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Drug Addiction

Drug addiction is a disease that affects the brain and behavior of a person. It leads to an inability to control the use of a legal or illegal drug. Substances such as nicotine, marijuana, and alcohol are also considered drugs. When you are addicted, you may continue using the drug despite the hart it causes. Drug addiction starts with the experimental use of a recreational drug. 

Causes

Just like many other mental health conditions, several factors may contribute to the development of drug addiction. The main factors are:

  • Genetics: The development of addiction may be influenced by inherited traits once you’ve started using a drug. As a result, it may delay or speed up the disease progression.
  • Environment: Environmental factors, including your family’s attitudes and beliefs as well as exposure to a peer group that encourages drug use, seem to play a role in initial drug use.

Risk Factors

  • Mental Health Disorder: If you have a mental health disorder, you’re more likely to become addicted to drugs. Using drugs can become a way of coping with painful feelings and can make these problems even worse.
  • Family History of Addiction: Drug addiction is more common in some families and likely involves genetic predisposition. If you have a blood relative with alcohol or drug addiction, you’re at greater risk of developing a drug addiction.
  • Lack of Family Involvement: Lack of a bond with your family may increase the risk of addiction.

Symptoms

  • Doing things to get the drug that you normally wouldn’t do
  • Spending money on the drug
  • Failing in your attempts to stop using the drug
  • Make sure that you maintain a supply of the drug
  • Feeling that you have to use the drug regularly
  • Not meeting obligations and work responsibilities

Diagnosis 

Drug addiction diagnosis needs a thorough evaluation and often includes an assessment by a psychiatrist or a licensed alcohol and drug counselor. Urine, blood, or other labs tests are used to assess drug use, but they are not diagnostic tests for addiction. Conversely, these tests may be used for monitoring treatment and recovery.

Treatment 

Your treatment depends on the drug used and any related medical or mental health disorders you may have. Long-term follow-up is important to prevent relapse. 

  • Detoxification: To enable you to stop taking the addicting drug as quickly and safely as possible.
  • Chemical Dependence Treatment Programs: This treatment usually offer you levels care and settings that vary depending on your needs, a focus on understanding the nature of addiction and preventing relapse, as well as family, group, or individual therapy sessions 

Medicine 

Medicine can play an important role in recovery when combined with behavioral therapies. Certain medications can be used to lessen cravings, improve mood, and reduce addictive behaviors. 

  • Lofexidine is usually the recommended medicine. It helps reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms in patients receiving treatment for opioid addiction. 
  • Acamprosate can also help reduce drinking behavior.