What Biological Factors Increase Risk Of Addiction
Biological factors that can affect a person’s risk of addiction include their genes, stage of development, and even gender or ethnicity. Scientists estimate that genes, including the effects environmental factors have on a person’s gene expression, called epigenetics, account for between 40 and 60 percent of a person’s risk of addiction.27 Also, teens and people with mental disorders are at greater risk of drug use and addiction than others.28
How Addictions Can Affect You
The strain of managing an addiction can seriously damage your work life and relationships. In the case of substance misuse , an addiction can have serious psychological and physical effects.
Some studies suggest a person’s risk of becoming addicted is partly genetic, but environmental factors, such as being around other people with addictions, are also thought to increase the risk.
Behaviours such as substance misuse can be a way of blocking out difficult issues. Unemployment and poverty can trigger addiction, along with stress and emotional or professional pressure.
Why Do So Many People Become Addicted To Drugs
Recent events have made life extremely stressful for many citizens. Escape and relaxation may have been hard to find as you face the uncertainty of modern life. However, some people can use alcohol and drugs to relax without facing the risk of addiction. Why do so many people become addicted to drugs? For some, drugs are a way to manage pain, including
- physical discomfort
- mental anguish
- emotional suffering
Over time, many drugs lose their impact as we develop a tolerance for the product. When this happens, it takes more drug to get the same relief. This need for more, or craving, pushes the user into an addictive mindset.
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Reasons Why People Get Addicted To Drugs
Some people are at risk for abuse and developing addiction disorders. The vulnerability of an individual to be addicted differs from another even if the factors are the same.
The factors that contribute to drug addiction make the addicts value drugs so much, that they stay within its usage in the long-term.
Below are some reasons why people have drug addiction
- Genetics: The preference of an individual to take part in addictive behaviors are often shaped by their genes, which was passed down to them. The association between the social environment of an individual and their genes can explain why some people are addicted and some are not.
For instance, children whose parents were drug addicts are at a high risk of developing their own drug addiction at any time.
- Cultural behavior: The value that an individual attaches to taking drugs is greatly influenced by the environment where the person resides. For instance, a student in college where drug abuse is a common habit will most likely indulge in it. And if care is not taken, the student would be addicted to drugs.
- Financial capacity: One of the reasons why people are addicted to drugs is its affordability. If drugs were expensive, not everyone would be taking it. This does not understate the fact that, some people will take loans to fund their addiction and they will end up in debt.
If the prices of drugs like cigarettes and the likes increases, people will cut down on their consumption.
How Do You Know If Youre Addicted To Drugs
When you are addicted, your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors will all center around getting and using drugs. You can recognize an addiction or substance use disorder by asking:
Do I constantly think about drugs?
Do I struggle to cut back?
Does using make it harder to do well at work or school?
Do I get in fights with people about drugs?
Do I use more drugs than I mean to?
Do I have cravings and feel odd when Im not using?
Do I need more drugs to feel well?
Do I keep using drugs despite unwanted effects on my mental, physical, and social health?
Answering yes to even a few questions could mean that you have a problem with alcohol and other drugs. Remember, you can become addicted to many substances, even ones that are legal or prescribed by a doctor.
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Why Study Drug Use And Addiction
Use of and addiction to alcohol, nicotine, and illicit drugs cost the Nation more than $740 billion a year related to healthcare, crime, and lost productivity.1,2 In 2016, drug overdoses killed over 63,000 people in America, while 88,000 died from excessive alcohol use.3,4 Tobacco is linked to an estimated 480,000 deaths per year.5
If Taking Drugs Makes People Feel Good Or Better What’s The Problem
When they first use a drug, people may perceive what seem to be positive effects. They also may believe they can control their use. But drugs can quickly take over a person’s life. Over time, if drug use continues, other pleasurable activities become less pleasurable, and the person has to take the drug just to feel normal. They have a hard time controlling their need to take drugs even though it causes many problems for themselves and their loved ones. Some people may start to feel the need to take more of a drug or take it more often, even in the early stages of their drug use. These are the signs of an addiction.
Even relatively moderate drug use poses dangers. Consider how a social drinker can become intoxicated, get behind the wheel of a car, and quickly turn a pleasurable activity into a tragedy that affects many lives. Occasional drug use, such as misusing an opioid to get high, can have similarly disastrous effects, including impaired driving and overdose.
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What Is Drug Addiction
Addiction is a chronic disease characterized by drug seeking and use that is compulsive, or difficult to control, despite harmful consequences. The initial decision to take drugs is voluntary for most people, but repeated drug use can lead to brain changes that challenge an addicted persons self-control and interfere with their ability to resist intense urges to take drugs. These brain changes can be persistent, which is why drug addiction is considered a “relapsing” diseasepeople in recovery from drug use disorders are at increased risk for returning to drug use even after years of not taking the drug.
It’s common for a person to relapse, but relapse doesn’t mean that treatment doesnt work. As with other chronic health conditions, treatment should be ongoing and should be adjusted based on how the patient responds. Treatment plans need to be reviewed often and modified to fit the patients changing needs.
Easy And Quick Availability
This is true especially in todays continuing development of technology. You will see that street drugs, alcohol and prescription drugs are more convenient than ever. People can obtain prescription drugs through doctors, on the streets and even over the internet. In fact, many websites are claiming to offer different types of drugs and alcohol. This is indeed very alarming especially on the part of parents.
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What Is Substance Abuse Disorder
Substance abuse disorder, or drug addiction, can be defined as a progressive disease that causes people to lose control of the use of some substance despite worsening consequences of that use. Substance use disorder can be life-threatening.
Addictions are not problems of willpower or morality. Addiction is a powerful and complex disease. People who have an addiction to drugs cannot simply quit, even if they want to. The drugs change the brain in a way that makes quitting physically and mentally difficult. Treating addiction often requires lifelong care and therapy.
New Insights Into A Common Problem
Nobody starts out intending to develop an addiction, but many people get caught in its snare. Consider the latest government statistics:
- Nearly 23 million Americansalmost one in 10are addicted to alcohol or other drugs.
- More than two-thirds of people with addiction abuse alcohol.
- The top three drugs causing addiction are marijuana, opioid pain relievers, and cocaine.
In the 1930s, when researchers first began to investigate what caused addictive behavior, they believed that people who developed addictions were somehow morally flawed or lacking in willpower. Overcoming addiction, they thought, involved punishing miscreants or, alternately, encouraging them to muster the will to break a habit.
The scientific consensus has changed since then. Today we recognize addiction as a chronic disease that changes both brain structure and function. Just as cardiovascular disease damages the heart and diabetes impairs the pancreas, addiction hijacks the brain. This happens as the brain goes through a series of changes, beginning with recognition of pleasure and ending with a drive toward compulsive behavior.
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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:
The Brain Continues To Develop Into Adulthood And Undergoes Dramatic Changes During Adolescence
One of the brain areas still maturing during adolescence is the prefrontal cortexthe part of the brain that allows people to assess situations, make sound decisions, and keep emotions and desires under control. The fact that this critical part of a teens brain is still a work in progress puts them at increased risk for trying drugs or continuing to take them. Introducing drugs during this period of development may cause brain changes that have profound and long-lasting consequences.
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Why Do People With Substance Use Disorder Need More And More Drugs Over Time
People feel intoxicated after using drugs of abuse. Over time, the brain is changed by drugs of abuse. The brain becomes desensitized to the drug of abuse so that more of the drug must be used to produce the same effect.
As the person consumes more, drugs start to take over the persons life. One may stop enjoying other aspects of life. For many people, social, family and work obligations fall to the side. The person with SUD starts to feel like somethings wrong if he or she isnt under the influence of the substance. They may become consumed with the need to recapture that original feeling.
Why Do People Use Drugs The Beginning Of The Cycle
Its easy to assume that people use drugs for the sole purpose of getting high and running from their feelings. However, this assumption is the root cause of harmful stigmas that surround addiction. For example, drug addicts choose their lifestyle and they deserve every negative experience that comes their way as the result of drug use. There are many different reasons why people may begin to use drugs. So, if youre wondering, why do people use drugs?, there are a few reasons to consider. In many cases, understanding why you or a loved one uses drugs can help you come to terms with and accept the presence of addiction. Therefore, making it more obvious that getting help is the next step.
Some of the reasons why people may use addictive drugs may include:
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What Are Treatments For Drug Addiction
Several therapies exist for treating substance use disorder. Even for a severe disorder, treatment can help. Often, youll receive a combination of these therapies:
- Detoxification: You stop taking drugs, allowing the drugs to leave the body. You may need healthcare supervision to detox safely.
- Medication-assisted therapies: During detox, medicine can help control cravings and relieve withdrawal symptoms.
- Behavioral therapies:Cognitive behavioral therapy or other psychotherapy can help deal with addictions cause. Therapy also helps build self-esteem and teaches healthy coping mechanisms.
Family History Or Family Stress
Someone who comes from a family that uses and abuses drugs is more likely to become dependent. Genes may very well play an important role in a persons drug use or non-use. It seems that certain chemical reactions occur in addicted brains that do not occur in non-addicted brains. This may explain why some people can use addictive substances and never become addicted.
And in some cases, there are stressful situations in a family that can become a cause for drug use.
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What And Addict Can Do To Recover From Addiction
Good thing addiction can be treated successfully, thanks to the many different programs offered by the rehabilitation centers. The experts will help you engage in substance use condition treatment, modify your behaviors and attitudes associated with drug and alcohol use, and increase your life skills to successfully deal with environmental cues and stressful circumstances that can trigger strong cravings for alcohol and drugs. Not only that, the therapies will improve the medications effectiveness and help you stay in treatment longer.
Individualized Treatment Is Essential
The question of why some become addicted and others dont isnt easy to answer, because everyone develops an addiction differently. The most important thing to note is that professional help is essential for long-term recovery, and since no two individuals addictions are alike, no two individuals treatment plans should be the same.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration stresses that just as there is no single pathway to addiction, there is no single pathway to recovery. Regardless of why someone becomes addicted, an individualized treatment plan is essential for the best possible outcome of treatment.
NA/AA DISCLAIMER: This Site is not affiliated with Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous. The information on this Site is provided for informational purposes only. If there are any discrepancies of times, dates, or locations of meetings, please contact us so we can update the information as we strive to keep the information as current as possible.
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Symptoms Of Prescription Drug Addiction
Are you wondering how to figure out if you or your loved one has become addicted to prescription drugs? Here are some signs that can help you.
- Excessive mood swings or hostility
- Using higher doses than instructed
- Increase or decrease in sleep
- Poor-decision making
- Looking high, unusually excited, or sedated
- Frequently losing prescriptions thereby requiring more prescriptions
- Going to multiple doctors for the same prescription
- Forging, stealing, buying, or selling prescriptions
Does Everyone Who Takes Drugs Become Addicted
Not everyone who uses drugs becomes addicted. Everyone’s bodies and brains are different, so their reactions to drugs can also be different. Some people may become addicted quickly, or it may happen over time. Other people never become addicted. Whether or not someone becomes addicted depends on many factors. They include genetic, environmental, and developmental factors.
Causes & Risk Factors Of Addiction
There is no single cause of addiction people begin using substances for many reasons and one persons path to addiction may look drastically different from that of another.
Apart from the case of beginning drug use via a prescription from a doctor, there are 4 main reasons people may try substances, according to NIDA:1
- To feel good. Drugs may lure people with the appeal of:
- A euphoric high.
People who have an intensely good experience their first time using begin to learn that drugs can make them feel great, and the foundations of addiction are set. Not everyone responds the same way to drugs and alcohol, however.
For years, experts have debated if it was nature or nurture that determined whether someone will become addicted. Now, the prevailing view is that there is no one thing we can look at to predict someones risk of developing an SUDrather, the interaction of the persons unique biology and environment BOTH influence how the drug will impact a persons susceptibility to becoming addicted.1
- Home environment.
What Are The Myths About Addiction
There are two widely accepted reasons for addiction , neither proven.
First, taking drugs compulsively is a harmful habit that addiction victims must break. But, if you think people cant break the addictive habits because they lack enough willpower, you are absolutely wrong.
However, to the brain, a habit is nothing more than our ability to perform repetitive tasks more and more efficiently, such as tying our shoelaces or brushing our teeth. As a result, people rarely become engrossed in a never-ending and compulsive loop of tying shoelaces.
Another idea states that for many users, overcoming withdrawal is too tricky. Sweats, chills, anxiety, and heart palpitations are all symptoms of withdrawal, which occurs when the drug departs your body.
Withdrawal from certain drugs, such as alcohol, carries a risk of death if not carefully treated.
The severe withdrawal symptoms are usually mentioned because addiction appears to be unavoidable. However, even for heroin, withdrawal symptoms typically fade after approximately two weeks.
Furthermore, many addictive medicines cause various withdrawal symptoms, some of which last for months.
This isnt to imply that addiction doesnt contain pleasure, behaviors, or withdrawal. However, we must consider if they are required components of addiction or whether addiction would continue even if they were not there.
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