Drug addiction can be confusing to understand. Here are answers to 5 commonly asked questions about drug addiction.
- Can anyone get addicted to drugs? Drug addiction was not considered a problem anyone could have until the widespread opioid epidemic. More people became addicted to opioid drugs than ever before in demographics not commonly known to develop addiction. Problematically, people have long assumed that addiction is for “other” people, not thinking it could happen to them. Addiction has no demographic. Anyone of any color, culture, and socioeconomic bracket can develop addiction. Addiction is made more likely by predisposing factors like certain personality traits, mental illness in the family, or co-occurring disorders. There is a great debate about this because two people can binge drink and abuse alcohol, for example, but only one of them will become chemically dependent on alcohol. Some people have an ability to stop and restrain themselves. Others do not. On the one hand, anyone can get addicted to drugs. On the other hand, not everyone will get addicted to drugs.
- How does addiction happen? Addiction is a complex process in which someone becomes chemically dependent upon a substance they are abusing. There a few hallmarks which define addiction: tolerance, cravings, and symptoms of withdrawal. Addiction happens in the brain when the brain develops a tolerance to the amount of dopamine being produced by the drug of choice. Dopamine is a brain chemical which produces pleasurable signals and creates euphoria. When the drugs don’t create enough euphoria anymore, the brain creates cravings to get more of the drugs. Eventually, the brain is completely chemically dependent on the drugs to produce any dopamine at all, which has a ripple effect throughout the brain and the body.
- How is addiction stopped? The way to stop addiction is somewhat ironic. Addicts don’t choose to get addiction and most often they feel like their addiction is making all the choices. However, an addict has to choose to stop using. The minute an addict chooses to stop using, it isn’t that they aren’t addicted anymore, but that they discontinue the abusive use of drugs. There is no cure for addiction, but many different therapies, treatments, and lifestyle changes which help an addict continue choosing not to use drugs again.
- What drugs are the most/least dangerous? All drug addiction can be dangerous. There are certainly some drugs which pose a higher risk than others. Opioids and synthetic opioids are the most lethal commonly used drugs because they can cause an immediate fatal overdose. Cocaine and methamphetamines are also dangerous. Marijuana addiction could be considered the least harmful of drug addictions because there has never been a recorded death, overdose, or serious injury.
- What do I do if someone I know is addicted? If you believe that someone you know is struggling with a drug addiction, call Hired Power for help. Approaching someone about their addiction is fragile. If you believe they are in need of treatment, Hired Power can help you find a plan for intervention, safely transporting to treatment, and monitoring services after care.
Our recovery services are designed to help you create the ideal program and lifestyle of recovery for you and your loved one. Your safety, health, and happiness are our priority as we empower you and your family to bring recovery home. Call us today for more information: 714-559-3919