Being addicted to drugs is a chronic condition that is characterized by using drugs compulsively, regardless of the harmful consequences. The addiction is considered a brain disease because the brain is changed by drug usage. The changes that are made in the brain can be lifelong and lead to behaviors that are harmful. When you are addicted to drugs, the functions of your brain are disrupted and, if left untreated, the preventable consequences can be lifelong.
There are many reasons people begin taking drugs:
You may ask yourself, if drugs can help people do or feel better, why is there a problem? When someone starts using drugs, they may see what they believe are positive effects. Most of them will believe that they can control their usage. Drugs, though, don’t take long to take over someone’s life. As a user continues to use drugs, other activities they have enjoyed in the past come less pleasurable. The drugs become necessary for them to feel like themselves. Even when being addicted to drugs causes problems in their life, they continue to do it. They also begin to build up a tolerance and need to take higher amounts of the drug more frequently to get the same feelings. These signs point to a drug addiction.
Even drugs that are considered moderate pose dangers. A social drinker can easily become intoxicated, take a drive, and in an instant, turn what was an enjoyable activity into something that becomes tragic.
The decision to start taking drugs initially is voluntary most of the time. As the user continues to use, though, their ability to control themselves and their usage becomes seriously impaired. When they are unable to control their usage, they are addicted to drugs. Studies on the brain have shown that addicted individuals have physical changes within their brain that control their behavior, learning, memory, decision-making, and judgment. The changes made in the brain affect how it works and can help explain the addict’s behaviors that are destructive and compulsive.
Though drug use may begin as a simple way to improve your life, it can quickly turn into something out of your control. If you find yourself in this situation, give Coastline Behavioral Health a call. We can walk beside you and help you discover ways to overcome your addiction.