Causes & Risk Factors
People become addicted because of a combination of factors.
- Genetic factors: Some people may inherit a vulnerability to the addictive properties of drugs.
- How drugs interact with the brain: People use alcohol and other drugs because they stimulate the brain in ways that “feel good.” This immediate rewarding experience makes people want to repeat it. All substances with addictive potential stimulate the release of dopamine, a chemical in the brain that is associated with reward and pleasure.
- Environment: Peoples’ home and community and the attitude of their peers, family and culture toward substance use can influence whether or not they develop substance use problems. People who experience prejudice or marginalization may use substances to cope with feelings of trauma or social isolation.
- Mental health issues: More than 50 per cent of people with substance use disorders have also had mental health problems at some point during their lifetimes. When people have mental health problems, even limited substance use can worsen the problem.
- Coping with thoughts and feelings: People may turn to substances as a way of coping with difficult emotions or situations. They start to rely on substances to regulate their emotions
Risk factors for substance use problems in youth include:
- alcohol or other drug problems among family members
- poor school performance
The protective factors for substance use problems include:
How Can I Tell If Someone Has A Problem Drinking Or Taking Drugs
There are both physical and behavioral clues that someone might be experiencing a problem with substance use. None of them is definitive, and there may be many other causes, but the presence of multiple signs merits special consideration. On the physical side, a sustained neglect of personal appearance, poor hygiene, and listlessness may be signs. Bloodshot or glazed eyes and slurred or rambling speech can result from drug use. Sweating, body tremors, or even vomiting can be signs, as can weight loss or gain.
Behaviorally, significant changes in activity patterns, social groups, and school or work performance could result from problems with drug use, as can an increased desire for privacy. Behavior in general can become unpredictable, and people may frequently call in sick to work or school. Drug use can push people to borrow or steal money or other valuable items, and to neglect ongoing financial obligations. Irritability and mood swings, problems recalling information, and shifts in sleep-wake patterns are other common accompaniments of substance use. Also among the warning signs is a tendency for those experiencing problems to deny or get highly defensive about observed changes in behavior.
Withdrawal From Cocaine Treatment And Next Steps
Cocaine use releases excess amount of the happiness-inducing biochemical known as dopamine. After a Cocaine binge, the brain isnt able to produce natural amounts of dopamine on its own. This is why those who are addicted need the drug to simply feel normal.
Cocaine withdrawal doesnt typically produce physical symptoms, but psychological symptoms can range from depression to fatigue.
Giving up Cocaine doesnt require medical detox and is generally not life-threatening. However, finding treatment, whether it be rehab, therapy or a 12-step program, can increase the chances of successfully quitting. These treatments help people cope with withdrawal, cravings and reestablishing a drug-free life. Contact a treatment provider today.
Jeffrey Juergens earned his Bachelors and Juris Doctor from the University of Florida. Jeffreys desire to help others led him to focus on economic and social development and policy making. After graduation, he decided to pursue his passion of writing and editing. Jeffreys mission is to educate and inform the public on addiction issues and help those in need of treatment find the best option for them.
All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.
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Antidepressant Drug Addiction Dependence And Withdrawal In Online Addicts
Due to the evident link between video game or Internet addiction and depression, it is not surprising that many addicted gamers take antidepressant medication to help with the symptoms. Though most healthcare professionals consider this type of medication to be safe and effective, it also comes with its own set of risks and side effects. One factor to consider before beginning antidepressant medication is that it may be difficult to stop taking it. It is common to experience withdrawal symptoms, including anxiety, irritability, nausea and dizziness. In more serious cases, it is possible to experience depression as a symptom of withdrawal from the medication. This depression can be even more severe than the original depression, leading the patient to believe that the illness has returned.
Does Psychological Dependence Exist
Psychological dependence is a term sometimes used to indicate the mental processes of addiction, but it has no real meaning given current understanding of the way the brain works. There is no real difference between physical addiction and psychological addiction. Addiction is one of those conditions that demonstrates it is not possible to distinguish between physical and psychological aspects of behavior.
Nevertheless, some people erroneously believe that processes such as withdrawal are distinctly physical while other feature of addiction, such as drug cravings or the inability to stop using a substance, are purely psychological. In fact, inability to regulate use results from a physiological processprogressive weakening of the neural circuitry in the brains executive control center in response to repeated use of a dopamine-activating substance. Cravings, or deep desire for a substance, arise from alterations in reactivity patterns of nerves in the brains reward center.
Confusion arises in part because of historical misunderstanding: It was once thought that withdrawal was the defining feature of addiction and every other aspect of addiction did not reflect physical processes. It is now known that withdrawal symptoms are not an invariable feature of addictionthey do not occur with addiction to hallucinogens, for exampleand that all facets of addiction reflect physical changes in brain circuitry, and those changes are reversible after substance use stops.
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When Should I See My Healthcare Provider About Addiction
Addiction is a serious disease. If you or someone you care about has a problem with addiction, talk to your provider right away. Treatments and support groups can help.
A note from Cleveland Clinic If you or someone you know is living with addiction, you may feel overwhelmed and out of control. But there is hope. Addictions are treatable. Through hard work and commitment, millions of people have overcome substance use disorders to live happy, healthy lives. Talk to your provider about a treatment plan that works for you. Dont get discouraged if you have setbacks along the way. It is possible to overcome this, and you are not alone.
Signs Of Drug Or Alcohol Addiction
Signs of drug addiction include frequent intoxication, hangover or illness, and paraphernalia related to substance abuse. Behavioral changes may also indicate drug or alcohol addiction, and these include:
- Problems at work or school, including poor performance, lateness or absenteeism, and social dysfunction
- Loss of energy or motivation
- Neglecting ones appearance
- Spending excessive amounts of money on the substance
- Obsessing about the next dose, ensuring a consistent supply of the substance, and worrying about the next source of the substance
- Performing risky behaviors while intoxicated
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when unable to take the drug
- Developing tolerance, so its necessary to take more to feel the original euphoria
- Stealing to get the drug
- Lying about consumption habits, or getting defensive or aggressive when questioned about consumption
- Compulsively taking the drug or being unable to stop taking it
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How To Identify Drug Addiction Symptoms
One in ten Americans over the age of twelve is struggling with an active alcohol or drug addiction symptoms. This is the size of the entire population of Texas. Heroin and opioid addictions are the most prevalent in America, and deaths related to overdoses from these addictive substances have increased over 300% since 2012.
The cost of drug addiction to families, society, and the country as a whole, is staggering. Drug addiction has ravaged entire communities, wrecking local economies, burdening law enforcement, and orphaning innocent children.
Understanding the signs and symptoms of drug addiction, especially in the beginning, can be crucial to getting people the help and treatment they need before the effects become devastating. The following article will list common symptoms of drug addiction and give a more detailed analysis of addiction symptoms related to specific substances.
How Is It Diagnosed
Though it is gaining traction in the mental health field and recently added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as a disorder that needs more research, a standardized diagnosis of Internet Addiction Disorder has not been discovered. This is also a significant contributing factor to the overall variability in the disorder as a whole and wide range of prevalence in the population from 0.3% to a whopping 38%.
One of the more accepted diagnostic assessments of Internet Addiction Disorder has been proposed by KW Beards 2005 article in CyberPsychology and Behavior. Beard proposes five diagnostic criteria in the identification of Internet Addiction Disorder in the general population:
- Is preoccupied with the Internet
- Needs to use the Internet with increased amounts of time to gain satisfaction
- Has made unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back, or stop use of the Internet
- Is restless, moody, depressed, or irritable when attempting to control Internet use
- Has stayed online longer than originally intended
In addition, Beard suggests at least one of the following must also be present in a diagnosis of Internet Addiction Disorder:
- Has jeopardized or risked the loss of a significant relationship, job, educational, or career opportunity because of the Internet
- Has lied to family members, therapists, or others to conceal their involvement with the Internet
- Uses the Internet as a way of escaping from problems or to relieve a dysphoric mood
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Signs Of Cocaine Abuse
Cocaine is best known in its white powder form. Most often, this drug is snorted, smoked, or injected. As cocaine is a stimulant, one of its hallmarks is that its main effects wear off around 30 minutes to 2 hours after the last use. In addition to the general signs of drug abuse discussed above, cocaine has some specific side effects, including:
- Increased energy
- Fast white lady
As Medical News Today discusses, cocaine is highly addictive and the strongest natural occurring stimulant in existence. Cocaine addiction is associated with dramatic personal losses there are reports of professionals spending $20,000 to $50,000 on cocaine binges, parents selling their children, and people becoming unemployed, having to file bankruptcy, and ending up homeless. It is clear that cocaine use can spiral out of control. For this reason, the earlier the abuse is intercepted, the better.
Can I Avoid Developing An Addiction
You can reduce your risk of developing an addiction by making certain choices. To reduce your risks, you should:
- Avoid illegal drugs: Never take illegal drugs, and always follow your providers orders for prescription drug use.
- Know your family history: If you have a family history of substance use disorders, you may be more vulnerable. Talk to your healthcare provider about ways to lower your risk.
- Seek counseling: If you have a mental health disorder or history of trauma or abuse, talk to your provider about therapy. An experienced therapist can help you manage emotions and stress in a healthy way which will reduce your chances of developing an unhealthy relationship with alcohol and drugs for coping.
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Recognize Porn Addiction And Treat It Quickly
Many people believe that the only cause of addiction-related conditions is substance abuse. However, psychological habits have almost the same effect on addiction as chemical habits.
In the United States and around the world, the fastest-growing addiction other than substance addiction may be pornography. Internet pornography is very common because it is easy to access and many people use it often.
The COVID-19 pandemic has only made it more popular among people, mainly due to the boredom factor. Many people who regularly use porn see their porn addiction as a quick escape from stress or boredom. However, this habit may quickly become detrimental, especially once it starts interfering with personal relationships, career goals, or family life.
Porn addiction begins more and more apparent early puberty as the frequency of viewing porn increases during this time. When puberty begins, young people succumb to this. This is because young people isolate themselves sexually compared to previous generations.
What Does Physical Dependence Mean
There is considerable confusion even among professionals about many of the terms relating to addiction, in part because many terms are used broadly in popular culture but have more specific clinical meaning, and also because, historically, the psychiatric diagnostic bible, the DSM, has used various terms, including dependence, to mean addiction, with the intent to avoid the stigma attached to addiction.
There is an important distinction between drug addiction vs. drug dependence. The term dependence refers to the fact that the brain has adapted physiologically to the substance of abuse. That adaptation, achieved through changes in brain receptor sensitivity and neurotransmitter balance, is manifest in tolerancerequiring larger doses of the agent for effectand in withdrawal, the onset of any array of unpleasant symptoms when the substance is abruptly discontinued. Dependence specifically refers to the effects of the process of neural adaptation to a psychoactive substance. It is a common feature of addiction, but not the totality of the more complex disorder.
It is possible to be dependent on a substance without being addicted. Physiological dependence can occur with many different kinds of substances, including common medications. Its also possible to be addicted without being dependent. Tolerance and withdrawal are not universal features of substance use disorder hallucinogens, for example, do not create tolerance or withdrawal symptoms.
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Does Addiction Cause Personality Change
Addiction involves a great many contradictions, including behavioral choices in spite of oneself. One of the most puzzling aspects of addiction is the way it prompts people to violate their own codes of behavior, their own sense of self. Neuroscience sheds light on the phenomenon: Studies show that as the drive for the drug and its reward becomes increasingly inscribed in brain circuity, there are corresponding changes in circuity weakening the persons powers of judgment and control. People who are addicted often act in ways that even they do not endorselying, stealing, socially withdrawing, becoming suspiciousand even the conscientious can become neglectful of obligations.
Those who become addicted are usually acutely aware of their own behavioral shifts and especially how they are disappointing others, even as they rationalize away their behavioral anomalies. Recovery often requires addressing the guilt and shame people feel over their own addictive behavior. Left unaddressed, such painful negative self-related feelings can seek quick relief in drug use before impulse control is regained.
Signs And Symptoms Of Cocaine Use
Do you think you see signs of drug use but you are not sure what drug is being used or how bad it is? If you suspect cocaine abuse by someone you care about, here are the signs of cocaine use you should watch for.
If a person is abusing powdered cocaine and they dont want you to know, they may disappear to use the drug and then return in a very different mood. They may seem excited and act more confident and exhibit a greater sense of well-being. They may be more excited sexually and talkative. Their energy will be pumped up and they probably will not have very much appetite for food and will not have a normal sleep pattern.
Traces of white powder around a persons nose are also a sign of cocaine use. While many people snort the drug , some will dissolve and inject it. A few will ingest it, which can lead to severe intestinal damage.
Dilated pupils and eyes that are overly sensitive to light are symptoms of cocaine use that you can watch for. Other symptoms of cocaine use include runny noses and after long use, nosebleeds and damage to the inside of the nose. A cocaine user may also dissolve and inject the drug, in which case you might find needle marks on arms, legs, hands, feet or neck and discarded syringes left around the place cocaine is consumed.
As powder cocaines effects only last an hour or less, the user may leave periodically so he or she can use more of the drug.
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Worried You May Be Suffering From Internet Addiction Disorder
Take our FREE Internet addiction quiz to see if you may benefit from further diagnosis and treatment.
Just because you use the Internet a lot watch a lot of YouTube videos, shop online frequently, or like to check social media does not mean you suffer from Internet Addiction Disorder. The trouble comes when these activities start to interfere with your daily life. In general, Internet Addiction Disorder is subdivided into varying categories. The most commonly identified categories of Internet Addiction include gaming, social networking, email, blogging, online shopping, and inappropriate Internet pornography use. Other researchers suggest that it is not the amount of time spent on the Internet that is particularly troublesome rather, it is how the Internet is being used. That is, the riskiness of Internet use can be just as important as the amount of time spent. Do you have a teenager using teen dating sites that could have child molesters lurking on the site? This is risky and one of the multidimensional aspects of Internet Addiction Disorder. Other identified multi-dimensional risk factors of Internet Addiction Disorder include physical impairments, social and functional impairments, emotional impairments, impulsive Internet use, and dependence on the Internet.