What is Drug Addiction?
Addiction is actually a type of chronic illness, and once you have been diagnosed with having an addiction you might find that you have a life long struggle ahead of you. This is not to say you will always be addicted to a substance, but it does mean that you will always be aware that the illness can reoccur.
Seeking out your substance of choice and using it in a compulsive manner that is difficult or even impossible to control, despite knowing the dangerous consequences, sums up addiction.
The vast majority of first time users voluntarily take the drug. One time use very rarely results in an addiction. Addiction is the repeated use to chase that good feeling, which ends up changing the brain and creating a compulsive desire for the drug.
Before you know it, you’re hooked, whether you like it or not.
The story doesn’t end here though.
The brain’s persistent desire for that drug is what causes relapses and it is this desire that every addict will have to battle. But this is one fight you can win when you have made up your mind to quit drugs and seek professional help.
What really happens to your brain?
Most drugs will create a feeling of euphoria. Your brain is flooded with the feel good chemical dopamine and your brain gets stuck in a loop around the desire for more dopamine. The longer you remain on the drug, and the more dopamine your brain creates, the more damage you end up doing. The cells that create dopamine gradually become less efficient and this is when you begin to develop a tolerance to the specific dosage you’ve been using.
Over a long period of using, you’ll end up damaging certain vital brain functions such as behaviour, decision-making, stress, judgement, learning and memory.