Drug Addiction

When most people begin to experiment with drugs they never think that they will one day be addicted to them.  However, emotional, psychological and physical factors can make some individuals more susceptible to drug addiction then others.

Some symptoms of drug addiction include a dependence on a particular drug or drugs, going to great lengths to obtain drugs and get high, physical cravings and the willingness to take risks to obtain the drugs even with there are negative consequences.  Persons who become addicted to drugs have constant cravings and thoughts about buying and taking drugs.

Persons can be addicted to both legal and illegal drugs. The number of individuals who are taking legal drugs, those prescribed by their doctors and over-the-counter, to get high is growing at an alarming rate.

When there is long-term use of drugs, pathways in the brain become altered. It is at this point that the drug addiction becomes a disease.  When the pathways and nerve cells in the brain become changed, physical addiction occurs. The brain reacts differently to the types of drugs that are taken and will be altered accordingly.

Drug addiction can be influenced by both genetics and the environment in which one lives. A person can be pre-disposed to drug addiction based on their family history.  The environment can also play a major role in drug use and drug addiction.  Individuals who have a lot of life stressors or who are around people who abuse drugs may be more tempted to use them themselves.  Some drugs are also much more addicting then others. Heroine and cocaine are two such drugs that often quickly entrap the persons who try them.  Others are less so such as marijuana.

One’s personality type may also influence whether or not they become addicted to drugs.  Individuals who have problems with depression or anxiety may use illegal or legal drugs to self medicate and may become addicted in the process.

It is believed that nearly 20 million people in the United States over the age of 12 have taken some sort of illegal drug.  24% of men and 16% of women in the U.S. have used drugs, with marijuana being the one most commonly taken. Drug-Rehabs.org reports that one in four Americans between the ages of 26-34 have tried cocaine. According to the Mayo Clinic 19,000 deaths from drug use occur every year in the United States.

Most people recognize that drug addiction can take a serious and even deadly toll on an individual.  It can cause them to lose the things that are most important to them such as their family, friends, job and money. Some people are more susceptible to drug addiction and everyone who takes drugs does not become addicted to them. There are individuals that are able to only take drugs socially. The problem is, one doesn’t know until after they have become addicted if they are one of those individuals. By then, it is impossible to turn back the clock.

Whether or not an individual becomes addicted to drugs depends on several factors.  A person’s genetic makeup, their environment and what is going on in their lives will either contribute to or insulate one from drug use. Drug addiction is very serious and can be a very ugly disease because it robs the individual, the people that they love and those who love them of a whole and healthy human being.  Family and friends suffer because they have to watch, often helplessly, someone that they care about deteriorate right before their eyes. Drug addicts suffer because they often alienate and hurt those people closest to them.