Drug addiction is defined as a chronic disorder. Users continue to consume their choice of drugs despite the harmful effects. The behavior can produce damaging effects to the user as well as those around them. Addiction is also considered as a brain disease. It causes continuous behavior that results in the physical changes in the brain.
However, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders or DSM did not exactly define the term ‘drug addiction’. Instead, the DSM uses the term ‘drug abuse’ and ‘drug dependence’. The medical community considered both terms as substance use disorders.
Other characterizations of drug addiction include:
- Users developed drug tolerance. It is a condition in which they need to consume more drugs. Users also increase their dosage to get the same ‘high’ effect.
- People will continue to abuse drug despite the harmful effects it gives to them and to their loved ones.
- Once users stop using drugs, the will undergo extreme withdrawal symptoms.
Drug addiction remains as a serious condition in the United States. An estimated 13% of Americans abuse alcohol while 25% of Americans smoke cigarettes. In 2010, the US Surgeon General prioritized solutions for drug abuse in a Healthy People publication.
The Beginnings of Drug Addiction
The start of drug addiction usually occurs in adolescence. Experimentation with prescription drugs, alcohol and cigarettes remains as the main reason for teenagers to try using addictive substances. Most 12th graders admit taking illegal drugs during their lifetime. However, most of these people will outgrow the habit. Their consumption of illegal drugs never meets the level of drug abuse or drug addiction.
Drugs that can create Drug Addiction
Drug addiction involves several substances such as tobacco and alcohol. Users can easily buy these two substances. Meanwhile, users get their supply other illegal drugs like cocaine and heroin through black markets. Presently, alcoholism problem is seen declining within the past years. But methamphetamine addiction appeared to be on the rise.
Here are several types of drugs associated with drug abuse:
- Alcohol – most commonly abused the drug. 20% of people who alcohol in some point in their lives becomes dependent.
- Opiates – drugs derived from the opium poppy plant, the most common drug addiction.
- Cocaine – at least 10% of people who the drug evolved to heavy drug users
- Hallucinogens – like PCP, LSD, and marijuana, users often combined hallucinogens with other drugs
- Prescription medication
- Other substances – like tobacco and steroids
Many view drug addiction as a lack of willpower. Addiction is more complex than that. It is considered as a mental disorder and should be addressed as a medical condition.
Drug addiction usually starts as a decision to consume drugs, it changes over time. Drugs alter the brain function that can result in poor judgment and ruin self-control abilities to make good decisions. This can result in a severe form of addiction cause compulsive behavior to consume more drugs.
A ray of hope for Drug Addiction
Fortunately, Detox of South Florida and several treatments are available to help users overcoming their addiction. These treatments can help them regain their lives back to live a healthy lifestyle again.
In a study, medication treatment and behavioral therapy is the most effective way to treat addiction. The combinations of these two ensure all sources of the addiction, whether physically or mentally are properly addressed. Relapses are a common event during treatment. It does not indicate that the users failed to quit their addiction. A relatively small adjustment or alternate treatment is needed to help users to continue their recovery process.
Each user has its unique genetic make-up and drug abuse history. It is important to seek help from experts who can tailor fit the treatment program.
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