DRUG DEPENDENCE:Addiction to drugs, whether they be illegal substances or commonly used medications, can be defined as the compulsive use of certain substances regardless of consequences. Some drugs can also cause a physical dependence in which the user will experience withdrawal if they go without using the drug, while others can lead to an addiction without actual physical dependence. Typically, most addictions begin as recreational or occasional use and then transforms into something more serious, although why some people become addicts while others may use substances without developing an addiction is not known. (Source: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)

RISK OF ADDICTION: Things that may make someone more susceptible to developing a drug addiction include:

 

·         Genetics – Individuals with addiction issues in the family may have an increased risk for addiction. Other issues stemming from a person’s biology, such as mental illness, could also raise the likelihood of drug abuse.

·         Environment – Whether someone experiences a lot of stress, has easy access to drugs, is often around others who use drugs, or has gone through a traumatic event are all environmental risk factors for addiction.

·         Childhood Development and Experiences – Growing up with parents or guardians with substance abuse issues can lead to the child having the same problems later on in life. Using drugs during the formative years of adolescence or young adulthood may also raise the risk of becoming addicted as an adult.

(Source: www.drugabuse.gov)

 

TREATMENT: Because of an addict’s compulsion to use drugs, treatment can often be a long and difficult process. Admitting that someone has an addiction is the first step since many addicts will deny that they have a problem to themselves and others around them. Generally, some form of counseling is needed to help the person overcome their addiction and help them make better lifestyle choices. In situations where the individual is physically dependent, they may need to go to a medical facility that can monitor their withdrawal symptoms. The person may also need to treat an underlying condition, such as depression or bipolar disorder, which may be partly responsible for their reliance on drugs. (Source: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)


* For More Information, Contact:

 

J. Wesley Boyd, M.D., Ph.D., Author of Almost Addicted

(891)449-1995

jwboyd@cha.harvard.edu