Addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing brain disease characterized by compulsive searching for drugs and using them despite the harmful consequences. It is considered a brain disease because drugs change the brain’s structure and they way it works. These changes can have a long term effect and can lead to harmful behaviors seen in people who abuse drugs. It’s like other diseases, i.e. heart disease. They both disrupt the normal, healthy function of organs, have serious harmful consequences, and are preventable and treatable. However, if left untreated it can last a lifetime.
People start taking drugs for various reasons:
To Feel Good: Most drugs being used produce feelings of pleasure. For example, stimulants such as cocaine, the “high” is followed by feelings of power, self-confidence, and increased energy. In contrast, the euphoria caused by opiates such as heroin is followed by feelings of relaxation and satisfaction.
To Feel Better: Some people who suffer from social anxiety, stress-related disorders, and depression abuse drugs to lessen these feelings of distress. Stress plays a major role in initial drug use, continued drug abuse, or relapse in those recovering from addiction.
To Do Better: Some use drugs to chemically enhance or improve their cognitive or athletic performance, which plays a role in experimentation. Once started, continued use of prescription stimulants or anabolic/androgenic steroids can become a downward spiral.
Curiosity & Others Doing It: Adolescents are vulnerable from the strong influence of peer pressure. Teens are more likely than adults to engage in risky behavior in order to impress their friends and express independence from parental and social rules. For Answers to any questions you may have please call Dr. Jimenez at 915-850-0900