Drug Addiction

Drug Addiction

Addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drug seeking, continued use despite harmful consequences, and long-lasting changes in the brain. It is considered both a complex brain disorder and a mental illness.
Drug addiction refers to the harmful need to consume substances that have damaging consequences on the user. Addiction affects not just the body but also on the person’s mental health and soundness of mind. Addiction is one of the most severe health problems faced around the world and is termed as a chronic disease. One of the most unfortunate yet common addictions that affect millions today is drug addiction. Also referred to as substance – use disorder, it is the addiction to substances that harm neurological functioning and a person’s behavior.
Drug addiction, also known as substance–use disorder, refers to the dangerous and excessive intake of legal and illegal drugs. This leads to many behavioral changes in the person as well as affects brain functions.
Drug Addiction
Drug addiction includes abusing alcohol, cannabis, cocaine, heroin, opioid, painkillers, and nicotine, among others. Drugs like these help the person feel good about themselves and induce ‘dopamine’ or the happiness hormone. As they continue to use the drug, the brain starts to increase dopamine levels, and the person demands more. Drug addiction can start with experimental use of a recreational drug in social situations, and, for some people, the drug use becomes more frequent. For others, particularly with opioids, drug addiction begins with exposure to prescribed medications, or receiving medications from a friend or relative who has been prescribed the medication. The risk of addiction and how fast you become addicted varies by drug. Some drugs, such as opioid painkillers, have a higher risk and cause addiction more quickly than others.
As time passes, you may need larger doses of the drug to get high. Soon you may need the drug just to feel good. As your drug use increases, you may find that it's increasingly difficult to go without the drug. Attempts to stop drug use may cause intense cravings and make you feel physically ill.

Symptoms of Drug Addiction are

  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you attempt to stop taking the drug.
  • Spending a good deal of time getting the drug, using the drug or recovering from the effects of the drug.
  • Failing in your attempts to stop using the drug.
  • Doing things to get the drug that you normally wouldn't do, such as stealing.
  • Continuing to use the drug, even though you know it's causing problems in your life or causing you physical or psychological harm.
  • Spending money on the drug, even though you can't afford it.
  • Not meeting obligations and work responsibilities, or cutting back on social or recreational activities because of drug use.
  • Feeling that you have to use the drug regularly — daily or even several times a day.
  • Over time, needing more of the drug to get the same effect.
  • Having intense urges for the drug that block out any other thoughts.
  • A sense of euphoria or feeling "high".
  • A heightened sense of visual, auditory and taste perception.
  • Increased blood pressure and heart rate.
  • Red eyes.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Decreased coordination.
  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering.
  • Slowed reaction time.
  • Anxiety or paranoid thinking.
  • Exaggerated cravings for certain foods at unusual times.

Health Risks of Chronic use of Drugs

  • Seizures
  • stroke
  • mental confusion and brain damage
  • Lung disease
  • Problems with memory
  • Lack of attention and decision-making
  • Panic attacks
  • Loss of muscle control
  • Euphoria
  • Increased energy and agitation
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Psychotic and violent behavior
  • Hallucinations
  • Loss of muscle control
  • Delirium
  • Increased strain on the liver, which puts the person at risk of significant liver damage or liver failure
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