It may be difficult to understand what a drug addiction is and why people become addicted to drugs. Unfortunately, addiction is often portrayed not the right way or in a negative light on TV and in movies.

Here at My Recovery Source, we want to provide information for individuals who may be struggling with a drug addiction or individuals who have loved ones who are suffering from a drug addiction. Within this article, we give information about how a drug addiction is defined, what causes a drug addiction, how a drug addiction is treated, and how we can help at My Recovery Source.

Drug Addiction Defined

An addiction is a chronic disease that is characterized by drug-seeking behavior and compulsive usage of drugs that can be difficult to control despite the harmful consequences. Repeated usage of drugs can lead to changes within the brain that challenge the addicted individual’s self-control. This then could cause an inability of these individuals to resist the drug, which is why an addiction is considered a relapsing disease.

What Are Some Causes of Drug Addiction?

There are numerous causes/risk factors why someone may become addicted to substances/drugs. These different causes/risk factors that someone may become addicted to a substance include:

  • Biology – Genes in which people are born with can influence their risk to develop an addiction. This includes different factors such as one’s gender, ethnicity, and the presence of other mental disorders such as anxiety and depression. 
  • Environment – An individual’s environment can influence the individual’s risk of getting addicted to a substance. The factors within the environment include things such as the social-economic status of you and others around you, general quality of life, peer pressure, abuse (physical, emotional, sexual, etc.), early exposure to drugs, stress, and even parental guidance. 
  • Development – This nature (biology) vs. nurture (environment) affects one’s development throughout their life. Taking drugs at any age can lead to addiction, but the earlier that an individual starts to take drugs the more likely it will progress into an addiction. This can become very problematic for teenagers because the prefrontal lobe is still developing. The prefrontal lobe is the area within the brain that controls decision-making, judgement, and self-control. This is why teens are prone to indulge in risky behaviors which include trying different substances/drugs.

How Is Drug Addiction Treated?

A drug addiction can be treated in different ways and there are many evidence-based approaches to treating an addiction. Treatments could include behavioral therapy, medications, or a combination of both. 

  • Medications – Medications used for treating certain drugs are things such as individuals addicted to opioids taking meds such as methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone. Other medications include meds for drugs such as nicotine. These medications are used within patches, gum, nasal spray, etc.
  • Behavioral therapies – Behavior therapies are used to help motivate addicted individuals to participate in their drug treatment. They also offer coping strategies with cravings for the drug and withdrawal. It teaches ways in which to avoid the drugs, prevent relapse, and help individuals deal with/cope with a relapse if it occurs. Behavioral therapies improve communication skills, relationships, parenting skills, and even family dynamics. 

Within behavioral therapies, there are programs there can be programs that are specifically related to the substance that the individual is abusing. There are also individual and group therapies. Group therapy can provide a sort of social reinforcement that enforces behaviors that promote abstinence and a sober lifestyle. 

How My Recovery Source Can Help

Here at My Recovery Source, we help our clients search for resources and treatment that is the best treatment for them. We provide a custom search option for your location, substance of abuse, etc. This can help individualize your therapy/treatment program. Reach out to us today to find a treatment program that can provide a sturdy foundation to a sober life! 

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