Can addiction be treated? Yes, but it’s not simple.
Many people wonder how people become addicted to drugs and why they can’t stop using. The modern mentality of those who are not addicted is based on the inclination that addicts and alcoholics lack moral value, and they don’t want to stop abusing drugs and alcohol. However, contrary to popular belief, especially of those who are not well-informed in the disease of addiction, it takes more than willpower and good intentions to put the drink or drug down.
Addiction is a complex disease that can affect anyone, regardless of race, creed, ethnicity, and upbringing. The initial decision to take drugs is usually voluntary, but after repeated and regular use, tolerance forms which is one of the first tell-tale signs of a developing dependency. Over time, the brain changes which inhibits an addicted person’s self-control and ability to resist urges to take drugs.
Addiction does not only affect the addict, but it also has a rippling effect on the addict’s family and friends, especially if they are a close, supportive unit.
Why Do Some People Become Addicted While Others Do Not?
There is no single factor that can predict whether or not someone will become addicted to substances, but there are various factors that influence the likelihood of substance abuse, such as:
- Biological Factors
- Environmental Factors
- Early Developmental Factors
How Do We Prevent Substance Abuse?
Drug addiction is a preventable disease that begins with education. Knowledge about family history of drug addiction or alcoholism is an essential component in education in the early years of development. Programs in school settings that include family, educators, communities, and the media to discuss youth trends, the harmful repercussions of drug abuse, and outreach to those who are affected.
Early Developmental Factors
- Aggressive behavior in childhood
- Lack of parental supervision
- Poor social skills
- Drug experimentation
- Availability of drugs
- Community poverty
Protective Factors to Prevent Substance Abuse:
- Parental monitoring and support
- Positive relationships
- Academic competence
- School anti-drug policies
Biological Factors Increase Risk of Addiction
Leading researchers in the field of addiction estimate between 40-60% of a person’s likelihood of becoming addicted to either drug and alcohol lies between genetic and environmental factors. The effects of environmental factors enhance the functions of a person’s genes, increasing the individual’s chance of becoming addicted to any substance.
Adolescents and Mental Disorders
Adolescents and people with mental disorders are at much greater risk of drug abuse because their brain is in developmental stages. As their brain undergoes dramatic changes, the part of the brain that enables us to make formative decisions, moderate social behavior, and allows expression of the personality, also known as the prefrontal cortex, is maturing over an extended period.
Early-on Decisions Cause Consequences
During this process, the adolescent’s decisions influence the growth rate and ultimately long-lasting consequences of the brain’s development. Addiction is a developmental disease that often starts out as voluntary, but can soon lead to a full-blown, overpowering, seemingly helpless condition.
Treatment for Drug Addiction
Although there are no government-approved medications to treat addiction, inpatient, and behavioral treatments can be helpful for patients with a variety of drug addiction. Since the various drugs can alter brain chemistry and lead to long-lasting mental health problems, professionals can help addicts manage triggers and flashbacks as well as assist them to develop methods of dealing with daily stress without resorting to drug use.
Treatment for addiction starts with the physical dependency through safe detoxification or removing the harmful chemicals from the body. When cleared by a physician, the psychological, life, and social factors are treated. Call Ambrosia (888) 492-1633 any time to get personalized answers to any questions you may still have.