Drug Abuse and Addiction

March 31, 20238:28 am

About 15% of people who abuse alcohol and nearly 57% of people addicted to opioids struggle with additional substances at the same time. The risk of polysubstance abuse increases if a person is male, young, African-American or has certain mental health conditions. There are complex associations between addiction and mental health. Many people with a substance use disorder also have a co-occurring mental health disorder. Around one in four people with a serious mental illness such as major depression or bipolar disorder also have a substance use disorder.

What is the meaning of in addiction?

Addiction is an inability to stop using a substance or engaging in a behavior even though it is causing psychological and physical harm.

The term “substance use disorder” allows for more clarity in diagnosis. SUD also recognizes a spectrum of problematic substance use, not just physiologic addiction. It involves continued substance use despite negative consequences.

Common symptoms of drug addiction

All drugs–nicotine, cocaine, marijuana and others–affect the brain’s “reward” circuit, which is part of the limbic system. Drugs target this system, which causes large amounts of dopamine—a brain chemical that helps regulate emotions and feelings of pleasure—to flood the brain. This flood of dopamine is what causes a “high.” It’s one of the main causes of drug addiction. About half of people who experience a mental health condition will also experience a substance use disorder and vice versa. In 2020, 17 million U.S. adults had a co-occurring mental health disorder and SUD.

  • She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor’s (MBBS).
  • The information contained on this website is not intended to be a substitute for, or to be relied upon as, medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
  • Each substance or behavior may require different management techniques.
  • Being aware of any signs of dependency can help identify prescription drug problems at an early stage and help to prevent them progressing into an addiction.
  • When someone starts abusing a substance, the chemical compounds in the drug will directly impact the way the brain functions.
  • This condition ultimately leads the person to develop an addiction to that particular substance.
  • Cultural and societal factors determine what are acceptable or allowable forms of drug or alcohol use.

Those changes can lead to a good student flunking out, a wife lying about draining the family savings account or an overdose in a grocery parking lot, with kids watching from their car seats. As you continue to use drugs, your body produces less dopamine. Things that brought you pleasure—that pie, friends, and even drugs—don’t anymore. Once you’re addicted, it takes more and more drugs just to feel normal. Psychological addiction happens when the cravings for a drug are psychological or emotional.

Outpatient drug and alcohol treatment at IU Health

Participating in self-help programs, like Narcotics Anonymous, can also play a significant role in SUD treatment. This can create an unhealthy drive to seek more pleasure from the substance https://ecosoberhouse.com/article/what-is-drug-addiction/ and less from more healthy experiences. Over 20 million people in the United States have at least one SUD. In general, people assigned male at birth (AMAB) are more likely to develop SUD.

what is drug addiction

Studies show that genetic factors are responsible for 40% to 60% of the vulnerability to any substance use disorder. If you have a first-degree relative (biological sibling or parent) with SUD, you’re more likely to develop it. Over time, the substances change your brain chemistry, and you become desensitized to their effects. About 20% of people in the U.S. who have depression or an anxiety disorder also have a substance use disorder. Both involve the development of physical dependence and psychological dependence. The key is receiving personalized treatment that is intensive and integrated.

Health Check Tools

Addiction can also lead to behaviors that strain relationships and inhibit daily activities. A person with addiction is unable to stop using a substance or engaging in a behavior even though it has harmful effects on daily living. Anyone using substances, even socially, should discuss them with a doctor to ensure safe use and monitor for signs or symptoms of addiction. Millions of readers rely on HelpGuide.org for free, evidence-based resources to understand and navigate mental health challenges. Please donate today to help us save, support, and change lives. Talk to the person about your concerns, and offer your help and support without being judgmental.

  • Your loved ones may criticize you; they may even try to persuade you that you don’t have a problem.
  • Still, talk to your doctor if this effect becomes troubling.
  • Substance use disorder (SUD) or drug addiction is a disease that negatively affects a person’s brain and behavior.
  • Therapy, both group and individual, and aftercare support are adequate for addressing the root causes of addiction, and the various mental and emotional issues that trigger drug abuse.
  • An intervention for SUD is a structured opportunity for you or a loved one to share thoughts about the addiction.
  • About 70% percent of people who began using at age 13 have an SUD compared to 27% who started at age 17.

This class of drugs includes, among others, heroin, morphine, codeine, methadone, fentanyl and oxycodone. Stimulants include amphetamines, meth (methamphetamine), cocaine, methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta, others) and amphetamine-dextroamphetamine (Adderall XR, Mydayis). They’re often used and misused in search of a “high,” or to boost energy, to improve performance at work or school, or to lose weight or control appetite.

Narrative Approach and Addiction

Taking NNaltrexone before the body has had a chance to detox can lead to very harsh and powerful withdrawal side effects. Dependence is generally an addiction that can involve withdrawal issues. Addictive disorder is a category of mental disorders defining important intensities of addictions or dependences, which induce functional disabilities.

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