Craving a substance to calm one down or get one high, whether it’s legal or not, can be termed an addiction. Drug and alcohol addiction, also called Substance Use Disorder, is an over-dependence on a legal or illegal drug or medication. Bear in mind that alcohol and nicotine, though legal substances, also are considered drugs. One can be addicted to prescription drugs authorized by a doctor as well as illegal drug.
When an individual is addicted to a substance, he or she is unable to control their use of it and may continue using said substance not minding the harm it is causing. Drug addiction can cause a person to have an all-consuming craving for the drug, so that they lose all sense of self until the drug or substance is administered. This makes it very difficult to quit, and most people can’t seem to do it on their own. Drug addiction can cause severe, far-reaching, and long-term consequences, including physical and mental health problems, personal relationship problems, job loss, and legal problems.
Causes of drug addiction
Recent studies have proven it is a common misconception that drug addiction is a result of lack of moral values. Drug addiction is a persistent, often recurring, brain disease that causes compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences to oneself. Drug addiction is a medical brain disease because the abuse of drugs leads to changes in the structure and function of the brain. Admittedly, the initial decision to take drugs for most people is voluntary, but use over time makes it a survival impulse, which makes stopping impossible through sheer willpower.
No single factor can cause a person to become addicted to drugs. The risk for addiction is influenced by biological, social, environmental, and developmental factors. The more risk factors an individual has, the greater the chances of a likely drug addiction.
One’s genes, combined with environmental influences, are responsible for about half of a person’s addiction vulnerability. Also, ethnicity, gender, and the existence of other mental disorders may influence risk for drug abuse and addiction.
Environmental and Developmental Factors
A person’s environment includes many diverse influences, from family and friends to socioeconomic status and quality of life. Factors such as peer pressure, horrible experiences like physical or sexual abuse, stress, and family problems (parents or children or both) can leave a significant imprint on the course of drug use and subsequent abuse and addiction in a person’s life.
Prevention and Control of Drug Addiction
Prevention is the key in dealing with drug addiction. Community awareness outreach can teach people the dangers of addiction and proffer better solutions to solving life’s issues. A person already suffering from substance abuse can seek help from a drug addiction treatment facility. With a team of medical professionals, a drug addiction treatment center is sure to guide an addict to a full recovery and a better life.
It is strongly advised to seek the help of a doctor, family, friends, support groups or an organized treatment program to overcome drug addiction and stay drug-free.