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If you have a first-degree relative (biological sibling or parent) with SUD, you’re more likely to develop it. Over time, the substances change your brain chemistry, and you become desensitized to their effects. Substances send massive surges of dopamine through your brain, too. But instead of feeling motivated to do the things you need to survive (eat, work and spend time with loved ones), such massive dopamine levels can lead to damaging changes that affect your thoughts, feelings and behavior. Tobacco use disorder is the most common substance use disorder worldwide and in the United States. About 20% of people in the U.S. who have depression or an anxiety disorder also have a substance use disorder.

Addiction and recovery in Mesa County – KSUT Public Radio

Addiction and recovery in Mesa County.

Posted: Tue, 24 Oct 2023 15:47:00 GMT [source]

As with other chronic health conditions, treatment should be ongoing and should be adjusted based on how the patient responds. Treatment plans need to be reviewed often and modified to fit the patient’s changing needs. For example, a long-range survey of adults about their alcohol and drug use found that those who reported using marijuana early on were more likely to report new or worsening alcohol abuse later. Other studies also find that marijuana use often occurs with the use of other illegal drugs. Research indicates that prescription opioids such as Percocet, OxyContin, and Vicodin are commonly abused. Red Bull drinks, NoDoz, and Dexedrine pills are also widely used to help maintain energy and alertness.

If taking drugs makes people feel good or better, what’s the problem?

Stimulants include amphetamines, meth (methamphetamine), cocaine, methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta, others) and amphetamine-dextroamphetamine (Adderall XR, Mydayis). They’re often used and misused in search of a “high,” or to boost energy, to improve performance at work or school, or to lose weight or control appetite. Synthetic what is drug addiction cannabinoids, also called K2 or Spice, are sprayed on dried herbs and then smoked, but can be prepared as an herbal tea. Despite manufacturer claims, these are chemical compounds rather than “natural” or harmless products. These drugs can produce a “high” similar to marijuana and have become a popular but dangerous alternative.

  • While the terms “drug abuse” and “drug addiction” are often used interchangeably, they’re different.
  • As drug deaths continue to surge, many activists and drug policy researchers say criminalization, arrests and prison sentences are doing more harm than good.
  • Neurons use chemicals called neurotransmitters to communicate.
  • In general, when narcotics are used under proper medical supervision, addiction happens in only a small percentage of people.

Substance misuse does not always lead to addiction, while addiction involves the regular misuse of substances or engagements in harmful behavior. Addiction is a serious, chronic dependence on a substance or activity. The prevalence of addiction costs the U.S. economy hundreds of billions of dollars every year. If a person experiences a substance overdose, those around them should seek emergency medical assistance immediately. A person who has recovered from an overdose may want to seek professional help to treat their addiction. Anyone using substances, even socially, should discuss them with a doctor to ensure safe use and monitor for signs or symptoms of addiction.

Genetic factors

Different substances and behaviors have different effects on a person’s health. Serious complications can cause health concerns or social situations to result in the end of a life. Other possible causes of addiction include chemical imbalances in the brain and mental disorders such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. These disorders can lead to coping strategies that become addictions. Some people may try a substance or behavior and never approach it again, while others become addicted. The frontal lobe allows a person to delay feelings of reward or gratification.

  • Both involve the development of physical dependence and psychological dependence.
  • They may order drug tests and evaluate prescription drug monitoring program reports.
  • Treatments for drug addiction include psychotherapy, medical detox, prescribed medication, and support groups.

Over time, the substances or activities change your brain chemistry, and you become desensitized to their effects. This can create an unhealthy drive to seek more pleasure from the substance or activity and less from healthier activities. Addiction can significantly impact your health, relationships and overall quality of life.


Addiction can also lead to behaviors that strain relationships and inhibit daily activities. A person with addiction is unable to stop using a substance or engaging in a behavior even though it has harmful effects on daily living. Someone with addiction will continue to misuse the substance or activity in spite of the harmful effects it has. The term addiction does not only refer to dependence on substances such as heroin or cocaine.

what is drug addiction