Addicts can cover up the first stages of their addiction pretty well. You only come to realize they have an addiction when they’re almost totally wasted. If you know someone with a substance abuse problem, you’re probably wondering why they would start using substances that could potentially harm them.
Addiction is a complex disease, and no one ever wishes to go down that path. People who find themselves addicted to drugs often start with innocent experimentation of legal recreational drugs. It’s not just illegal drugs that cause addiction; prescribed medications such as pain relievers and sleeping meds can lead to addiction as well.
Here’s how the cycle begins.
Addiction Risk Factors
Addicts have different reasons for starting drug abuse, but they’re all victims at the end of the day. Those who begin abusing drugs at an early age often act out of curiosity and peer pressure, a common element in teens.
Others start using drugs, particularly treatment meds, to alleviate pain. Drugs like morphine and opioids have an addictive nature and may significantly contribute to a person’s addiction. Some people may start doing drugs to do better. Drugs such as marijuana alter the brain chemicals so that it sends false feelings of significant achievements to the user.
Other risk factors that can make someone vulnerable to addiction include:
- Poor parental supervision
- Family history of addiction
- Easy access to drugs
- Environmental exposure
- Pre-existing mental health problem
Myths about Addiction
Addicts have a common belief that some drugs are safer than others. While there could be some truth in this, a tobacco addict is no better than a heroin addict. The seemingly ‘safer’ drugs can lead someone to try more harmful substances. That’s why all the drug and alcohol rehab centers in the US offer different treatment programs that are alienated to the condition of the addict.
Drugs Affect the Brain Chemistry
The brain reward centers release a rush of dopamine every time we participate in a pleasurable activity. When someone abuses drugs, the brain’s reward centers are corrupt, and with time, you can’t get over the good feeling caused by the drugs.
When more dopamine than needed is released and cannot be reabsorbed back into the brain, the patient craves a little bit more of the drug than before each time. This increases the amount of drugs needed to achieve a good feeling.
Dopamine deficiency is a genetic disorder, and nobody can choose their genetic makeup. If you don’t ever want to worry about how much drugs can mutate your brain, the best solution is to avoid drug abuse or any activity that could lead to a cycle of misuse.
Regardless of the illicit substance, your brain chemicals fail to balance leading to unexpected reactions. As such, finding drug addiction treatment is the only way that you’ll revert to the productive person you were before.
Drug addiction affects adults and children alike. To help fight the epidemic, create a safe atmosphere for your loved ones to express their thought and feelings. Most people start abusing drugs when they feel unheard of or have no solutions to their daily dilemmas. People don’t have to hit rock bottom with substance abuse before they seek help.