What Is Addiction?

Addiction is a brain disorder characterized by compulsive engagement in rewarding stimuli despite adverse consequences. Despite the involvement of a number of psychosocial factors, a biological process that is induced by repeated exposure to an addictive stimulus is the core pathology that drives the development and maintenance of an addiction.

Addiction exacts an “astoundingly high financial and human toll” on individuals and society as a whole. The two properties that characterize all addictive stimuli are that they are reinforcing (i.e., they increase the likelihood that a person will seek repeated exposure to them) and intrinsically rewarding (i.e., they are perceived as being inherently positive, desirable, and pleasurable.

Addiction is a disorder of the brain’s reward system which arises through transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms and develops over time from chronically high levels of exposure to an addictive stimulus (e.g., eating food, the use of drugs like cocaine, MDMA, heroin and crystal meth, engagement in sexual activity, participation in high-thrill cultural activities such as gambling, etc.

A woman with a Heroin addiction
Heroin addiction blacknetsales.net

Addiction is a serious, chronic dependence on a substance or activity. The prevalence of addiction costs the U.S. economy hundreds of billions of dollars every year. A person with an addiction is unable to stop taking a substance or engaging in a behavior, though it has harmful effects on daily living

Substance Addicts have an intense focus on using certain substances, such as alcohol, Peruvian cocaine, heroin, crystal meth, Liquid LSD, MDMA pills, Ketamine powder, Molly pills, and some prescription pills, to the point that it takes over their life.

Drug use is often voluntary in the first instance. The development of a full addiction occurs through the intake of a variety of the substance. The brain changes during a substance-related disorder in ways that can take a long time to bring back to a healthy state

Moreover, Addiction can be further simplified as a psychological and physical inability to abstain from either a chemical, drug, activity, or substance, etc even though it causes psychological and physical harm to the user

Drug addiction is a chronic disease that can also result from taking medications like the overuse of prescribed opioid painkillers, like Morphine pills, Hydrocodone and Adderall, for example, causes over 100 deaths every day in the U. S. When a person experiences addiction, they cannot control how they use a substance or partake in an activity, and they become dependent on it to cope with daily life.

Addiction does not only refer to dependence on substances such as heroin or cocaine. A person who cannot stop taking a particular drug or chemical is an addict. Despite how dangerous the situation may sound, Yet a number of effective treatments are available and people can recover from addiction and lead normal lives.

Sings And Symptoms Of Addiction.

Addicts hardly accept the fact they are addicted to drugs making it a very complex situation. The most common signs and symptoms of addiction may include the following;

  1. Uncontrollably seeking drugs and uncontrollably engaging in harmful levels of habit-forming behavior.

2) Neglecting or losing interest in activities that do not involve the harmful substance or behavior

3) Relationship difficulties, which often involve lashing out at people who identify the dependency

4) An inability to stop using a drug, though it causes health problems or personal problems, such as issues with employment or relationships

5) Hiding substances or behaviors and otherwise exercising secrecy, for example, by refusing to explain injuries that occurred while under the influence.

6) Uncontrollably engaging in harmful levels of habit-forming behavior

7) profound changes in appearance, including a noticeable abandonment of hygiene

8) increased risk-taking, both to access the substance or activity and while using it or engaging in it.

Common Withdrawal Symptoms.

Withdrawal symptoms refers to sudden behavioral traits and health problems that occur as a result of a person’s decision to stop using a drug or substance in which he or she is addicted to. Drug addicts who stop taking the drugs they’re addicted to may experience certain symptoms like.

  • anxiety
  • irritability
  • tremors and shaking
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • fatigue
  • a loss of appetite

If someone has regularly been using alcohol or benzodiazepines like Xanax Alprazolam, and then suddenly stops without medical supervision, withdrawal symptoms can be fatal.

Addiction vs. misuse

It is important to note that drug addiction and drug misuse are different.
Misuse refers to the incorrect, excessive, or non-therapeutic use of body- and mind-altering substances. Substance misuse does not always lead to addiction, while addiction involves regular misuse of substances or engagement in harmful behavior.

However, not everybody that misuses a substance has an addiction. Addiction is the long-term inability to moderate or cease intake. For example, a person who drinks alcohol heavily on a night out may experience both the euphoric and harmful effects of the substance.

However, this does not qualify as an addiction until the person feels the need to consume this amount of alcohol regularly, alone, or at times of day when the alcohol will likely impair regular activities, such as in the morning.

A person who has not yet developed an addiction may be put off further use by the harmful side effects of substance abuse. For example, vomiting or waking up with a hangover after drinking too much alcohol may deter some people from drinking that amount anytime soon.

Someone with an addiction will continue to misuse the substance in spite of the harmful effects.

Addiction Treatment.

Heroin addiction, Alcohol addiction blacknetsales.net
Heroin addiction, Alcohol addiction blacknetsales.net

Addiction treatment can be difficult, but it is effective. The best form of treatment depends on the substance and the presentation of the addiction, which varies from person to person. Also, addiction treatment often involves counseling, medication, community support, and rehab.

Medicinal advances and progress in diagnosing have helped the medical community develop various ways to treat an addiction. The most popular methods of treating addiction include:

  • behavioral therapy and counseling
  • medication and drug-based treatment
  • medical devices to treat withdrawal
  • treating related psychological factors, such as depression
  • ongoing care to reduce the risk of relapse

Addiction treatment is highly personalized and often requires the support of the individual’s community or family.
Treatment can take a long time and maybe complicated since addiction is a chronic condition with a range of psychological and physical effects. Each substance or behavior may require different management.