This fact sheet discusses research findings on effective treatment approaches for drug abuse and addiction. What is drug addiction? Drug addiction is a chronic disease characterized by compulsive, or uncontrollable, drug seeking and use despite harmful consequences and changes in the brain, which can be long lasting. These changes in the brain can lead to the harmful behaviors seen in people who use drugs.
While some are able to use recreational or prescription drugs without experiencing negative effects, others find that substance use takes a serious toll on their health and well-being. Abusing drugs can leave you feeling helpless, isolated, or ashamed. When does drug use become drug abuse or addiction?
People start using drugs for many different reasons. Some experiment with recreational drugs out of curiosity, to have a good time, because friends are doing it, or to ease problems such as stress, anxiety, or depression. Prescription medications such as painkillers, sleeping pills, and tranquilizers can cause similar problems.
In fact, next to marijuana, prescription painkillers are the most abused drugs in the U. And addiction to opioid painkillers can be so powerful it has become the major risk factor for heroin abuse.
Drug abuse and addiction is less about the type Drug addiction and abuse amount of the substance consumed or the frequency of your drug use, and more about the consequences of that drug use.
If your drug use is causing problems in your life—at work, school, home, or in your relationships—you likely have a drug abuse or addiction problem. Recognizing that you have a problem is the first step on the road to recoveryone that takes tremendous courage and strength.
Facing your problem without minimizing the issue or making excuses can feel frightening and overwhelming, but recovery is within reach. Risk factors for drug addiction While anyone can develop problems from using drugs, vulnerability to substance addiction differs from person to person.
While your genes, mental health, family and social environment all play a role, risk factors that increase your vulnerability include: Family history of addiction Abuse, neglect, or other traumatic experiences Mental disorders such as depression and anxiety Early use of drugs Method of administration—smoking or injecting a drug may increase its addictive potential Drug addiction and the brain While each drug produces different physical effects, all abused substances share one thing in common: This includes commonly abused prescription medications as well as recreational drugs.
Taking the drug causes a rush of the hormone dopamine in your brain, which triggers feelings of pleasure.
Your brain remembers these feelings and wants them repeated. When you become addicted, the substance takes on the same significance as other survival behaviors, such as eating and drinking. Changes in your brain interfere with your ability to think clearly, exercise good judgment, control your behavior, and feel normal without drugs.
The urge to use is so strong that your mind finds many ways to deny or rationalize the addiction. While frequency or the amount of drugs consumed do not necessarily constitute drug abuse or addiction, they can often be indicators of drug-related problems.
If the drug fulfills a valuable need, you may find yourself increasingly relying on it. You may take illegal drugs to calm or energize yourself or make you more confident. You may start abusing prescription drugs to relieve pain, cope with panic attacks, or improve concentration at school or work.
To maintain a healthy balance in your life, you need to have positive experiences and feel good about your life without any drug use. Drug abuse may start as a way to socially connect. People often try drugs for the first time in social situations with friends and acquaintances.
A strong desire to fit in to the group can make it feel like doing the drugs with them is the only option. Smoking a joint with friends over the weekend, or taking ecstasy at a rave, or painkillers when your back aches, for example, can change from using drugs a couple of days a week to using them every day.
Gradually, getting and using the drug becomes more and more important to you.Drug Abuse and Addiction Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms of Drug Use and Addiction. Español. People from all walks of life can experience problems with their drug use, regardless of age, race, or background.
Addiction is a disease that affects your brain and behavior. When you’re addicted to drugs, you can’t resist the urge to use them, no matter how much harm the drugs may cause. Drug addiction. Signs of Drug Addiction.
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Drug or alcohol abuse is a mild substance problem, defined by having two or three symptoms of addiction. People who abuse drugs or alcohol can experience serious consequences such as accidents, overdoses, crime, school problems, violence and suicide.
Drug abuse and addiction, now both grouped as drug use disorder, is a condition that is characterized by a self-destructive pattern of using a substance that leads to significant problems and distress, which may include tolerance to or withdrawal from the substance.