No one chooses to become a drug addict or alcoholic, to wake up in the morning thinking only about their next fix. Addiction is a disease of the brain that affects your thinking and your judgement, which explains why people will continue to compulsively use when their jobs, their relationships, even their very survival is at stake.
What Causes Drug Addiction?
People who have suffered trauma or who have a family history of substance abuse are at much greater risk for addiction, especially if they begin using drugs or alcohol at a young age. People with mental health problems who self-medicate with substances are also highly vulnerable to addiction.
Why Can’t I Stop on My Own?
Long-term drug use causes changes in the brain’s wiring, making quitting difficult even for people who want to do so. Drugs target the brain’s reward system, flooding it with the “pleasure chemical” dopamine. The temporary burst of dopamine is responsible for the euphoria drug users crave.
But when the flood ends, the person is left yearning to feel the way he or she once did. That’s how addiction happens. Soon, drug users need their substance of choice just to feel normal or to avoid uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Feeding an addiction can become more important than the need to eat or sleep.
Other Types of Addictions
Addiction is not limited to alcohol and other drugs. People can also get “high” from activities such as gambling, shopping, eating, viewing pornography and playing video games. Called behavioral addictions, these activities provide a psychological rush that can also result in ruined lives, relationships and careers.
It’s not easy to reach out for help for addiction, but we know how to get you the help you need to build a new life and a lasting recovery. Call today to speak to a recovery adviser.