What Is Drug Addiction ?
Drug Addiction is an illness that influences your brain and behavior. At the point when you’re dependent on drugs, you can’t fight the temptation to utilize them, regardless of how much damage these drugs may cause. The earlier you get treatment for chronic drug use, the more likely you are to avoid some of the more dire consequences of the disease.
Drug addiction isn’t about heroin, cocaine, or other unlawful medications. You can get dependent on liquor, nicotine, sleep and against anti-anxiety meds, and other legal substances that are sold legally through pharmacies.
To start with, you may decide to take a medication since you like how this drug makes you feel. You may think you can handle how much and how often you administer this drug. However, over the time, drugs change how your mind works. These actual changes can keep going quite a while. They may cause you to completely lose control over yourself and lead to damaging behaviors.
Addiction vs. Abuse and Tolerance
Drug abuse is when you use legal or illegal substances in ways you shouldn’t. You might take more than the regular dose of pills or use someone else’s medications that are prescribed for a certain illness he/she has. You may abuse drugs to feel well, reduce your stress or to initiate lucid dreams. But usually, you’re having control over yourself to change your unhealthy habits or stop using altogether.
Addiction is when you can’t stop. Not when it puts your health in danger. Not when it causes financial, emotional, and other problems for you or your loved ones. That urge to get and use drugs can fill up every minute of the day, even if you want to quit.
Addiction also is different from physical dependence or tolerance. In cases of physical dependence, withdrawal symptoms happen when you suddenly stop a substance. Tolerance happens when a dose of a substance becomes less effective over time.
When you use opioids for pain for a long time, for example, you may develop tolerance and even physical dependence. This doesn’t mean you’re addicted. In general, when narcotics are used under proper medical supervision, addiction happens in only a small percentage of people.
Drugs’ Effect on Your Brain
Your brain is wired to make you want to repeat experiences that make you feel good. So you’re motivated to do them over and over again.
The drugs that may be addictive target your brain’s reward system. They flood your brain with a chemical called dopamine. This triggers a feeling of intense pleasure. You keep taking the drug to chase that high.
Over time, your brain gets used to the extra dopamine. So you might need to take more of the drug to get the same good feeling. And other things you enjoyed, like food and hanging out with family, may give you less pleasure.
When you use drugs for a long time, it can cause changes in other brain chemical systems and circuits as well. They can hurt your:
- Ability to learn
Together, these brain changes can drive you to seek out and take drugs in ways that are beyond your control.
Risk factors of Drug Addiction
Each person’s body and brain are different. People also react differently to drugs. Some love the feeling the first time they try it and want more. Others hate it and never try again.
Not everyone who uses drugs becomes addicted. But it can happen to anyone and at any age. Some things may raise your chances of addiction, including:
- Family history. Your genes are responsible for about half of your odds. If your parents or siblings have problems with alcohol or drugs, you’re more likely as well. Women and men are equally likely to become addicted.
- Early drug use. Children’s brains are still growing, and drug use can change that. So taking drugs at an early age may make you more likely to get addicted when you get older.
- Mental disorders. If you’re depressed, have trouble paying attention, or worry constantly, you have a higher chance of addiction. You may turn to drugs as a way to try to feel better. A history of trauma in your life also makes you more likely to have addiction.
- Troubled relationships. If you grew up with family troubles and aren’t close to your parents or siblings, it may raise your chances of addiction.
Signs of Addiction
You may have one or more of these warning signs:
- An urge to use the drug every day, or many times a day
- Taking more drugs than you want to, and for longer than you thought you would
- Always having the drug with you, and buying it even if you can’t afford it
- Using drugs even if they cause you trouble at work or make you lash out at family and friends
- Spending more time alone.
- Not taking care of yourself or caring how you look
- Stealing, lying, or doing dangerous things, like driving while high or having unsafe sex
- Spending most of your time getting, using, or recovering from the effects of the drug
- Feeling sick when you try to quit
Recent updates of substance use among Egyptians
The results of a research made in Egypt in 2020 attract attention towards the substance abuse problem among adolescents in Egypt. Tobacco is the most commonly used substance followed by benzodiazepines which seemed to be used on a regular basis. Alcohol, organic solvents, and cannabis are also commonly used. Preventive services should be directed towards youth to combat these phenomena.