Drug addiction is defined as a chronic mental illness characterized by compulsive drug-seeking behavior. The effects of drug addiction on an individual’s brain as well as its structure can be long-lasting. It has been seen that people generally get addicted to drugs for a number of reasons such as to feel good, to get better, curiosity, etc.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Annual Surveillance Report of Drug-related risks and outcomes 2017, approximately 52,404 people died from drug overdoses during 2015, in the U.S.
Drug addiction is referred to as a “downward spiral” for a reason. It starts slow and typically springs from a social diversion or desire to escape from trauma or distress. As its use progresses to abuse and dependency, the drug’s highs and the withdrawal’s lows subtly intensify until drug abusers lose all control over their addiction. In that, every story is the same, but each person’s road to drug addiction is unique; thus treatment for individual recovery must also be unique.
Sovereign Health’s drug addiction treatment centers provide personally tailored drug addiction treatment programs that are a perfect amalgamation of a detox program, medications and psychotherapies. Our Joint Commission-accredited facilities throughout the state provide evidence-based and holistic treatment modalities to provide relief from all substance use disorders.
Different levels of Drug association
Some people legitimately take prescription drugs in the recommended dosage to treat chronic pain or mental health disorders. On the other hand, there are others who try an illegal substance once and manage to avoid it thereafter. But, there are many for whom a drug experiment digresses into addiction over which they have no control.
On the basis of this variation, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) shares the continuum of substance use as follows:
Substance use. At this stage, individuals try a substance for social assimilation or experimentation. Those with recent medical or mental health attention may be initially prescribed a controlled substance for its desired bodily effects. Use at this point doesn’t necessarily mean an addiction, but such use is not safe for driving and can even harm a fetus.
Addiction is a disease that manipulates a person’s sense of reward, motivation, memory and a number of related neurological functions.
Substance abuse. This is usually the next step. In this phase people start abusing prescription drugs, alcohol or illegal drugs at least once or more times in a year. They also exhibit the following signs:
- Recurring physically hazardous situations
- More than one substance-related legal issue
- Repeated use even though the substance abuse is causing frequent social and interpersonal disturbances
- Substance use is impeding performance and completion of obligations; children will begin to be neglected intermittently
Drug addiction. At this juncture on the continuum at least three of the following are true for an individual:
- Tolerance is built up within the brain’s reward system. More of the substance is needed for the same high.
- The substance is taken more often and in increasingly greater amounts than perhaps intended.
- Efforts to control substance use are futile.
- Drug-seeking instead of supervising one’s own children or using budgeted household funds on drugs.
- Usual activities are forgone in lieu of substance abuse.
- The majority of one’s time is spent on planning, obtaining, fantasizing about, or actually abusing, the substance.
- Dependency doesn’t waver, despite the user’s knowledge of the problems drug addiction is causing.
- Withdrawal symptoms occur when a regular “hit” is missed.