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Drug Addiction

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Drug addiction is defined as a dependence on a substance, whether it is a legal or illegal substance. Someone who is addicted may be completely unable to control their drug use, and they may continue to abuse that substance despite the fact that it is causing harm. Substance abuse and drug addiction are capable of creating an intense craving so that the person using the substance simply cannot quit no matter how badly he or she wants to do so. For many people, drug addiction is borne from casual use of a substance. Unfortunately, addiction to a substance can cause a serious list of long-term side effects and consequences including emotional and psychological damage, physical damage and even death.

Causes, Risk Factors and Complications ofDrug addiction

Drug addiction is a psychological disorder and it depends on several different contributing factors. Two very common and important contributing factors are environment and genes. The development of substance abuse into an addiction can be influenced by inherited traits as well as environmental factors such as stress, familys attitudes and beliefs, other mental illnesses and belonging to a peer group which encourages substance abuse.

Anybody can fall prey to drug addiction, regardless of their gender, age or economic status. There are some risk factors that can play a role in the development of substance abuse and drug addiction, however. These risk factors include: anxiety, loneliness, depression, taking a drug that is highly addictive, lack of family involvement, other psychological problems, a family history of addiction and peer pressure.

Dependence on a substance can create a number of serious and life-altering complications including the development of communicable diseases, unconsciousness, suicide, family problems, problems at work or school, financial issues, legal issues, accidents, coma, serious health problems and even sudden death. This is why it is so essential to get help when suffering from a substance abuse problem or drug addiction, because the complications are quite life-altering.

Signs, Symptoms and Tests ofDrug addiction

Most of the symptoms of drug abuse are emotional or behavioral such as problems at school, neglecting ones appearance and behavioral changes. Someone who is addicted to drugs may feel like they have to use the drug on a regular basis and they fail at trying to stop. They may spend money on the substance when they cannot afford to do so and they may do things to acquire the drug that they would not normally do. People who are addicted to drugs may engage in risky behaviors or focus more energy on the drug or acquiring the drug than anything else. Drug addiction causes serious behavioral changes on all levels of ones life.

In order to be diagnosed with a substance abuse problem, there are certain criteria that need to be met. These include a tolerance to the substance requiring more and more of it in order to achieve the same results, taking larger and larger amounts of the drug than was originally intended and having psychological or physical withdrawal symptoms. Other criteria include: trying but failing to quit, spending too much time using the drug or trying to acquire it and cutting back on obligations and activities due to the drugs influence.

Treatment, Drugs and Prevention ofDrug addiction

There are two important aspects to treating a drug addiction, a physical aspect and a psychological one. Withdrawal therapy, counseling, treatment programs, self-help groups and the use of prescription medications will all play a role in overcoming a drug addiction problem. Medications used to treat drug addiction will depend on what type of drug the person is addicted to because different classes of drugs have different withdrawal symptoms associated with them.