Do People Choose To Keep Using Drugs
The initial decision to take drugs is typically voluntary. But with continued use, a person’s ability to exert self-control can become seriously impaired. This impairment in self-control is the hallmark of addiction.
Brain imaging studies of people with addiction show physical changes in areas of the brain that are critical to judgment, decision-making, learning and memory, and behavior control.12 These changes help explain the compulsive nature of addiction.
The Historical Development Of Substance Use Disorder Diagnoses
Before emergence of the official diagnostic nomenclature, a range of concepts were coined to describe the problematic use of substances: terms such as addiction, inebriety, intemperance, alcoholism, euphomania, and others . Many of them reflecting a view of addiction as a moral deficiency. Later, it was suggested that substance use disorders be subclassified into a subtype with physical dependence and a subtype without dependence .
In 1952 with the first Diagnostic and Statistical Manual , only one classification was possible for drugs and one for alcohol . These were listed under sociopathic personality deviance, a section that also contained antisocial behaviour and deviant sexuality. These behaviours were assumed to be dangerous to society, and generally, people who exhibited such behaviours were thought incapable of changing. The ICD-7, published in 1957, also used the term drug addiction, and subclassified alcoholism into three subcategories: chronic, acute and unspecified.
Applications To Other Addictions And Substance Misuse
Drug dependence, including cocaine and opioid dependence, is one of the most common phenotypes comorbid with AD. Drug dependence has been shown to have a number of characteristics in common with AD, such as response to specific treatments. In fact, drug dependence may share susceptibility genes with AD. Several studies have demonstrated that polymorphisms of OPRM1 may moderate the risk of AD and/or drug dependence . Luo et al. showed that ADH4 may play an important role in AD as well as drug dependence based on association studies of the relationship between the ADH gene cluster and drug dependence. Both the HardyâWeinberg equilibrium and a caseâcontrol comparison revealed that the association of ADH4 gene with drug dependence reached levels of statistical significance that were at least as great as those for AD. Overall, the ADH gene cluster may predominantly contribute to the risk of AD, and ADH4 on the ADH gene cluster may similarly contribute to drug dependence, such as cocaine and opioid.
Cecilia A. Essau, in, 2020
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Genes And Substance Abuse
is the process of parents passing on traits to their children at birth.4 Children receive 46 chromosomes containing thousands of genes from their parents. Genes determine the specific traits that a child will have, such as:5
- Physical traits: determine a persons outer appearance, such as eye and hair color.
- Behavioral traits: influence the way a person acts, such as how shy or outgoing a person is.
- Predisposition to medical conditions: can also be impacted by traits and may increase a persons risk of getting a disease, such as cancer.
Although genes play a role in defining a persons traits, environmental factors can also impact traits.5 Environmental influences can even alter a trait.5
Addiction is considered moderately to highly heritable, meaning that genetics play a significant role in addiction.6 In other words, people who have relatives with addiction problems have an increased risk of developing an addiction themselves.
The influence of genetics on addiction varies from drug to drug. Below is the breakdown of heritability of dependence on or abuse of specific drugs.6
- Cocaine: .72 heritability or 72%
- Opiates: .70 heritability or 70%
- Alcohol: .55 heritability or 55%
- Sedatives: .50 heritability or 50%
- Hallucinogens: .39 heritability of 39%
Specific genes that have been linked to addiction include:7
What Other Factors Increase The Risk Of Addiction
- Early use.;Although taking drugs at any age can lead to addiction, research shows that the earlier people begin to use drugs, the more likely they are to develop serious problems.31;This may be due to the harmful effect that drugs can have on the developing brain.32;It also may result from a mix of early social and biological risk factors, including lack of a stable home or family, exposure to physical or sexual abuse, genes, or mental illness. Still, the fact remains that early use is a strong indicator of problems ahead, including addiction.
- How the drug is taken.;Smoking a drug or injecting it into a vein increases its addictive potential.33,34;Both smoked and injected drugs enter the brain within seconds, producing a powerful rush of pleasure. However, this intense high can fade within a few minutes. Scientists believe this powerful contrast drives some people to repeatedly use drugs to recapture the fleeting pleasurable state.
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Getting Treatment For Addiction
People struggling with substance use should know that it is treatable and there are numerous options for substance use treatment. Effective treatment is characterized by individualized care that addresses the whole person including physical, medical, social, psychological, and legal considerations.10 Treatment options may include:8
Depending on the substances a person is being treated for, how long theyve been abusing them, and other factors, treatment may involve a combination of behavioral methods, medication, treatment for co-occurring mental health or medical disorders, and aftercare.9 Its important that a persons treatment be continually assessed to ensure that their needs are being attended to, as they may change over the course of treatment.10
Recognizing The Symptoms Of Drug Dependence
You can often determine if an addiction has turned into dependence by looking at behavior. When a person addicted to drugs hasnt had them for a period of time, this can cause a physical reaction. Physical symptoms of withdrawal occur when the body becomes stressed without the drug. These symptoms include:
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The Inability To Abstain
Research has shown that prolonged drug use causes a chemical change in the brain of the addict that alters the brain’s reward system that prompts compulsive drug seeking in the face of growing negative consequences.
This state of addiction, when the activity continues in spite of negative consequences and despite the fact it is no longer rewarding, is termed by addiction experts the “pathological pursuit of rewards.” It is the result of chemical changes in the reward circuitry of the brain.
The Clinical Perspective Addiction As A Language Of Communication About Substance Use Problems
In the clinical context, addiction is a concept that helps professionals and patients acknowledge that substance use is a source of problems. When professionals receive training in addiction, they increase their awareness that use of substances may cause patients problems. When patients learn about addiction, they may become aware of the fact that substance use may harm them. This, more than anything, is the significance of the addiction concept in the clinical context.
When professionals, such as doctors, successfully screen patients for substance use problems, the result is not so often a comprehensive treatment plan, as simply awareness raising on the side of the patient. For instance, the patient may complain of stomach problems, the doctor may diagnose an irritable bowel syndrome, worsened by a vicious circle of alcohol drinking and stress. After uncovering this vicious circle together with his physician, the patient may begin to consider cutting down on his drinking.
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Is Addiction A Disease
Addiction, clinically referred to as a substance use disorder, is a complex disease of the brain and body that involves compulsive use of one or more substances despite serious health and social consequences. Addiction disrupts regions of the brain that are responsible for reward, motivation, learning, judgment and memory.
Is Drug Use Or Misuse A Voluntary Behavior
The initial decision to take drugs is generally voluntary. However, with continued use, a persons ability to exert self-control can become seriously impaired. Brain imaging studies from people addicted to drugs show physical changes in areas of the brain that are critical for judgment, decision-making, learning, memory, and behavior control. Scientists believe that these changes alter the way the brain works and may help explain the compulsive and destructive behaviors of a person who becomes addicted.
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How Are Substance Use Disorders Categorized
NIDA uses the term addiction to describe compulsive drug seeking despite negative consequences. However, addiction is not a specific diagnosis in the fifth edition of The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders a diagnostic manual for clinicians that contains descriptions and symptoms of all mental disorders classified by the American Psychiatric Association .
In 2013, APA updated the DSM, replacing the categories of substance abuse and substance dependence;with a single category: substance use disorder, with three subclassificationsmild, moderate, and severe. The symptoms associated with a substance use disorder fall into four major groupings: impaired control, social impairment, risky use, and pharmacological criteria .
The new DSM describes a problematic pattern of use of an intoxicating substance leading to clinically significant impairment or distress with 10 or 11 diagnostic criteria occurring within a 12-month period. Those who have two or three criteria are considered to have a mild disorder, four or five is considered “moderate,”;and six or more symptoms, “severe.”;The diagnostic criteria are as follows:
If A Drug Addiction Exists How And When Should It Be Treated
A Dual Diagnosis Drug Addiction treatment facility treats both opioid abuse and mental disorders simultaneously, regardless of when they manifest. One conditions symptoms and effects often exacerbate and push the symptoms and effects of another, so each condition needs to be handled holistically. You can get more information on Dual Diagnosis rehabs for drug addiction by calling the above number.
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The Disease Model Of Addiction
Addiction is defined as a disease by most medical associations, including the American Medical Association and the American Society of Addiction Medicine.
Like diabetes, cancer and heart disease, addiction is caused by a combination of behavioral, psychological, environmental and biological factors. Genetic risk factors account for about half of the likelihood that an individual will develop addiction.
Addiction involves changes in the functioning of the brain and body due to persistent use of nicotine, alcohol and/or other substances.
The consequences of untreated addiction often include other physical and mental health disorders that require medical attention. If left untreated over time, addiction becomes more severe, disabling and life-threatening.
Recovery From Drug Addiction Is Possible With Treatment
As humans, when things get tough, we tend to fall back into our old patterns. To overcome an addictionsomething that takes significant hard work and personal dedicationwe desperately need support and encouragement.
When we read powerful and inspiring quotes, they make sense to us. The words resonate with us internally and have a positive impact; they give us the push we need on our way to become our best selves.
If youre sick and tired of being sick and tired and only contemplating sobriety, take a look at the five quotes below. They might just inspire you to take the first step towards the rest of your life.
It wont be like this forever. Addiction makes a person feel hopeless and trapped. It controls us and makes us forget who we used to be. But the path of recovery is a step towards gaining control of your life once again. You no longer have to be a slave to the disease of drug addiction. And with sobriety, it is possible to gain back that sense of freedom you believed you lost so long ago.
No matter what the situation is, remind yourself I have a choice. Sobriety is a choice. Ultimately, its up to usand us aloneto come out of denial and perform the first step towards recovery. Likewise, when were faced with an unexpected setback or a strong urge to use, we have the power to determine the outcome. Effective treatment can help us identify and overcome our triggers, as well as allow us to make our own decisions about how to respond.
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Why Do People Take Drugs
In general, people take drugs for a few reasons:
- To feel good. Drugs can produce intense feelings of pleasure. This initial euphoria is followed by other effects, which differ with the type of drug used. For example, with stimulants such as cocaine, the high is followed by feelings of power, self-confidence, and increased energy. In contrast, the euphoria caused by opioids such as heroin is followed by feelings of relaxation and satisfaction.
- To feel better. Some people who suffer from social anxiety, stress, and depression start using drugs to try to feel less anxious. Stress can play a major role in starting and continuing drug use as well as relapse in patients recovering from addiction.
- To do better. Some people feel pressure to improve their focus in school or at work or their abilities in sports. This can play a role in trying or continuing to use drugs, such as prescription stimulants or cocaine.
- Curiosity and social pressure. In this respect, teens are particularly at risk because peer pressure can be very strong. Adolescence is a developmental period during which the presence of risk factors, such as peers who use drugs, may lead to substance use.
The Difference Between Drug Addiction And Dependence
As you read above, addiction is characterized by drug or substance use despite the harmful consequences. Another key part of addiction is the compulsion to continue taking the drug or substance when you know it will lead to harmful situations, or are seeking it out and neglecting other parts of your life.
Dependence is when your body becomes used to a drug and leads to taking larger doses to achieve the same effects the smaller dose created. Your body can even develop a dependence to some prescription drugs. Although dependence and addiction arent always present at the same time, dependence can lead to addiction.
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Treating Drug Abuse And Addiction Requires Addressing The Underlying Causes
Better Addiction Care can help you find a high quality treatment program to address the underlying causes behind your drug abuse or addiction. A holistic rehab program offers both traditional and alternative approaches to treatment that will help you:
- Delve into the issues that led to the substance abuse.
- Develop the skills you need to cope with stress, cravings, and other triggers.
- Replace self-destructive thought and behavior patterns with healthier ways of thinking and behaving.
- Learn to relax and have fun without drugs or alcohol.
- Find purpose and meaning in a life of sobriety.
The sooner you get help for the causes and effects of drug abuse or addiction, the sooner you can begin to put your life back together and enjoy a higher quality of life and better sense of well-being.
Substance Abuse Vs Substance Dependence
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is the leading source for diagnosing and understanding addiction. The DSM-IV defined abuse and dependence as two separate disorders. However, the most recent edition of the DSM no longer creates this distinction.
Abuse and dependence are defined on a scale that measures the time and degree of substance use. Essentially, abuse is like the early stage of dependence. As substance abuse becomes more frequent, the likelihood of developing a dependence disorder becomes greater.
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Abandoning The Terms
In 2013, the American Psychological Association released the fifth edition of the DSM. In this edition, the definitions revolving around addiction were changed once again. The APA ditched both substance abuse and substance dependence in favor of substance use disorder. Substance use disorder is now the medical term for addiction. Previously, abuse was a mild form of addiction, and dependence was a moderate or severe form of addiction. That terminology was problematic because in biology the study of organisms dependence refers to a physical adaptation to a substance.
All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.
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What Is The Treatment For Drug Addiction
An unfortunate fact about the treatment of drug addiction is that it remains largely underutilized by most sufferers. Facts about the use of drug addiction treatment include that less than 10% of people with a milder substance-use disorder and less than 40% of those with a more entrenched substance-use disorder seek professional help. Those statistics do not seem to be associated with socioeconomic or other demographic traits but do seem to be associated with the presence of other mental health problems .
The primary goals of drug-use disorder treatment are abstinence, relapse prevention, and rehabilitation. During the initial stage of abstinence, an individual who suffers from chemical dependency may need help avoiding or decreasing the effects of withdrawal. That process is detoxification or “detox.” Medical professionals primarily perform that part of drug addiction treatment in a hospital or other inpatient setting, where medications used to lessen withdrawal symptoms and close medical monitoring can be performed. The medications used for detox depend on the drug the person is dependent upon. For example, people with alcohol use disorder might receive medications like sedatives or blood pressure medications to decrease palpitations and blood pressure, or seizure medications to prevent seizures during the detoxification process.
How Addiction Gets Started
The reason that people engage in activity that can become addictive in the first place is to experiment, because of the social environment, or achieve a feeling of euphoria or to relieve an emotional state of dysphoria.
When people drink, take drugs, or participate in other reward-seeking behavior they experience a “high” that gives them the reward or relief they are seeking.
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