Substance Use Disorder, Why People Turn to Drugs

sad and sulking in the sofa

An individual can become dependent on substances due to a number of factors. Substance use disorder is a complex disease that needs varying approaches for different people for long-term recovery. Fortunately, there are places with effective rehabilitation programs to help individuals struggling with misuse of substances.

Dependence on substances and alcohol is a chronic and complex brain disease that can alter the brain’s chemistry. Persons engaged in risky use of substances develops a compulsive drug seeking and relapsing behaviors. Functional changes to the brain involved in reward, stress, and self-control are affected. These changes in a person’s brain can last a long time even after stopping taking drugs. It can take a toll on a person’s body that if left untreated, may last a lifetime and may lead to death.

Good thing, addiction treatment is offered in Nampa and other parts of Idaho to help people with substance use disorder (SUD) get back on their feet again. These recovery centers provide a holistic approach tailored to each patient’s drug use patterns and any co-occurring medical, mental, and social problems.

Understanding chemical dependency

People with substance dependence can lose control over their actions. It can damage relationships with friends and family. But why do people become drug dependent?

Some people want to feel good. Intense feelings of pleasure is an effect caused by drugs to the brain. This initial euphoria is usually followed by other effects which differ with each drug used. Cocaine, for example, can give a person a feeling of power, self-confidence, and increased energy. While in opioids such as heroin, euphoria is followed by feelings of relaxation and satisfaction.

People suffering from social anxiety, stress, and depression may use drugs to feel less anxious. This is because stress plays a major role in starting and continuing drug use as well as relapse. Those who have substance use disorder may also be feeling pressure from work or school, so they turn to drugs to improve focus. They can turn to prescription stimulants or cocaine to be able to do the things at work or school, which can cycle over and become drug dependent.

Teens feeling curious about drugs and social pressure also plays a role in substance use disorder. Peer pressure can make teens act in risky ways to impress friends. This may lead to drug dependency if they get the hang of it.

Managing addiction

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Addiction can be treated and managed successfully. Research shows that a combination of addiction treatment medication and behavioral therapy is one of the effective ways to ensure that a loved will get over their addiction and see the good in their lives again. These treatments, however, differ and are on a case to case basis.

According to research funded by the National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA), prevention programs that involve family members, communities, and schools are effective in preventing and reducing drug use and addiction. Moreover, education and outreach are the keys to helping people understand the risks of drug dependency. A decrease in curiosity and drug-taking is possible if young people are exposed to the harmful effects of drugs.

Nothing can predict if a person will be dependent on substances. Genetic, developmental, and environmental factors can increase the risk of addiction. The greater the risk factors a person has, the greater the chance it can lead to drug dependence and addiction.

Preventing drug addiction starts with educating our family and friends. Helping loved ones get better always starts with a good relationship and communication. Drug addiction is treatable and can be managed successfully through recovery programs in treatment centers.