Drug Abuse: A Preventable Disease

Gianna Maglayz, Writer

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Many people do not understand why or how other people addict themselves to drugs. They may mistakenly think that drug users lack moral principles or willpower and that they could stop their drug use simply by choice.

In reality, drug addiction remains a complex disease and quitting usually takes more than good intentions or a strong will. Drugs change the brain in ways that make quitting difficult, even for those who want to.

Addiction produces a chronic disease characterized by drug seeking and use that remains compulsive or difficult to control, despite its harmful consequences. Initially, taking drugs stands as voluntary one for most people, but repeated drug use can lead to brain changes that challenge an addicted person’s self-control and interfere with his or her ability to resist intense urges to take more substances.

Drug addiction, a relapsing disease, causes increased risk for users returning to drug use, even after years of not ingesting the drug.

As a person continues to use drugs, the brain adapts by reducing the cell’s ability in the reward circuit to respond to it. This reduces the euphoria“high” that a person feels compared to one he or she felt when first taking the drug, an effect known as tolerance.

Users might then ingest more of the drug to try and achieve the same euphoric feeling. These brain adaptations produce less and less pleasure from other activities they once enjoyed, such as food or social activities.

Long-term use also cause changes in other brain chemical systems and circuits as well, affecting functions that include: learning, judgment, decision-making, stress, memory, and behavior. Despite awareness of these harmful outcomes, many drug users continue to take them, which eventually produces addiction.

Some points to remember when trying to help someone overcome addiction.

No single agent can predict whether users will addict themselves to drugs. A combination of genetic, environmental, and developmental conditions influences risk for addiction. The more risk a person has, the greater the chance that taking drugs can lead to addiction.

Notwithstanding all of the bad outcomes, drug addiction remains treatable and can have a successful management and outcome.

Moreover, drug use and addiction should never occur because people can prevent it. Teachers, parents, and health care providers have crucial roles in educating young people and preventing drug use and addiction.

Readers–never take any substance that will control your life. Preserve your individual liberty.

The ancient Greeks taught freedom in life consists of having a minimum of needs and wants.


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