Drug Addiction

Drug addiction can be a never-ending, agonizing struggle for people abusing drugs or other substances. Their suffering may be drawn out when they cannot access evidence-based care or are subjected to discrimination. The repercussions of drug abuse may harm families and friends over generations.

It is a condition that can affect any person abusing drugs. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, around 284 million people aged 15-64 worldwide abused drugs. In most countries, the youths are using more drugs than previous generations. The first step to preventing drug addiction is understanding and getting assistance. Learn more about Turning Tides’ drug rehab in Irvine, CA.

What is Drug Addiction?

Substance use disorder or drug addiction is a recurrent condition marked by obsessive drug seeking and use despite adverse effects. It is considered a brain condition because it involves functional alterations in brain circuits involved in reward, stress, and self-control. These alterations may last even after a person discontinues drug use. It is advised that addiction treatment is sought.

Drug addiction may start with recreational use or drug experimentation during social functions; for some individuals, their drug use becomes regular. For others, especially with opioids, drug addiction starts with exposure to prescription drugs. Some people may begin using by getting medications from a friend or family who has been given the drug.

The likelihood of addiction varies depending on the drugs people abuse. Misusing some medications, such as opioid pain relievers, is risky and leads to addiction faster than others. A drug addiction treatment is always recommended in these cases.

As time goes on, people using drugs may need more doses of the substances to become high. Soon, they need the substance to feel good. As their drug use progresses, they may find it more difficult to abstain from the substances. Attempts to quit using drugs may result in extreme cravings and make them physically unwell.

Who's More Likely to Become Addicted to Drugs?

As with other illnesses and disorders, the probability of developing an addiction varies from person to person. No one characteristic defines whether a person will acquire a drug addiction. Drug dependence is uncertain.

The more risk factors a person possesses, the greater the likelihood that drug users will progress to substance abuse and addiction. The risk factors for developing an addiction include:

Early Drug Use

Children's brains are still developing, and drug usage may alter their development. The areas of the brain that govern judgment, decision-making, and self-control are underdeveloped. Teenagers who begin using drugs are particularly vulnerable. Using drugs at a young age may trigger changes in their developing brain, increasing their risk of addiction.

Family History

An individual's genetic makeup may raise their risk of developing an addiction. If an individual's parents or family members have a history of drug abuse, they are more likely to develop an addiction. This can be due to a genetic disposition in the immediate family. 

Mental Disorders

Those who are depressed, have problems paying attention, or are continuously anxious are more likely to develop an addiction. People diagnosed with mental illness may resort to using drugs to feel better. Those with a history of trauma are also more prone to develop an addiction.

Troubled Environment

A person's environment may influence their risk of drug addiction. Stress, peer pressure, physical or sexual abuse, and exposure to drugs at a young age may all increase the risk of abuse.

Signs & Symptoms of Drug Addiction

The signs & symptoms of drug addiction vary but, in general, include;

The Dangers of Drug Addiction

There have been many studies on the dangers of drug use and addiction in recent years. The dangers often vary based on the kind of drugs people abuse, the duration of usage, and several other variables. A common risk factor is that they affect individuals and adversely impact those around them.

Substance misuse is physically damaging to the body. Abuse of drugs may result in lung and cardiovascular disease, stroke, and other forms of cancer, depending on the substance abused. Some drug addictions are often fatal as individuals overdose, leading to coma or even death.

Drug abuse can take a severe toll on a person’s mental health. Depression, anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations, and sleep deprivation are all effects of drug addiction. Alternatively, if the person already had mental health issues before taking the drug, they are often aggravated by its use.

Drugs can affect a person’s social relationship with others as their drug use becomes a priority in their life. In addition, they may become violent and pose a threat to their immediate friends and family.

Drug addiction can lead to financial troubles and cause more issues like homelessness. People who frequently misuse drugs often need more money to purchase them, compromising their financial status. These dangers are so many that people addicted should seek therapy.

What are the Treatment Options for Drug Addiction?

There are many treatments available to treat substance use disorder. Even in the most severe cases, therapy may be beneficial. They include;


Detoxification or detox is typically the first step in treatment for substance use disorder. Detox occurs when a person stops using drugs. Once the person has stopped using a substance, the toxins from the substance can leave the body. In most cases, medical detox is needed to ensure that the person detoxes safely.

Behavioral Therapies

Cognitive behavioral therapy or other forms of psychotherapy or talk therapy may assist in dealing with the underlying causes of addiction. Therapy also teaches healthy coping techniques and helps to enhance self-esteem.

Medication Assisted Treatment

When patients first quit taking drugs, they may suffer various physical and emotional symptoms. These symptoms include restlessness or insomnia, sadness, anxiety, and other mental health issues. Certain medications are often used to help relieve withdrawal symptoms. Medical professionals will assess patients to determine if they are a candidate for medication-assisted treatment. 

Medication-assisted treatment is typically used in conjunction with traditional forms of therapy. People starting their recovery journey can safely detox from their substance of choice while also maintaining comfortability. By easing withdrawal symptoms, the chances of relapse in early recovery are lessened.

How to Prevent Substance Use Disorder

Preventing drug addiction begins with public education. Education in schools, communities, and families can help prevent drug addiction for the first time. Other ways include:

Get Help at Turning Tides

Drug addiction is a life-threatening condition that severely affects a person and their family. People with substance use disorder should seek treatment for drug addiction as soon as possible. Usually, a combination of medicinal therapy and continued counseling assists individuals in recovering from addiction and resuming their lives. Getting better can take time, but treatment can reduce their alcohol or drug intake and allow them to recover.

Turning Tides Treatment Center works with people struggling with addiction to develop a treatment approach to suit their needs. We support our patients through every step of recovery. Our team of trusted mental health professionals is available to help people overcome their addiction and achieve long-term recovery. We also offer medication-assisted treatment to help people through the detox and withdrawal phase of recovery. 

Contact us today to learn more about our program and start your recovery journey.

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