Addiction is a chronic disease that affects a person’s brain and behavior, causing an inability to control the use of illegal or legal drugs despite the harm they cause. You can get addicted to substances such as cocaine, heroin, marijuana, anti-anxiety medications, alcohol and nicotine. Drug addiction can start as experimental use of a recreational substance in social situations, and the use becomes more frequent. However, for some, drug addiction begins with exposure to prescription medications such as opioids or using someone else’s prescribed medications. Specialists recommend Gilbert addiction medicine to prevent the dire consequence of addiction.
What causes addiction?
Like most mental health disorders, several factors may contribute to drug addiction; the main factors include:
- Genetics. Some inherited traits or genetic components make it more likely for some people to get addicted once they have started using the drug. For instance, genetic traits may accelerate or delay disease progression. The risk of suffering addiction is higher if close relatives such as parents and siblings have the same problem.
- Environment. Environmental factors such as your family’s beliefs may contribute to the development of drug addiction; for example, you are more likely to get addicted if drug use in your family is a norm. Initial drug use can also result from peer pressure; you are more likely to follow the behavior of your friends who use drugs.
Brain changes. Repeated use of a drug causes changes in your brain’s neurons. Neurons or neurotransmitters use chemicals to communicate; physical changes to some nerve cells can cause addiction.
Risk factors for drug addiction
Anyone, regardless of sex, age, and economic status, can become addicted to a drug, but certain factors affect your likelihood and speed of developing an addiction; they include:
- Mental health disorders. You are more likely to become addicted to drugs if you have a mental health disorder such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Using drugs can give you temporary euphoria and maybe a way of coping with feelings such as loneliness. However, drug use only worsens the problem and puts you at risk of addiction.
- Family history. Genetic predisposition makes drug addiction more common in some families than others. Your risk of developing an addiction is higher if you have a blood relative such as a sibling or parent with the same problem.
- Early use. Using drugs at an early age causes changes in the developing brain, increasing the risk of addiction.
- Peer pressure. Peer pressure is a significant cause of drug addiction, especially among teenagers and young adults. You are most likely to develop an addiction when you hang out with your group of friends who use drugs.
If you or a loved one has an addiction, it’s important to seek professional help. Facilities like Studio 64 specialize in helping addicts become and stay sober. Addiction often runs in families. It’s important to break the cycle by setting a good example. This will help prevent the cycle from continuing. Professional help will also prevent a relapse from occurring. Many addicts experience a relapse after becoming sober. It can happen at any time and is something to be taken seriously. However, a relapse doesn’t have to set you back for the rest of your life. Receiving the right treatment from the beginning will help prevent relapses from happening.
Total refrain from a drug is the best way to prevent addiction. If your doctor prescribes medications such as opioids which can be addictive, always follow your physician’s instructions. For example, do not exceed the duration or take large doses. Ensure you talk to your doctor if you feel the need to take more than the prescribed dose of a medication.
Consult your healthcare provider at 2nd Chance Treatment Center to learn more about the available treatment options for addiction.