Drug addiction is one of the prevailing issues of the modern world. It poses numerous dangers, particularly to the lives of teens and young adults. Therefore, people around the world are making serious efforts to recognize and rectify this problem. It is important first to define the term Drug Addiction before the article explores and identifies these efforts made by people.
Drug Addiction is basically a disease or illness that affects the normal functioning of a person’s brain and brings changes to their behavior, leading them to an uncontrollable use of a particular substance, commonly referred to as a drug. This is the reason it is also known as substance use disorder. Drugs impact people to different extents. For some people, drugs could be life-endangering, while for others, they barely bring a change in their mood. Whatever is the impact of drugs, it is important to understand that long-term exposure to drugs can lead anyone to drug addiction. Moreover, drug addiction interferes with the day-to-day life functions of the addict and thus affects their health, relationships, and career.
As mentioned earlier, there are two aspects of protecting people from falling prey to drug addiction. These are recognizing the problem and then proposing and implementing plausible solutions. In terms of recognition, there is raised awareness on this issue more than ever. Be it schools, colleges, or even workplaces, talking about drug addiction has been normalized. On the other hand, for rectification, the first question that comes to mind is, “How does drug addiction actually start?” While there are various addiction guide, communities, blogs, books, and other sources, there is no one answer for this question. It varies from person to person and situation to situation. Reportedly there are various factors that can play a part in this addiction. Some of those are discussed in detail here.
Among factors that could cause drug addiction, top of the list is peer pressure. Although it may not be directly related to addiction, this is the major reason why thousands of people start drugs for the first time.
Suppose a college student does not want to look uncool among his friends, so he ends up having his first shot of whatever drug it is. Then there is this person who really wants to bond with his co-workers, but apparently, they only meet at a club where they all do drugs together. Will they welcome him if he questions their choices? Or will he be able to refuse when one of them offers him a shot without being outcasted? Or imagine there is this girl who has transferred to a new city. She is trying her best to adjust, but she is too nerdy, according to her fellows. In order to impress her classmates, she starts doing drugs.
Now one thing that is common in both these scenarios is that peer pressure may lead you to try drugs for the first time, but it does not necessarily cause addiction. However, trying drugs in the name of adventure is the first step towards drug addiction for thousands of people every year, so it is still a major reason.
People leading a certain type of luxurious lifestyle with no responsibilities are usually involved in such activities. Since they are free from financial pressures, they are more likely to have a drug addiction in comparison to other people of their age having social responsibilities. Teens and young adults of elite classes fall into this category.
Another type of addiction is found among people living a life on the clock or people who have to or want to function beyond normal human capacity. Drug addiction includes the addictive use of any kind of substance that drives a person to a state of unconsciousness and provides them with a dopamine rush. So, people who frequently use energy drinks or steroids cannot function without them after a certain time. This is also a type of drug addiction influenced by lifestyle choices. In worst-case scenarios, these drinks or steroids may also fail in providing them with that dopamine rush resulting in overdoses.
Exposure/Access to Drugs
People who are either working in the pharmaceuticals or drugs industry or people who are working for such causes have easy access to drugs. Now, this must be clear that drugs that could be addictive are usually banned in most countries and are not readily accessible. People who do drugs have to source them through illegal means, which is very dangerous and thus a major barrier between a person and drug addiction.
On the contrary, for people described earlier, these products are easily available, thus making it easier for them to consume these. Many such people fall prey to drug addiction because of exposure. Another category among these is people who work as drug suppliers or are part of mobs and crime groups.
Mental Health Conditions
Drug addiction is usually referred to as a negative connotation. There are, however, cases in which drugs are consumed for medical purposes and are later turned into an addiction. According to scientific reports, people who struggle with mental health issues and sleeping disorders are more likely to have a medical drug addiction referred to as substance use disorders than people who are not dealing with such issues. Since medicines for such problems are prescribed for rather prolonged periods of time, in some cases, they mess with the recipients’ brains, and brains are re-wired in a way to function only with these medicines.
Anti-depressants, if taken recklessly, can also trigger the normal dopamine reflexes of the brain and can cause even more depression, thus leading to more intake. There are also cases where patients consciously start taking medicines for the sole purpose of getting high, without proper prescription from a doctor, and hence are addicted. However, to get medicines in the first place, they need a prescription, and for that, they are supposed to have a medical history.
The most unusual cause of drug addiction is the pre-existing conditions for certain people. The entire process of drug addiction is based upon the brain’s activity of releasing dopamine and controlling the dopamine levels of an individual. For a person coming from a genetic background with relatively more sensitive brain reflexes, the chances of becoming a drug addict are higher as compared to a person whose genetics are otherwise. Similarly, if alcoholism and addiction run in the family’s bloodline, this can also affect a person’s response to a drug. So supervised amount of drugs could be fun for some people, while for others, it could trigger their brain and lead them to addiction.
The article sums up almost all the common causes of drug addiction. An important thing that one needs to note here is that while all of these factors in one way or another lead to the use of a drug, the conscious bias of a person leads them to drug addiction. Drugs not only destroy a person’s health but also their life by ruining their career and relationships. So, it is highly advised to avoid all such activities, lifestyle choices, and company that can lead a person to addiction.