid it?
Drug addiction is a chronic disease affecting the brain, and just about everyone is different. 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.
Drug addiction is characterized by a person having to use the drug(s) repeatedly, regardless of the damage it does to:
- Their health
- Their family
- Their career
- Their relationships with friends and the community
Addiction is not limited to drugs and alcohol.
Addiction is not limited to drugs and alcohol. People can be addicted to many things, such as food, gambling, shopping, or most anything that gets in the way of a healthy lifestyle. When things get out of hand, and people behave compulsively, regardless of the consequences.
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.
Drug addiction is a disease of the mind body and SPIRIT What is drug addiction?; it is a disease of the spirit!. We are body, mind and spirit, and because of that, drug addiction is as much a disease of the spirit as it is of the body and mind. Unlike other chronic diseases, like diabetes, asthma, or heart disease, the spiritual component of drug addiction will play a major role in a person’s recovery.
Drug Addiction causes permanent and temporary 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 what is so difficult about drug addiction.
Once an addict stops using some parts of the brain revert back to how the brain functioned before the addiction. This is what causes withdrawal, the brain is readjusting to life before drugs.
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-made 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.
What is Drug Addiction and what causes it?
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.
Drug addiction occurs when the pathways in the brain, 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 way over the prescribed limit and frequency, because you need that drug, you are becoming addicted.
What is drug addiction?... is a chronic condition and a disease of the brain, 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 has taken over.
What is drug addiction?... It's a Disease of Relapse
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.
Sisters Amphetamine Abuse for 25 Years
My older sister has been taking this awful drug (Amphetamine) for so
long now I even doubt myself as to weather I'm right sometimes. I think
she may go through stages of not having it due to money obstacles.
She has recently put on a lot of weight so naturally i assumed she was no longer taking it and i loved having her around, but now it is blatantly obvious that she is doing that cycle of days and nights awake, then shutting herself away for the come down which takes weeks, saying she is ill or depressed which is every other week, or just ignoring the phone even when she is needed or I'm worried about her.
In the last few weeks I've been doing my own head in about how to approach her about it and after many sleepless nights (erm... i don't take that evil stuff by the way! I used to when i was a teenager but it put me in hospital through psychosis so naturally i hate the stuff and know all the signs and symptoms and have not touched it since).
I have come to the conclusion that she is 43 in a few months and if i was able to make her admit and listen to me, it would all be gone and forgotten as soon as she walks out of the door.
However i don't want to cut contact with her. I sent her a message last night and if she is clever she will realise that I'm not thick and that I'm still here if she needs me, but i don't like being made a fool out of by her lies!
I need advice as when i was 25 i tried to speak to her and got a slap in the face, she has since opened up a bit over the years but she is still in denial if she thinks the family don't see what she is doing.
She Needs Treatment
by: Ned Wicker
I am glad that you did not go down the same path as your sister and that you can see and understand what is happening to her. You have tried to help her in the past and received nothing better than a slap in the face. It’s all too common.
What you need is a plan, not just the desire to help. And, you need some support and guidance for yourself. People want to do the right thing, but they don’t realize that they need help too, not just the one with the substance use disorder (SUD).
Because they focus on their loved one and not themselves, they can be hard to help. Do yourself a favor, call Al-anon and allow them to help you. They have members who have been on the same path you are on and they know how to help.
It’s right to be concerned about the amphetamine use. It is robbing your sister of her vitality and will eventually turn her into a zombie. Meth, for example, is highly addictive and can transform a 42 year-old into a 70 year-old, all for a high they cannot attain nor will ever experience. It is a tragedy.
How does the rest of the family feel about this situation? Are they concerned, or are you the only one? It makes a difference, because addiction is a family disease and everyone has a part in it. Your sister needs treatment, so you need a plan that gets her into treatment one way or another.
You need to come up with a way to get her there and if she refuses, there has to be some consequences for her behavior. It seems like she has been getting by all these years because there has been no price to pay for her using the amphetamine. She might have used it for weight control, jut like millions of others, but too often it just gets out of control. Her pattern of behavior certainly suggests that she is in distress.
Seek the help of a professional person and research treatment facilities in England. Once she is in treatment, they whole family needs to receive support, so they can be a help when she gets into recovery. That’s where the real work begins, to maintain a healthy and productive lifestyle. There’s much to be done, so ring up Al-anon and seek out professional people.