What is Drug Addiction?
Drug addiction is a complex condition (more recently called Drug Dependency) that has been defined as a disorder that manifests in the obsessive thinking about and use of drugs. It is a condition that may be progressive and fatal if left untreated.
Drugs work by affecting the chemicals in the brain and inducing an artificial state of euphoria or a ‘high’. But as the body gets used to the effects of the drugs, it takes more and more to achieve the same affect, thus starting a never-ending quest to attain this false happiness - with frightening consequences.
As the disease progresses, drug users will allow relationships, jobs, studies, careers and children to fall by the wayside as drugs become a central need in their life. People addicted to drugs may also find themselves in denial.
For addicts to continue such a destructive, self harming and damaging way of life there has to be a very strong level of denial existing to keep them from fully seeing the truth and reality of the illness. Therefore, denial exists as a survival mechanism to protect the disease. With substance abuse treatment, addiction can be treated and a better, healthier lifestyle adopted.
Who is Most at Risk for Drug Abuse and Dependency? Is There a Cure?
Drug abuse and the development of dependency are problems that can affect anyone, from suburban mothers addicted to sleeping pills to children persuaded by peers to smoke marijuana. Teenagers and young adults are considered to be a particularly high risk group for developing drug abuse problems. This may be because these are important periods of transition and change and it is often during transitional times when people start to experiment with new things and begin to face new life stressors.
People are also at higher risk if they are depressed, have self-esteem issues, have a family history of substance abuse or feel like they don’t fit in with society. Drug addiction is often justified and viewed as harmless fun or necessary escapism by users. However, the consequences can be devastating, long-term and even fatal.
There are a number of substance abuse treatment options if you feel that drug abuse is a problem in your life, or if you are concerned about a family member or friend. Drug addiction is often a downward spiral to destruction, but there are always outstretched hands ready and waiting should you decide to reach for help.
What are the Most Commonly Abused Drugs?
- Crystal methamphetamine (Meth)
- Appetite suppressants
- Cough mixture
- Prescription pain or sleeping medication