Drugs, as we all know, are not necessarily illegal or harmful. Simple prescribed medications, too, sometimes can cause bad effects in one’s body or mental health. Medications like sleeping pills, tranquilizers, or even simple painkillers with overdose could cost you your life.
Most people fail to understand how a person gets addicted to drugs or the reason behind the addiction. People earlier and now still think that people with a lack of moral principles or willpower often get drawn into such addictions.
In reality, drug addiction is not that easy, and it is a complex disease where quitting takes up more than moral principles and strong willpower. A big myth with drug addiction treatment is that a person’s intentions heal the brain and eventually cure drug addiction; however, this is partially true.
Most drugs affect a person’s brain’s reward circuit that causes euphoria, and flood with chemical messenger dopamine. A person who has a healthy functioning reward system has behaviors that motivate to eat, sleep, spend time with loved ones, and do daily chores.
On the other hand, taking drugs surges the dopamine in the reward circuit, causing reinforcement of pleasurable but unhealthy behaviors that people tend to repeat. Hence. Drugs are addictive in that it causes your brain to adapt the reward circuits to respond weekly in a way. The high they feel compared to the high they feel after getting addicted is reduced with tolerance.
Long-term use of drugs cause drastic changes in one’s body and causes the brain’s chemical systems to change drastically:
- Your learning abilities are hampered, and you may feel that you cannot learn new things or ways of living.
- Judgment is another way that is ruined with persistent drug-related problems.
- Decision-making is another area in one’s life that is not possible with drug addiction. One may tend to feel vulnerable and not make proper decisions with the intake of drugs.
- Stress is increased, and anxiety in a person’s life tends to feel more pressured with drug intake.
- Memory is hampered, and one may tend to forget the happenings in one’s life with the overdose of drugs.
- Drugs also make huge changes in a person’s life and daily chores, and with people, one’s behavior tends to change for the worse, making it difficult to survive in the same society.
The question still arises: how are drugs addictive, and why do some people get addicted to drugs while others don’t? No one can generally predict the factors. However, a combination of factors like the person’s biology, the environment of a bad peer group, or wrong friend circle with economic status affecting all necessary to get a person addicted to drugs.
Developmental stages in a person’s life affect addiction. One may be in the right peer group without getting into drug abuse but can still get influenced as areas in the brain control the decision making.
Therefore, prevention or cure is not that easy once addicted to drugs. It is a combined method with willpower, treatments, and rehabilitation processes that completely cure drug addiction. People recovering from addiction are always at a risk of relapse for years or sometimes even all their life.