There is this little addiction video that everyone keeps talking about. I finally saw it, and I felt “let down”. I am going to share it with you but only if you set your expectations very low. That way, I think you will enjoy it as much as the other folks have. For me — the higher my expectations, the larger my disappointment. The same thing happened to me, when I watched the film the Titanic.
It’s only a five minute cartoon.
What is drug addiction anyway?
Addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing brain disease. Simply put, it is compulsive drug seeking and compulsive drug use. The use continues even though the results are bad (like the cartoon showed). It is considered a brain disease because drugs change the brain—they change its structure and how it works. The sad part is that these brain changes can be long-lasting, and can lead to the harmful behaviors.
Why do people take drugs?
In general, people begin taking drugs for a variety of reasons:
To feel good. Most abused drugs product a nice feeling.
To feel nothing. Some people take them in an attempt to lessen feelings of pain.
To do better. Some people feel pressure to enhance or improve their mind or body performance.
Curiosity and “because others are doing it.” In this respect kids are vulnerable because of peer pressure.
If taking drugs makes people feel good or better, what’s the problem?
People may see only positive effects, the first time they take a drug. They also may believe that they can control their use. However, drugs can quickly take over a person’s life. Over time, if drug use continues, other enjoyable activities become less pleasurable, and taking the drug becomes necessary for the user just to feel “normal.” They may then compulsively seek and take drugs even though it causes tremendous problems for themselves and their loved ones. Some people may start to feel the need to take higher or more frequent doses, even in the early stages of their drug use. These are the telltale signs of an addiction. Even casual drug use is dangerous.
Is continued drug abuse a voluntary behavior?
The initial choice to take drugs is typically voluntary. However, over time, a person’s ability to use self-control can becomes impaired; this impairment in self-control is the classic mark of addiction. Brain imaging studies of people with addiction show physical changes in areas of the brain that are needed for judgment, decision making, learning and memory. Scientists believe that these changes alter the way the brain works and may help explain the compulsive and destructive behaviors of addiction.
Why do some people become addicted to drugs, while others do not?
As with any other things, vulnerability to addiction differs from person to person. No single factor determines whether a person will become addicted to drugs. In general, the more risk factors a person has, the greater the chance that taking drugs will lead to abuse and addiction. Risk factors are things like genetics and environment. There are some positive factors, that can reduce a person’s risk of developing addiction. These factors can be either environmental (such as conditions at home, at school, and in the neighborhood) or biological (for instance, a person’s genes, their stage of development, and even their gender).
Do you think you have an issue?
I made a little quiz up. You don’t have to score yourself. But, breeze through the questions and tell yourself what you think.
Do you ever take drugs when you wake up?
Do you prefer to hang around people who “party”
Have you ever taken a drug without knowing what it was or what it could do to you?
Is purchasing drugs more important than your financial security?
Do you have trouble going to sleep and/or waking up?
Have you ever been arrested?
Do you ever take a drug to overcome the effects of another?
Are you having trouble managing your life?
Have you tried switching to alcohol?
Can you have fun at a party without using drugs or alcohol?
Do you feel that a life without drugs is boring?
Do you have a lot of fear and anxiety?
Have you ever had an overdose?
Do you ever take drugs as a way of dealing with emotional pain?
Can you easily stop taking drugs for one month?
Have you ever been hospitalized as the result of using drugs?
Do you lie, when family or friends ask you about your drug use?
Do you have fewer friends than you used to?
Are you financially responsible?
Do you take drugs for medical conditions that you don’t have?
Do you have any withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking drugs?
Are you having trouble at work?
Do you use drugs alone?
Is your reputation suffering, as a result of your drug use?
Have you have a drug related fight?
Are you hanging out with people, that at one time you would have described as inferior?