Understanding Drug Addiction
Axia College of University of Phoenix
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Everyone has known someone who has had a problem with drugs. Addiction is a common problem among many individuals in the United States. Experts estimate that one out of ten people have a substance abuse problem. – Addiction Treatment Magazine. (2012). 10 Tell-Tale Signs someone needs addiction treatment. www.addictiontreatmentmagazine.com. To understand the problem we need to acknowledge that drug addiction is a disease. Research often states that it is a hereditary disease. Passed down from generation to generation. Drug addiction and mental illness are often linked together. Just like many different diseases drug addiction can be lethal. It not only destroys the person who is abusing the drugs, it can destroy their families also. It is important for everyone to know the signs of drug addiction, relapse signs, effects on what drugs can do to the abuser physically and mentally and how to get the help that is needed.
Genetics seem to be a big factor for someone who has a drug addiction. Just like cancer, heart disease and diabetes it is common for someone who is addicted to have other family members that also have the same problem. Research that was done by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (NCDI) shows that children of drug addicted parents have a four times more of a chance to be an addict then other children. This happens even when a child of an addict is adopted and has no contact with their biological parents. They are still at higher risk. Sons seem to be more affected then daughters. “ The son of a drug abusing father has a four to seven times greater chance ( then the average child) of having the same problems, even if the son is adopted at a very young age. “ - Dr. Ralph Tarter PhD, medicinenet.com. (1/30/05) Sins of the Father. Scientists are now looking for biological differences when they look for addiction genes. These genes may be able to show if someone is more vunrable to addictions then others who do not have the gene. This could help warn people that they have a higher chance of being an addict. Another warning could be if anyone has a parent or family member who has had or has an addiction problem to be careful when using drugs. They are at higher risk. Research has shown that using a drug repeatedly has no one in their family with a drug addiction.
Because mental illness and drug addiction often occur together it creates a problem for physicians and patients to determine what the best treatment is. Many common mental illnesses are associated with drug abuse. “ Some common serious mental disorders associated with chronic drug abuse include schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, manic depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder and antisocial personality disorder. “ - National Drug Intelligence Center. Article: Drug Abuse and Mental Illness fast facts. Many people with
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Mental illnesses have been known to self-medicate. They do this without realizing that by taking drugs it can make their mental illness symptoms worse. Drugs may only relieve the symptoms of mental illness temporarily. After long term use of a drug the good feeling that some people experience becomes harder to achieve. This causes the individual who is using drugs to increase the amount they take.
In the beginning of drug use the person who is using may experience good feelings. Feelings of reward, motivation, well-being and pleasure. “The first time someone uses a drug of abuse, he or she experiences unnaturally intense feelings of pleasure.” – NIDA for Teens. (10/11), Brain & Addiction. Many addicts start using drugs when they are an adolescent. The reason why is because when