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Drug Addiction

Drug Addictions

Drug addictions come in a variety of forms. There are drug addictions to over the counter (OTC) medicine, prescription drugs prescribed by the doctor or bought illegally on the street and illicit street drugs made illegally. All have devastating consequences and follow the downward spiral of addiction.

Be it cough syrup, oxycontin or methamphetamine people become addicted in the same manner. What happens is the person is confronted with a problem, for some it may be as little as peer pressure or trouble fitting in or it may be as big as a major loss or a divorce. The person actually sees drugs as a solution to the problem and starts to use drugs. From that point the person will start to use drug more and more in an effort to solve the problem. In the end it will lead to more and more problems.

Once the person is addicted, the mind and body are both affected. Regarding the mind, drug addictions actually rob the brain of its natural reward system.  All of our brains produce three natural chemicals as a reward system.  These are serotonin, dopamine and endorphins. Any time we do something our body enjoys our brain releases these chemicals to make us feel good.  When an individual uses drugs he is putting a substance into his system that is chemically superior to the body’s own natural reward system.  The brain recognizes that drug as chemically superior to its natural chemicals and stops production of them. Once the brain stops production of the natural chemicals it doesn’t start production again for roughly 30 days. What ends up happening is the person comes off the drugs and the brain is not producing what it needs and the person ends up feeling depressed, angry or sad and the only way to feel good again is to use the drugs.

The body handles all drug addictions the same way in that basically when an individual uses drugs the body senses that as a toxin, something that shouldn’t be in the system, and works to eliminate it.  The way the body does this is by passing the drug through the kidneys and liver and breaking it into thousands of little particles called metabolites.  These particles are termed lypophelic, which is a medical term meaning fat bonding, and get lodged into the fat tissue and stay buried there for up to 3-5 years.  Anytime the heart rate increases, these metabolites are then re-released into the bloodstream and travel up to the brain causing a physical craving for the drug. This is actually the number one reason that a person cannot stop using drugs once they start.

So with these negative affects of drug addictions why would a person continue to use drugs? Mainly because of the mental and physical cravings they experience when they come off the drug. Not to mention that they started using in an effort to solve a problem and so by using drugs they have not only not solved the initial problem but most likely have attracted new problems. Once these problems pile up the person feels the only answer is to use drugs again. This along with the cravings makes it impossible to quit. However drug addictions can be beat. Many try alone to defeat drug addictions but with help it is possible.

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