Drug abuse is a phrase that describes a pattern of substance use that leads to dependence and an extensive range of problems in the consumer’s life. Affected areas include loss of money and property, legal issues, deteriorating health, and broken relationships. Drugs are substances that can change how your body and mind function, so when people are under the influence, they act in ways they usually would not, most often inflicting emotional or physical harm on themselves or others.
Common Types of Substances Abuse
Drug abuse can involve both legal and illegal substances, as well as natural and chemical ones. One thing these substances have in common is that they lead to addiction because they generate dependence. Some of the substances most frequently abused include the following:
- Prescription drugs, including opioids
- Anabolic steroids
What Are the Causes of Drug Abuse?
There are many causes of drug abuse. Some people are predisposed due to emotional suffering, depression, anxiety, chronic stress, or traumas such as physical or sexual abuse. Many people who abuse prescription drugs suffer from depression, stress, or other mental health disorders and find themselves consuming them even when their treatment has finished to help block out some of their emotional pain or simply because the drug became addictive during use.
Others begin using drugs recreationally or to try and fit in with the wrong crowd or group of friends.
Do People Choose To Continue Using Drugs?
The first time someone consumes drugs is usually voluntary; however, over time, dependency takes over. Dependency is when the body feels that it needs the drug to function. This happens because the body builds up a tolerance to the drug and needs a higher dose and more often to feel its effects. People dependent on any substance find that their self-control is seriously impaired, and their drug use spirals out of control.
Why Do Some People Get Addicted and Others Don’t?
There isn’t one sole factor that determines if someone gets addicted or not. It varies depending on the risk factors already present. The more risk factors a person has, the more likely drug use will end in addiction. These factors can be environmental or biological, but the most common are:
- Aggressive behavior in childhood
- Availability of drugs in childhood
- Drug experimentation
- Low self-esteem
- Chronic stress
It’s easy to see that factors such as home, family, peers, and school are some of the most important when it comes to determining the likelihood of addiction.
Can Drug Addiction Be Treated?
Although recovery is an arduous process, addiction is an illness that can be treated. Treatment may include counseling, individual or family therapy, and medication. The goal of counseling is to determine why the person has used drugs and then teach them how to handle the situation without resorting to drug use. Learning how to avoid people and situations where the addict could obtain or use substances is crucial. The goal of medications is to help manage withdrawal symptoms.