When Does Drug Use Become an Addiction?

Drug Use and Addiction

When Does Drug Use Become an Addiction?
URL of this page: https://medlineplus.gov/druguseandaddiction.html

Also called: Drug abuse, Substance abuse

Drugs are chemical substances that can change how your body and mind work. They include prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines, alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs.

What is drug use?

Drug use, or misuse, includes

  • Using illegal substances, such as
  • Misusing prescription medicines, including opioids. This means taking the medicines in a different way than the health care provider prescribed. This includes
    • Taking a medicine that was prescribed for someone else
    • Taking a larger dose than you are supposed to
    • Using the medicine in a different way than you are supposed to. For example, instead of swallowing your tablets, you might crush and then snort or inject them.
    • Using the medicine for another purpose, such as getting high
  • Misusing over-the-counter medicines, including using them for another purpose and using them in a different way than you are supposed to

Drug use is dangerous. It can harm your brain and body, sometimes permanently. It can hurt the people around you, including friends, families, kids, and unborn babies. Drug use can also lead to addiction.

What is drug addiction?

Drug addiction is a chronic brain disease. It causes a person to take drugs repeatedly, despite the harm they cause. Repeated drug use can change the brain and lead to addiction.

The brain changes from addiction can be lasting, so drug addiction is considered a «relapsing» disease. This means that people in recovery are at risk for taking drugs again, even after years of not taking them.

Does everyone who takes drugs become addicted?

Not everyone who uses drugs becomes addicted. Everyone's bodies and brains are different, so their reactions to drugs can also be different. Some people may become addicted quickly, or it may happen over time. Other people never become addicted. Whether or not someone becomes addicted depends on many factors. They include genetic, environmental, and developmental factors.

Who is at risk for drug addiction?

Various risk factors can make you more ly to become addicted to drugs, including

  • Your biology. People can react to drugs differently. Some people the feeling the first time they try a drug and want more. Others hate how it feels and never try it again.
  • Mental health problems. People who have untreated mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are more ly to become addicted. This can happen because drug use and mental health problems affect the same parts of the brain. Also, people with these problems may use drugs to try to feel better.
  • Trouble at home. If your home is an unhappy place or was when you were growing up, you might be more ly to have a drug problem.
  • Trouble in school, at work, or with making friends. You might use drugs to get your mind off these problems.
  • Hanging around other people who use drugs. They might encourage you to try drugs.
  • Starting drug use when you're young. When kids use drugs, it affects how their bodies and brains finish growing. This increases your chances of becoming addicted when you're an adult.

What are the signs that someone has a drug problem?

Signs that someone has a drug problem include

  • Changing friends a lot
  • Spending a lot of time alone
  • Losing interest in favorite things
  • Not taking care of themselves — for example, not taking showers, changing clothes, or brushing their teeth
  • Being really tired and sad
  • Eating more or eating less than usual
  • Being very energetic, talking fast, or saying things that don't make sense
  • Being in a bad mood
  • Quickly changing between feeling bad and feeling good
  • Sleeping at strange hours
  • Missing important appointments
  • Having problems at work or at school
  • Having problems in personal or family relationships

What are the treatments for drug addiction?

Treatments for drug addiction include counseling, medicines, or both. Research shows that combining medicines with counseling gives most people the best chance of success.

The counseling may be individual, family, and/or group therapy. It can help you

  • Understand why you got addicted
  • See how drugs changed your behavior
  • Learn how to deal with your problems so you won't go back to using drugs
  • Learn to avoid places, people, and situations where you might be tempted to use drugs

Medicines can help with the symptoms of withdrawal. For addiction to certain drugs, there are also medicines that can help you re-establish normal brain function and decrease your cravings.

If you have a mental disorder along with an addiction, it is known as a dual diagnosis. It is important to treat both problems. This will increase your chance of success.

If you have a severe addiction, you may need hospital-based or residential treatment. Residential treatment programs combine housing and treatment services.

Can drug use and addiction be prevented?

Drug use and addiction are preventable. Prevention programs involving families, schools, communities, and the media may prevent or reduce drug use and addiction. These programs include education and outreach to help people understand the risks of drug use.

NIH: National Institute on Drug Abuse

  • Substance Abuse Screening (Department of Veterans Affairs)
  • Drug Use and Effects (National Institute on Drug Abuse)
  • NIDA Notes (National Institute on Drug Abuse)
  • Drug and Substance Abuse (AGS Foundation for Health in Aging)

The information on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Contact a health care provider if you have questions about your health.

Источник: https://medlineplus.gov/druguseandaddiction.html

At What Point Does Substance Use Become Substance Abuse?

When Does Drug Use Become an Addiction?

Some people view their drinking or drug use as a “phase.” Some see it as just something to do, maybe while out with friends at the club, while others can track their use back to a legitimate prescription.

All of these scenarios involve substance use that can lead to substance abuse, or what’s also known as a substance use disorder (SUD). For many drinkers and drug users, a chemical dependence is possible each time they use an addictive substance.

Whatever their reasons are for using, many substance users find they just can’t stay away from their drug of choice no matter how much they try. This inability to stop using often leads to abusive behaviors that put them on the thorny road of addiction.

But at what point does substance use become substance abuse? How can one know for sure, and where can one look for answers?

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) offers some insight.

What Are Substance Use Disorders?

DSM-5, the manual published by the American Psychiatric Association, no longer uses the terms “substance abuse” or “substance dependence” to define problematic behaviors related to substance use.

It defines those behaviors as “substance use disorders,” and categorizes them as either mild, moderate, or severe.

Certain diagnostic criteria must be present before it can be determined which category best fits an individual’s condition or situation.

The DSM-5’s guidance on whether a pattern of behavior constitutes substance use or substance abuse can help determine when substance use has gone too far.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) highlights this DSM-5 guidance on its website.

It writes, “Substance use disorders occur when the recurrent use of alcohol and/or drugs causes clinically and functionally significant impairment, such as health problems, disability, and failure to meet major responsibilities at work, school, or home.

“According to the DSM-5, a diagnosis of substance use disorder is evidence of impaired control, social impairment, risky use, and pharmacological criteria.”

There Is A Difference

Various factors come into play when determining the differences between substance use and substance abuse. A person’s age, weight, family history, metabolism, and social environment can influence how much and how often someone chooses to use alcohol and drugs. These and other factors can affect how people are affected when they use substances.

“Substance use” is when a person uses drugs and/or alcohol. Use doesn’t necessarily mean one will come to abuse the substance they are taking or develop a chemical dependence, but the possibility is there as long as it’s in use.

Addictive substances change how the brain responds. They increase the natural neurotransmitter dopamine, which regulates the brain’s reward center, sometimes five or 10 times more than the normal level. This increase creates powerful cravings for substances that become harder to ignore.

So the more someone uses substances that flood the brain with dopamine, which triggers pleasurable feelings, chances are ly the person will seek those feelings out again and will do what is needed to ensure they experience them.

This seeking-out-and-rewarding cycle results in regularly using substances to experience the same feelings over and over again. And it is regular use that can be the slippery slope into “substance abuse.”

As a person engages in regular substance use, they may discover they have to use more of the same substance to attain the effects they experienced before. At that point, the body has built up a tolerance for the drug. The desire for pleasurable feelings is so powerful that a person can start to abuse substances. This is one of the earliest warning signs.

“Substance abuse” is when a person uses addictive substances regularly to the point of overindulgence. Such use can be characterized as excessive, and it often occurs even when it brings about problems and consequences that can jeopardize someone’s life. “Abused substances produce some form of intoxication that alters judgment, perception, attention, or physical control,” writes WebMD.

And there is a third category, known as “substance dependency,” which is when a person experiences changes in mind and body if they attempt to go without the substance of choice.

Chemical dependence is considered an addiction to the substance. One sure sign that someone is chemically dependent is noticing what happens should they reduce their use or stop taking the drug altogether.

If they experience withdrawal symptoms, then dependence or addiction has set in.

Recognize The Warning Signs Of Substance Abuse

Not everyone who uses substances will develop a dependence on them. But despite the fact that this can be a tricky area to navigate, there are signs that there could be danger ahead.

Compulsive use of substances is indicative of a problem. Here are some questions to ask to help determine if substance use has turned into substance abuse. These are all red flags.

  • Is use continued despite the negative effects on their daily routines, health, work, personal and professional relationships?
  • Are there intense, frequent cravings for the drug?
  • Are there changes in spending habits to support buying addictive substance, even to the point of not being able to afford it?
  • Is the substance used longer or more often than intended?
  • Is recovery from substance use extensive? Does the recovery period last days or weeks?
  • Is there an inability to stop using the substance despite wanting to?
  • Has a high tolerance to the substance developed with regular, prolonged use of the substance? Is more of the substance needed to achieve a high?
  • Are more attempts being made to obtain the substance? Have these attempts become illegal or reckless?
  • Do withdrawal symptoms emerge when substance use suddenly stops or is reduced?

Other signs that substance use is becoming substance abuse or substance dependency include:

Changes in appearance: Weight loss, weight gain, puncture marks, skin infections; red or bloodshot eyes; poor grooming

Changes in behavior: Mood swings, which are noticeable changes in a person’s emotional state, are common. A lack of energy that results in sleeping more than usual or a sudden burst of energy that seems to last longer than usual could be signs of substance abuse.

Changes in interpersonal relationships: Substance abusers and people with addiction may become more isolated and withdrawn. They may also start to hang out with people who are sketchy and spend less time with close family members and friends.

Is It Time To Get Help?

It is important to remember your personal limits when considering what’s all right and what’s too much. But, as the DSM-5 guidance advises, if failing health (including mental health) or a failure to meet responsibilities tied to school or work are noticed, substance use may have become a substance abuse disorder, which requires another level of care.

If you or someone you know is at the point of substance use becoming substance abuse, it’s good that you have been honest about coming to that conclusion and perhaps need to figure out what the next steps are. The important thing is to get professional help if drinking and drugging has gotten to the point of putting lives in jeopardy, whether it’s the substance abuser’s life or theirs and other people’s lives.

There are hundreds of treatment facilities and drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers with supportive staff members who are ready to help you or your loved one find the right detoxification and treatment programs. Call Delphi Behavioral Health Group at 844-915-2983 to start your search now and end substance addiction.

Источник: https://delphihealthgroup.com/blog/substance-use-become-substance-abuse/

Drug Addiction: Substance Abuse, Substance Use Disorder, Treatment

When Does Drug Use Become an Addiction?

Drug addiction, or substance use disorder, is a brain disease. The drugs affect your brain, making it difficult to stop taking the drugs, even if you want to. The first step to drug addiction treatment is seeing the problem and deciding to get help.

Drug Addiction

Substance abuse disorder, or drug addiction, can be defined as a progressive disease that causes people to lose control of the use of some substance despite worsening consequences of that use. Substance use disorder can be life-threatening.

Addictions are not problems of willpower or morality. Addiction is a powerful and complex disease. People who have an addiction to drugs cannot simply quit, even if they want to. The drugs change the brain in a way that makes quitting physically and mentally difficult. Treating addiction often requires lifelong care and therapy.

What are drugs of abuse?

Drugs that are commonly misused include:

  • Alcohol.
  • Club drugs, GHB, ketamine, MDMA (ecstasy/molly), flunitrazepam (Rohypnol®).
  • Stimulants, such as cocaine (including crack) and methamphetamine (meth).
  • Hallucinogens, including ayahuasca, D-lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), peyote (mescaline), phencyclidine (PCP) and DMT.
  • Inhalants, including solvents, aerosol sprays, gases and nitrites (poppers).
  • Marijuana.
  • Opioid pain killers such as heroin, fentanyl, oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine and morphine.
  • Prescription drugs and cold medicines.
  • Sedatives, hypnotics and anxiolytics (anti-anxiety medications).
  • Steroids (anabolic).
  • Synthetic cannabinoids (K2 or Spice).
  • Synthetic cathinones (bath salts).
  • Tobacco/nicotine and electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes or vaping).

While these drugs are very different from each other, they all strongly activate the addiction center of the brain. That is what makes these substances habit-forming, while others are not.

People feel intoxicated after using drugs of abuse. Over time, the brain is changed by drugs of abuse. The brain becomes desensitized to the drug of abuse so that more of the drug must be used to produce the same effect.

As the person consumes more, drugs start to take over the person’s life. One may stop enjoying other aspects of life. For many people, social, family and work obligations fall to the side. The person with SUD starts to feel something’s wrong if he or she isn’t under the influence of the substance. They may become consumed with the need to recapture that original feeling.

Anyone can develop a substance use disorder. No one thing can predict whether a person may develop an addiction. You may be more prone to drug use due to:

  • Biology: The person’s genetic makeup, gender, ethnicity and mental health issues may raise his or her risk for developing an addiction. About two-thirds of people in addiction treatment are men. Particular ethnicities are at higher risk for substance abuse disorder. This is true for Native Americans.
  • Environment: Surroundings can affect the lihood of developing substance use disorder. For example, stress, peer pressure, physical or sexual abuse and early exposure to drugs can raise the risk.
  • Age: Teenagers who start taking drugs are especially at risk. The parts of the brain that control judgment, decisions and self-control are not fully developed. Teens are more ly to engage in risky behaviors. In a developing brain, drugs can cause changes that make addiction more ly.

Substance use disorder and alcohol use disorder are the leading causes of preventable illness and early death. Research has shown that about 1 in 9 Americans uses illicit drugs (about 11% of the population). The most commonly misused drugs are marijuana and prescription medications.

Drugs affect the brain, especially the “reward center” of the brain.

Humans are biologically motivated to seek rewards. Often, these rewards come from healthy behaviors. When you spend time with a loved one or eat a delicious meal, your body releases a chemical called dopamine, which makes you feel pleasure. It becomes a cycle: You seek out these experiences because they reward you with good feelings.

Drugs of abuse send massive surges of dopamine through the brain, too.

But instead of feeling motivated to do the things you need to survive (eat, work, spend time with loved ones), such massive dopamine levels can lead to damaging changes that change thoughts, feelings and behavior.

That can create an unhealthy drive to seek pleasure from the drug and less from more healthy pleasurable experiences. The cycle revolves around seeking and consuming drugs to get that pleasurable feeling.

Addiction to drugs changes the brain over time. It affects how the brain works and even the brain’s structure. That’s why healthcare providers consider substance use disorder a brain disease.

The first use of a drug is a choice. But addiction can develop, creating a very dangerous condition. Drugs affect your decision-making ability, including the decision to stop drug use.

You may be aware there’s a problem but unable to stop. With addiction, stopping drug use can be physically uncomfortable. It can make you sick and even become life-threatening.

People may begin using drugs for several reasons. They may:

  • Enjoy the pleasurable experience.
  • Want to change or blunt their unpleasant feelings.
  • Want to improve their performance at work, school or athletics.
  • Be curious or give in to peer pressure.

Symptoms of drug addiction include:

  • Bloodshot eyes and looking tired.
  • Changes in appetite, usually eating less.
  • Changes in physical appearance, such as having a poor complexion or looking ungroomed.
  • Craving drugs.
  • Difficulty completing tasks at work, school or home.
  • Engaging in risky behaviors, despite knowing negative consequences (such as driving while impaired or having unprotected sex).
  • Inability to reduce or control drug use.
  • Issues with money.
  • Weight loss.

The first step to diagnosing a drug addiction is recognizing the problem and wanting help. This initial step may start with an intervention from friends or loved ones. Once someone decides to seek help for addiction, the next steps include:

  • Complete exam by a healthcare provider.
  • Individualized treatment, either inpatient or outpatient.

Several therapies exist for treating substance use disorder. Even for a severe disorder, treatment can help. Often, you’ll receive a combination of these therapies:

  • Detoxification: You stop taking drugs, allowing the drugs to leave the body. You may need healthcare supervision to detox safely.
  • Medication-assisted therapies: During detox, medicine can help control cravings and relieve withdrawal symptoms.
  • Behavioral therapies: Cognitive behavioral therapy or other psychotherapy (talk therapy) can help deal with addiction’s cause. Therapy also helps build self-esteem and teaches healthy coping mechanisms.

Medication may be part of your treatment plan. Your care team figures out the best medications for you. Medication-assisted treatments are available for:

  • Opioids: Methadone, buprenorphine and naltrexone are FDA-approved for the treatment of Opiate Use Disorder.
  • Alcohol: Three FDA-approved drugs include naltrexone, acamprosate and disulfiram (Antabuse®).
  • Tobacco: A nicotine patch, spray, gum or lozenge can help. Or your doctor might prescribe bupropion (Wellbutrin®) or varenicline (Chantix®).

Is treatment for drug addiction inpatient or outpatient?

Both inpatient and outpatient treatment plans are available, depending on your needs. Treatment typically involves group therapy sessions that occur weekly for three months to a year.

Inpatient therapy can include:

  • Hospitalization.
  • Therapeutic communities or sober houses, which are tightly controlled, drug-free environments.

Self-help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous can help you on the path to recovery. Self-help groups are also available for family members, including Al-Anon and Nar-Anon Family Groups. Participation in 12-step based recovery work has been proven to improve outcomes.

There is no cure for drug addiction. People can manage and treat addiction. But there is always a risk that the addiction will return. Managing substance use disorder is a lifelong job.

Yes. Preventing drug addiction starts with education. Education in schools, communities and families helps prevent misusing a substance for the first time. Other ways to prevent substance use disorder:

  • Don’t try illegal drugs, even one time.
  • Follow instructions for prescription medications. Don't ever take more than instructed. Opioid addiction, for instance, can start after just five days.
  • Dispose of unused prescriptions promptly to reduce risks of misuse by others.

Many people have both a mental health condition and a substance use disorder. Sometimes, mental illness is there before the addiction happens. Other times, the addiction triggers or worsens a mental health disorder. When both conditions are treated properly, the chances for recovery improve.

Addiction is a lifelong disease. But people can recover from addiction and lead full lives. Getting help is essential to recovery. Different tools work for different people, but ongoing therapy and self-help groups such as Narcotics Anonymous help many.

Are there long-term effects of addiction?

If you continue to misuse drugs, brain structures and functions can change. Substance use disorder alters how you:

  • Behave.
  • Deal with stress.
  • Learn.
  • Make judgments and decisions.
  • Store memories.

Can addiction come back?

Substance use disorder is a “relapsing disease.” People who are in recovery from this disease have a higher chance of using drugs again. Recurrence can happen even years after you last took drugs.

Because of the possibility of relapse, you need ongoing treatment. Your healthcare provider should review your treatment plan with you and change it your changing needs. If you have a problem with prescription drugs, including opioids, inform your healthcare providers. They can help you find other options to manage pain.

Is drug addiction fatal?

Substance use disorder can kill. If left untreated, you could die from overdose or engaging in dangerous behavior under the influence of drugs. Treatment can help people recover from addiction and prevent serious consequences.

Avoiding drugs is the best way to take care of yourself. Once you experiment with substance use, it becomes harder to quit. If you think you have substance use disorder and want to stop, talk to a healthcare provider who can guide you on next steps.

What else should I ask my healthcare provider?

If you or a loved one is experiencing substance use disorder, ask your healthcare provider:

  • How can I stop taking drugs?
  • What is the best treatment plan for me?
  • How long will the withdrawal symptoms last?
  • How long does therapy take?
  • What can I do to prevent a relapse?
  • What community resources can help me during my recovery?

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Substance abuse, or substance use disorder, is a brain disease. Drugs affect your brain, including your decision-making ability. These changes make it hard to stop taking drugs, even if you want to.

If you or a loved one has a substance use disorder, talk to a healthcare provider. A trained provider can help guide you to the treatment you need.

Usually, a combination of medication and ongoing therapy helps people recover from addiction and get back to their lives.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 09/03/2020.


Источник: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/16652-drug-addiction

Understanding Drug Use and Addiction DrugFacts | National Institute on Drug Abuse

When Does Drug Use Become an Addiction?

Many people don't understand why or how other people become addicted to drugs. They may mistakenly think that those who use drugs lack moral principles or willpower and that they could stop their drug use simply by choosing to.

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

Fortunately, researchers know more than ever about how drugs affect the brain and have found treatments that can help people recover from drug addiction and lead productive lives.

View Transcript

What Is drug addiction?

Addiction is a chronic disease characterized by drug seeking and use that is compulsive, or difficult to control, despite harmful consequences.

The initial decision to take drugs is voluntary for most people, but repeated drug use can lead to brain changes that challenge an addicted person’s self-control and interfere with their ability to resist intense urges to take drugs.

These brain changes can be persistent, which is why drug addiction is considered a «relapsing» disease—people in recovery from drug use disorders are at increased risk for returning to drug use even after years of not taking the drug.

It's common for a person to relapse, but relapse doesn't mean that treatment doesn’t work. As with other chronic health conditions, treatment should be ongoing and should be adjusted how the patient responds. Treatment plans need to be reviewed often and modified to fit the patient’s changing needs.

What happens to the brain when a person takes drugs?

Most drugs affect the brain's «reward circuit,» causing euphoria as well as flooding it with the chemical messenger dopamine.

A properly functioning reward system motivates a person to repeat behaviors needed to thrive, such as eating and spending time with loved ones.

Surges of dopamine in the reward circuit cause the reinforcement of pleasurable but unhealthy behaviors taking drugs, leading people to repeat the behavior again and again.

As a person continues to use drugs, the brain adapts by reducing the ability of cells in the reward circuit to respond to it.

This reduces the high that the person feels compared to the high they felt when first taking the drug—an effect known as tolerance. They might take more of the drug to try and achieve the same high.

These brain adaptations often lead to the person becoming less and less able to derive pleasure from other things they once enjoyed, food, sex, or social activities.

Long-term use also causes changes in other brain chemical systems and circuits as well, affecting functions that include:

  • learning
  • judgment
  • decision-making
  • stress
  • memory
  • behavior

Despite being aware of these harmful outcomes, many people who use drugs continue to take them, which is the nature of addiction.

Why do some people become addicted to drugs while others don't?

No one factor can predict if a person will become addicted to drugs. A combination of factors influences risk for addiction. The more risk factors a person has, the greater the chance that taking drugs can lead to addiction. For example:

  • Biology. The genes that people are born with account for about half of a person's risk for addiction. Gender, ethnicity, and the presence of other mental disorders may also influence risk for drug use and addiction.
  • Environment. A person’s environment includes many different influences, from family and friends to economic status and general quality of life. Factors such as peer pressure, physical and sexual abuse, early exposure to drugs, stress, and parental guidance can greatly affect a person’s lihood of drug use and addiction.
  • Development. Genetic and environmental factors interact with critical developmental stages in a person’s life to affect addiction risk. Although taking drugs at any age can lead to addiction, the earlier that drug use begins, the more ly it will progress to addiction. This is particularly problematic for teens. Because areas in their brains that control decision-making, judgment, and self-control are still developing, teens may be especially prone to risky behaviors, including trying drugs.

Can drug addiction be cured or prevented?

As with most other chronic diseases, such as diabetes, asthma, or heart disease, treatment for drug addiction generally isn’t a cure. However, addiction is treatable and can be successfully managed.

People who are recovering from an addiction will be at risk for relapse for years and possibly for their whole lives. Research shows that combining addiction treatment medicines with behavioral therapy ensures the best chance of success for most patients.

Treatment approaches tailored to each patient’s drug use patterns and any co-occurring medical, mental, and social problems can lead to continued recovery.

More good news is that drug use and addiction are preventable. Results from NIDA-funded research have shown that prevention programs involving families, schools, communities, and the media are effective for preventing or reducing drug use and addiction.

Although personal events and cultural factors affect drug use trends, when young people view drug use as harmful, they tend to decrease their drug taking. Therefore, education and outreach are key in helping people understand the possible risks of drug use.

Teachers, parents, and health care providers have crucial roles in educating young people and preventing drug use and addiction.

  • Drug addiction is a chronic disease characterized by drug seeking and use that is compulsive, or difficult to control, despite harmful consequences.
  • Brain changes that occur over time with drug use challenge an addicted person’s self-control and interfere with their ability to resist intense urges to take drugs. This is why drug addiction is also a relapsing disease.
  • Relapse is the return to drug use after an attempt to stop. Relapse indicates the need for more or different treatment.
  • Most drugs affect the brain's reward circuit by flooding it with the chemical messenger dopamine. Surges of dopamine in the reward circuit cause the reinforcement of pleasurable but unhealthy activities, leading people to repeat the behavior again and again.
  • Over time, the brain adjusts to the excess dopamine, which reduces the high that the person feels compared to the high they felt when first taking the drug—an effect known as tolerance. They might take more of the drug, trying to achieve the same dopamine high.
  • No single factor can predict whether a person will become addicted to drugs. A combination of genetic, environmental, and developmental factors influences risk for addiction. The more risk factors a person has, the greater the chance that taking drugs can lead to addiction.
  • Drug addiction is treatable and can be successfully managed.
  • More good news is that drug use and addiction are preventable. Teachers, parents, and health care providers have crucial roles in educating young people and preventing drug use and addiction.

Learn more

For information about understanding drug use and addiction, visit:

For more information about the costs of drug abuse to the United States, visit:

  • www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics#costs

For more information about prevention, visit:

  • www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/prevention

For more information about treatment, visit:

  • www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/treatment

To find a publicly funded treatment center in your state, call 1-800-662-HELP or visit:

  • https://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/

This publication is available for your use and may be reproduced in its entirety without permission from NIDA. Citation of the source is appreciated, using the following language: Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse; National Institutes of Health; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

NIDA. 2018, June 6. Understanding Drug Use and Addiction DrugFacts. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/understanding-drug-use-addiction

NIDA. «Understanding Drug Use and Addiction DrugFacts.» National Institute on Drug Abuse, 6 Jun. 2018, https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/understanding-drug-use-addiction

NIDA. Understanding Drug Use and Addiction DrugFacts. National Institute on Drug Abuse website. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/understanding-drug-use-addiction. June 6, 2018

Источник: https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/understanding-drug-use-addiction

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