Problem Drug Addiction: What is Drug Addiction?
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. 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.
Problem Drug Addiction: Is there a cure?
The first question many people have addiction is simply “Is there a cure?” The answer is, sadly, no, once you HAVE to use a drug you will always be addicted to it. There is currently no pill you can take to remove your cocaine addiction. 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.
Problem Drug Addiction: What's the difference between Drug Abuse and Drug Addiction?
The next question generally ask is how can I tell drug abuse from drug addiction. That's a little more complicated:
Click here to learn the differences between drug abuse and drug addiction.
Problem Drug Addiction: Drug addiction is a disease of the mind body and SPIRIT
Let’s establish one important point of understanding addiction. 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.
Problem Drug Addiction: Types of Drug Addiction
When talking addiction causes and factors leading to drug addiction, it is necessary to take a moment and look at the various types of drugs. As we mentioned before, these all have their characteristics.
Cannabis Compounds: The most common drug in this category is marijuana, which produces a high for the user. Go to drug addiction causes marijuana
For more addiction, Marijuana
Depressants: Alcohol is the most common depressant, as everything slows, as evidenced by the documented testing of people’s reflexes while driving a car under the influence.
Stimulants: Amphetamines come to mind quickly, but a more common stimulant is nicotine.
For more info about Crystal Meth Addiction click here
Click here for more addiction and Cocaine Cocaine
Designer Drugs: Ecstasy is popular with the rave set. For more information addiction and Ecstasy click here Ecstasy
Opiates: Heroin and cocaine lead the list here. Click here for more addiction and Heroin Heroin
Click here for more addiction and Cocaine Cocaine
For more information on Prescription Drug Addiction click here
Problem Drug Addiction: What Causes Drug Addiction?
There are several factors and causes to consider 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.
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 has taken over.
Problem Drug Addiction: Drug 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 what is so difficult 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-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.
Problem Drug Addiction: 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 addiction the more you realize why it is so difficult to treat.
Problem Drug Addiction: Are Drug Abuse and Drug Addiction the Same?
No. Understand that abuse and addiction are not the same, because not all people who take drugs become addicted. The most commonly used drug is alcohol, and alcoholism like drug addiction progresses in stages, as a person descends into drug or alcohol dependence, hits bottom, then ascends back up to good health. It’s a process.
Not everybody that uses drugs 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.
Problem Drug Addiction: What are the signs of drug abuse or drug addiction?
The symptoms vary. 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.
Drug addition does not discriminate. It affects men and women of all ages; seniors, career-aged, young adults, teenagers and even children. The affects of drugs and alcohol impact all of society.
Example of a common question about drug addiction:
So exhausted and helpless from my heroin addicted boy friend?
Problem Drug Addiction:
Hello, I need help,
My boyfriend of over 2 and a half years is in the worst state of his drug addiction that he has ever been.
When we met he was clean and sober (I knew he had a past with using drugs but I thought that was all behind him), and then when we reconnected he was sober for a year and our relationship was amazing.
He was the one. I knew he was. The way he made me laugh, smile, feel so special. I felt like the luckiest girl in the world. He was so positive and he made me a better person. He brought out the best in me and was so appreciative for the second chance at life he was given...
Then in a snap of a finger everything just changed. Going missing, low on money, not wanting to see me as much, not happy, lack of sex drive, things went missing etc... To make a long story short- he went into 3 detoxes in rehabs, one detox he overdosed in and all of the others he either snuck drugs in and/or got kicked out of the rehabs or left the rehabs.
He's so gone it's so sad. This has been going on for 2 years. I'm so tired, so exhausted and I choose to leave him. I thought that would bring him back to me but he's still gone!
He doesn't care that I left and he is still using from what I hear. It's so upsetting that he doesn't care about what we once had and I'm still suffering hoping he will come back as the man I once fell in love with. I'd like to know what to do.
Please consider getting support for yourself!
Dear exhausted and helpless,
Heroin addiction is a disease of the brain that ultimately destroys everything in its wake. Because of his addiction, your boy friend only cares about one thing... heroin. His obsession with heroin is so strong that it blocks out everything else in his life.
Generally, when an addict relapses, it's like they never quit. The brain turns back into what it was when he was using before and takes over again. That's one reason heroin is such a dangerous and often a fatal addiction. Most addicts relapse many times before they are actually able to get sober.
You need to get support for yourself so that you make the best choices in the very difficult situation.
Please consider going to Al-anon meetings twice a week in your area. Al-anon teaches us about addiction and helps us to learn to love the addict but to hate their addiction. It helps us to avoid enabling the addiction in any way and set appropriate boundaries for our own well being.
Once you're attending meetings and working the 12 steps it will become clearer to you what your boy friend needs to do to end this horrible addiction.