What is Addiction?
Addiction is a compulsive dependency on a substance that alters the brain’s function into thinking it needs more, despite knowing the substance’s negative consequences. Addiction does not rationalize. It is a treatable chronic mental disease. It can also result from health conditions, the environment, or genetics. Substance abuse controls the frontal part of the brain that maintains your moods. The brain’s natural functions get disturbed. This leads to extreme mood swings. An addict would desire more drug doses to maintain a happy and balanced state.
Addiction might make an addict feel good but disrupt their lives simultaneously. Every thought of an addict centers on getting the next shot. This makes them unable to focus on anything else. This also leads to isolation and ruins personal relationships. Moreover, substance abuse disrupts the work-life balance of an individual. Chronic addicts cannot focus on their jobs and might blow up all the money on drugs.
Facts about Addiction
Let us look at some interesting facts about addiction.
Multiple Genetic Factors Lead to Substance Abuse
While there is no particular addictive gene, several genetic factors play a part in addiction. Genetic factors contribute to 50% of addiction problems. Other factors include environmental, social, and lifestyle factors. Hence, it’s important to tend to addicts with the help of professionals to diagnose and provide aftercare.
For instance, if you’re in New Jersey or Massachusetts, Serenity at Summit is an addiction rehab center that provides complete care. They provide medical detox, residential treatment, clinical stabilization, acute treatment, and family programs. They help in dealing with stimulants, alcohol, sedatives, benzodiazepines addictions.
According Institute for Behavior Resources, Director “addiction can also stem from childhood trauma. This means trying to find an escape from the trauma.”
Addiction is a Mental Disease
Co-occurring mental health disorders, such as addiction and mental health, go side by side. A person can have multiple mental disorders simultaneously. For instance, substance abuse is commonly linked to anxiety, PTSD, OCD, depression, bipolar disorder, psychotic, or personality disorders.
According to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 40% of American addicts also face another mental health issue. This amounts to over eight million US citizens suffering from more than one mental health condition.
Prescription Drugs are more fatal Than Illegal Drugs.
Legal drugs kill more people every year in the US than illegal ones. In 2010, 48,000 US women died from opioid medication overdoses. Opioids are painkillers, for example, oxytocin, that doctors in the US prescribe for chronic pain over long periods. Opioids are highly addictive, so the fatality rate due to opioid overdose is common in some western states.
Over 200% of men died from opioid overdoses from 1999 to 2010. In 2012, 16,000 people died of prescription pills overdose.
Most Addicts Work Full Time
Although homeless addicts who have opted out of society make headlines, SAMHSA states that more than three-quarters of addicts are full-time workers. None of these addicts live on the street. Therefore, not all addicts are unemployed and homeless.
What are the Stages of Addiction?
Every addict goes through five stages of addiction: first use, regular use, risky use, dependency and tolerance, and addiction. Let us see what happens to an addict at each stage.
Stage One: First Use
Addiction to any drug starts with its first-ever use. You might become curious about a certain drug. You might even try it out to experiment. This happens in the case of marijuana, cigarettes, cocaine, and heroin. Their first use can prove to be dangerous. It takes an immense amount of self-control to stop at first use.
If you cannot stop yourself, you must seek immediate treatment. The earlier you act, the quicker you will bounce back. Visit Serenity at Summit to find a network of addiction facilities and detox treatments.
Stage Two: Regular Use
After the initial experimental stage comes regular use. They develop a certain pattern. They will start by doing drugs only with their friends due to peer pressure. This will lead to taking the drug only on weekends. To reduce work stress. They will use it occasionally. Moreover, they will fail to believe that this might become a problem. If someone tries to provide counsel, they will resist. Such behavioral changes have negative connotations leading to addiction.
Stage Three: Risky Use
This is where drug use increases over time. The person would crave the constant thrill from the ease of dose. They might exhibit risky behavior, such as drunk driving or driving under drugs influence for thrill and adventure. They will not consider the dangers and illegality of the act. The drug will make them want to escape a boring and monotonous routine. The drug will be the only source of happiness in their lives.
Stage Four: Dependency and Tolerance
Dependency is being unable to perform routine functions without the drug. Each time, the person would crave a heavier dose. The craving for the drug will be intense after each shot. At this stage, the chances of withdrawal symptoms are higher. Suppose the person skips a dose or tries to quit. Withdrawal symptoms may include muscle spasms, cramps, fever, cold sweats, and vomiting, among others. Craving for the drug is both physical and psychological at this stage.
Stage Five: Addiction
The final stage is addiction. This is when the addict directs everything towards getting the next shot. This is where they lose their closest friends and family. They blow up all the money on drugs or alcohol. They might even lose their jobs or drop out of school. In other words, the final stage disrupts the person’s entire life. Even more alarming is the fact that they will still not stop. They will keep up with substance abuse.
Addiction is a treatable mental disease. It is a compulsive dependency on a legal or illegal drug or alcohol. People can also get addicted to prescription pills. There are four stages of addiction. First use, regular use, risky use, dependency, and addiction. Every addict goes through these four stages.
There is no addiction gene. However, several genetic factors lead to addiction. Other factors include social, environmental, physical, and mental. Over 40% of substance abuse addicts in the US also suffer from other mental health conditions.
Moreover, prescription drugs lead to more deaths than illegal drugs. The cases of opioid overdoses trump illegal drug overdoses. Furthermore, about three-quarters of American addicts are full-time workers. This implies that all addicts are homeless.
No matter what substance you are addicted to, you can seek the required counsel and start your treatment immediately. Do not turn your life upside down in the pursuit of the thrill. It can cause a lot of damage.