Addiction is a chronic relapsing disease that affects the brains reward, motivation and other related systems. It is a relationship you have with an object or substance. Most addicts come to depend on that object or substance to meet emotional needs. Individuals struggling with addiction are unable to control their actions and make rational decisions about their behavior. There are two main forms of addiction, physiological and psychological. Psychological is an emotional dependence on the feeling a drug or action gives you.
Physiological addiction goes beyond mental cravings. One becomes physiologically addicted to a substance when your body has marked a physical need for increasing doses. Drugs such as heroin, cocaine, nicotine, and alcohol are physiologically addictive. There are many warning signs and symptoms of physiological addictions; tolerance you need more and more to get high. Withdrawal: which has symptoms such as; sweating, tremors, tension, anger, irritability, becoming impatient, and rapid heart rate. Those symptoms appear when you quit using the drug or substance.
There is no standard time it takes to become addicted, many say consistent use over a 30 day period but there is no magic number. No matter what once an addiction is forms it is extremely harmful. “In 2005 scientist found the so called addiction gene, a brain receptor that, in certain forms, makes people more susceptible to drug and alcohol addiction”. (Winters 8) Many believe that the disease is hereditary however no one is doomed from birth many factors beyond genetics play in, such as psychological factors; failure in parental guidance, unstable family environments.
Psychological vulnerability, depression, stressed tense and unhappy life styles. Although knowing the gene exist is most useful in providing preventive treatment that isolates that particular receptor and potentially decreases a person’s change in becoming addicted (pg. 9) Many children develop addictive behaviors because it is a learned behavior. A big part of how you act is determined hoe your parents act, you learn by watching and interacting with them. Unfortunately people who are raised in addictive families learn addictive beliefs and logics.
For instance, if one of your parents is an alcoholic you learn growing up that the way to cope with a bad day is to come home and have a few drinks to numb the pain. Pure pressure may also lead you into an addiction. There are different stages that lead to addiction; first experimentation it’s marked by someone wanting to do something only a few times to see what it’s like such as gambling or a sex experiment. Then there is casual use, doing something occasionally or just a few times a month.
Abuse is the third stage that leads to addiction, abuse is when someone continues to abuse an object or substance regardless of the negative consequences or desire to quit. Dependence is next, using or doing on a regular basis. Increased tolerance levels and mild withdraw. Last you become fully addicted, an over whelming compulsion for an event or substance on a continuous basis. Once you become an addict it becomes the most important thing in your life above family and all. Addiction wrecks your life including your physical health, personal relationships and overall job performance.
The worse the addiction the more the addict isolates him/her self from people who can help and the longer the illness progresses the less the addict feels like they cant turn to others. Most of the time the addict doesn’t realize there is a problem and are in denial. Addicts go to extreme life threatening behaviors because they lose control of their own actions. Alcohol is the most widely abused drug in the world. Technically a depressant, alcohol provides a drunken high that often allows people to forget their troubles. Extreme alcohol craving can also result from genetic vulnerability.
Studies show that adult children of alcoholics are 3-4 times more likely to become alcoholics themselves (Kuhn 19). No one is doomed from birth; many factors beyond genetics play in such as psychological factors. Alcohol effects how the body works, when drinking all the time the body adapts its self to having alcohol in the blood stream and then comes dependent on it and needs it for stability. Marijuana usually know as the gateway drug is made from leafs of a cannabis plant and is usually smokes. State of intoxication from marijuana is also known as being high, usually people feel relaxed and their senses are heightened (Kuhn 3).
Marijuana causes psychological dependence. While under the influence of marijuana sense of time is distorted and simple task seem to take longer to accomplish. Some effects of smoking marijuana are increased heart rate, slowing reaction time, memory loss, and slowing reaction time. These effects are noticeable in just a few min and last a few hours. The most lasting and harmful effect of marijuana is the physiological changes in neurotransmitters and structures in the brain, leading to the loss of motivation and cognitive impairments.
Drug addiction is one of the most visible and common addictions today. One of America’s biggest battles today is on narcotics. The most common used narcotics are Vicodin, Percocet, and Oxy-cotton, which are all made with opium. Opium is a reddish-brown heavy scented addictive drug prepared from the juice of the opium poppy, used as a narcotic and in medicine as an analgesic. When opiates are introduced to the brain the body stops producing its own endorphins, which leads to tolerance and addiction.
Narcotics cause an initial rush followed by a 4-6 hour high, during the high the user feels relaxed however after these phases wear off the user crashes and produces the desire for more of the drug. If the user doesn’t get more of the drug they go into what is called withdraw. Withdraw happens when the user does not have more of the drug within 8 hours after the user comes down. Symptoms of withdraw are tearing eyes, chills, sweats, nausea and increased heart rate. These symptoms can last 3-4 days if the user doesn’t have more drugs. The severity of withdraw depends on the severity of the addiction.
Addiction and drugs don’t discriminate. They don’t care whose life they ruin or who they kill. Addiction doesn’t care what kind of home you came from or how responsible you parents are. Addiction can and will affect you if you let it. If you already find yourself in the vicious cycle of addiction there is a way out and always a road to recovery if you truly want it. It won’t be easy; it will be long night of no sleep and hard days of wanting to give into those painful cravings. However if you as an individual want it bad enough you can achieve sobriety.
Step 1 is admitting you have an addiction. Confront what you have been ignoring and be honest with yourself. Second is to seek help, support groups with others who are in your same situation and can help you reach your goals of sobriety. Probably the most important is treatment or a rehab facility to keep you safe why you reach your maximum potential on your road to recovery. Recovery is a constant struggle; it may take many months’ even years for you to confidently say you are a fully recovered addict. However it can also be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.
You learn how and why you were addicted and how to work out many of the problems you were previously trying to avoid. The knowledge you learn can give you confidence in confronting an addiction urge may it ever appear again. If you’re struggling with addiction, get help! Talk to a friend, teacher, counselor, neighbor, you’re not alone. Addiction is one of the biggest problems in today’s society. Start today by taking the first step to make a life changing decision. You can overcome it and there are people and facilities out there that are willing able and ready to help addicts.