Drug addiction is an intricate condition that requires greater than decent intentions or a powerful resolve to overcome. Drugs alter the brain in such a way that quitting is difficult, even when one desires to.
Thankfully, researchers today have a better understanding of how drugs affect the brain, and they’ve discovered recovery treatments to help addicts live valuable lifestyles.
What is Drug Addiction?
Addiction is an ongoing disorder marked by obsessive or hard-to-manage pursuance of substances, despite severe effects. For the most part, taking medicines is a voluntary move. Continuous drug use, however, can cause brain alterations that make it difficult for an addict to maintain self-control and resist strong drug cravings.
Because these brain alterations can last a long time, drug addiction is classified as a “relapsing” condition, meaning that individuals in recovery face a higher threat of relapsing, even after abstaining for years.
What Happens to a Person’s Brain When They Consume Drugs?
Numerous drugs cause euphoria while also filling the brain’s “reward circuit” with dopamine. A fully functioning reward system encourages a person to repeat behaviors necessary for survival, like being with their family and eating. Dopamine spikes promote enjoyable but harmful behaviors like drug usage, causing individuals to repeat the activity.
The brain adjusts by lowering the capacity to react to drugs as they continue using them. This reduces the person’s high compared to when they initially started using the medication, a phenomenon known as tolerance.
To attain the same high, they can consume more drugs. As a result of these brain changes, people are often unable to take pleasure from things they once enjoyed, such as activities with friends, sex, and meals.
Long-term use also affects other chemical processes and circuits in the brain, impacting activities such as:
Why Do Some People Develop A Drug Addiction While Others do Not?
There is no single element that can indicate whether or not a person would get addicted to a substance. A number of components influence addiction risk. Greater risk factors mean a higher likelihood of getting addicted to narcotics. Factors comprise:
Fifty percent of someone’s chance of addiction is determined by the genes they are born with. Mental problems, ethnicity and gender, ethnicity, and the presence of other mental problems may all have a role in the likelihood of developing a drug addiction.
Family and friends, as well as economic position and general life quality, all have an impact on a person’s environment. Early drug exposure, sexual and physical abuse, peer pressure, stress, and parental guidance are all factors that might influence a person’s propensity for drug use and addiction.
Addiction risk is influenced by genetic and environmental variables as well as important developmental phases in a person’s life. Even though using drugs at any age may cause addiction, an earlier start makes addiction more probable.
This is especially troubling for teenagers. Teens may be more prone to dangerous activities, such as drug use, since the decision-making, judgment, and self-control aspects of their brain are still in development.
Is It Possible to Cure or Prevent Drug Addiction?
In most cases, substance addiction treatment does not result in a cure. It can, however, be successfully handled. People recovering from addiction are in danger of relapse for years, if not their entire lives.
According to research, combining addiction treatment medications with behavioral therapy gives most patients the best chance of success. Treatment plans that are personalized to each patient’s drug use habits as well as any co-occurring physical, behavioral, or social issues can help them maintain their recovery.