This is Why DRUGS are SO Addictive

This is Why DRUGS are SO Addictive


Understanding drug addiction is a slippery
slope that requires a lot of care and sensitivity. Many people who are on the road to recovery
are still being attacked by stigmas attached to drug addiction and drug dependence and
those who are desperately addicted to substances are considered social pariahs by the society
they live in. To drug users, it is an escape; an escape
from the harsh realities of daily life or a means to feel better about themselves in
spite of the destructive nature of the vice. The truth is that drug addiction is a chronic
disease akin to diabetes and heart disease. It is highly characterised by unrelenting
drug seeking and compulsive use despite the harmful consequences. However, with proper treatment and the right
people who can support you all the way, drug addiction can be addressed and set right. But what does cause drug addiction? Is it the substances themselves? Many people would argue that each substance
has a distinct way of keeping a person hooked but, in many studies that have been conducted
on the subject, it is not entirely the case. Drug addiction is unique in that it starts
with the human brain more than anywhere else. As mentioned earlier, drug addiction is spurned
by compulsive behaviour and constant seeking of the substance. The choice to take drugs is, in many cases,
voluntary but addiction starts when there is repeated and abusive use that can challenge
the brain response and the person’s self-control. This brain response and changes can prove
to be pretty persistent which is why there are some people who are in the middle of recovery
that tend to relapse. AN ALTERED STATE OF MIND
No matter how it is introduced into the body, drugs interrupt the normal function of the
brain’s neurotransmitters. Normally, neurotransmitters travel down the
brain’s synapse in order to deliver an appropriate response to the body’s muscle or nerve fibres. A perfect example to this is when we hole
a hand out directly over an open flame. Our brain transmits a message down to the
nerve fibres in our hands at lightning quick speeds to signal it to move away by means
of triggering its pain receptors, saving you from being burned or injured. Drugs can subvert these messages and send
different signals to the brain. For example, pain killers send messages to
the brain to basically shut down our pain response in order for us to deal with a broken
arm or a sprained ankle. In cases where people get severely addicted
to pain medication, the signals being sent to the brain allows their response to pain
to slow down or even shut down. In fact, chemical substances and other drugs
attack three main parts of the brain: the brain stem which controls and sends messages
up and down the entire body to tell the brain what is happening and how it should respond;
the limbic system which rewards us with feeling good after an activity that we enjoy – a
part of the brain that controls our reward response; and the cerebral cortex which controls
certain body functions to react as well as aid in problem solving and decision making. REWARDS AND CONSEQUENCES
Perhaps the most affected part of the brain when there is substance abuse is its reward
centre. Normally, when we are doing something worthwhile
and enjoyable, our brain releases the chemical dopamine which gives us the sensation of enjoyment
and pleasure. Whether it is enjoying a quiet night in with
a significant other or a spontaneous road trip with friends, the human brain releases
the chemical to give the appropriate response to a positive experience which motivates us
to do more of that activity. However, when foreign substances are introduced
into the body and are taken in excess and abused, these drugs overstimulate the brain
and the production of dopamine. As a natural response, the brain will produce
less of the chemical to keep our reward response in check. In order to compensate for the decreased dopamine
that is being produced and in order to chase that intense “high”, people tend to take
more drugs and substances to keep prodding the brain to continuously produce dopamine;
this is where addiction begins. This is quite dangerous, not only because
it can destroy the body overtime, but also because it causes the body to lose “interest”
and get pleasure from other things that the person used to enjoy such as food, physical
activity, and social interaction. TRACING THE CAUSE OF ADDICTION
The cause of addiction is a little bit tricky to pinpoint because people have a collective
belief that it is a behaviour that is learned and is reinforced by the drugs that individuals
take; while a handful believe that it is, in fact, a chronic brain disease akin to extreme
obsessive-compulsive behaviour where a strong urge needs to be desperately satisfied. In an article published by Psychology Today,
it says that “the learning theory of addictions is also backed up by neuroscience because
addictive drugs activate dopamine-based reward systems that are designed by natural selection
to strengthen naturally-rewarded behaviours such as feeding and mating.” Despite this, however, the so-called “disease
theory” only accounts for a small population of people who get addicted to drugs. It also needs to be taken into consideration
that there are other factors that may influence behaviour and encourage addiction. In most cases, there are three factors that
seem to strongly influence addiction and addictive behaviour in people:
Biology – the genetic makeup of an individual, surprisingly, makes up for half of his or
her risk of addiction. Other biological factors such as gender and
ethnicity, as well as other mental illnesses or disorders may also be strong contributing
factors that may influence drug dependence and addiction. Environment – family, friends, economic
status, and quality of life – these are outside elements that may also bring a person
closer to drug addiction. Peer pressure is one of the most prevalent
in younger individuals as well as early exposure to substances. Generally, emotional, physical, and mental
abuse in a person also creates a high likelihood of substance and drug addiction as a means
of escape from their current torment. Development – this factor poses as a double-whammy
to individuals in terms of substance use and abuse. Most especially in teenagers, genetic and
environmental factors may critically affect their development as this is the stage in
their life where areas in their brains that affect decision-making, self-control, and
judgment are still being developed and exposure to addictive substances such as drugs may
inhibit or permanently short-circuit these functions. Treatment for drug abuse is not necessarily
a cure since it is a chronic mental illness. However, treatment is one of the best ways
to manage urges and finally, successfully kicking the habit. Relapse is a common occurrence even in cases
where treated individuals have been sober for years but there are plenty of research
and studies out there that point to a successful road to recovery by using tailor-made treatment
methods and behavioural therapy; as well as having the help and support of loved ones
to keep an recovering drug user moving forward to wellness.

51 comments

  1. drug addiction is real ! i got None but LOVE for drug addicts and the ones that are in recovery! im a meth addict 3 years straight but one day I will turn this all around . keep praying god is here ♡

  2. Jasmina- I don't know what you guys think about drugs but I NEVer tried them in my life. Blew out but never inhaled till me what you guy think? Bye!!!

  3. Hey, there's a new channel called Ritie Sunny. He's my friend and he does some pretty good Chinese history related videos.

  4. practice not twisting while you talk ,you will get better at it remember your not infront of real people and slow down the speed of talking so you dont sound like your reading off something ,people like more of a conversation type ,

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