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Addiction and Drug Abuse

Addiction and Drug Abuse

What is Addiction and Drug Abuse

Drug abuse refers to the behavior to use drugs in doses above those normally regarded as general and therapeutic usage. As a chronic, relapsing brain disease, drug addiction is characterized by uncontrolled drug use. It's common for a person to relapse as people who have recovered from drug abuse disorders are at increased risk of reusing drugs even after not using drugs for a long time. So, the treatment should be continued and adjusted according to the patient’s response. Drug abuse and addiction have been a growing problem in the world leading to millions of deaths. In fact, the term "addiction" has gradually been replaced by "substance use disorder" because of its derogatory meaning. There are four patterns of substance use which include acute intoxication, harmful use, dependence syndrome, and withdrawal state.

Addiction and Drug Abuse

Etiology of Addiction and Drug Abuse

To better understand the etiology of addiction and drug abuse, it is necessary to use both biological perspective and psychological perspective.

  • Biological perspective - the psychoactive drugs always increase the secretion of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain and the level of dopamine produced by the brain itself will gradually decrease. Eventually, addicts begin to rely on drugs for pleasure or satisfaction. In addition, drug addiction is also affected by genetic factors, that is, some people are easily addicted, and some are not.
  • Psychological perspective - increasing demand for pleasure will strengthen the craving for drugs. The cognitive viewpoint determines people's expectations of the effect of the drug. What’s more, the socio-cultural perspective, such as ethnic and religious groups, affects drug abuse to a large extent.

Common Drugs of Abuse and Addiction

  • Ketamine
  • Codeine
  • Crystal methamphetamine (Ice)
  • Cocaine
  • Cannabis
  • Methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA)

Risk Factors for Addiction and Drug Abuse

  • Biologically based susceptibility
  • Poor social and coping skills
  • Chaotic family environment and family education
  • Poverty
  • Negative peer influence
  • Problem behaviors

Harmful Effects of Addiction and Drug Abuse

  • Contract diseases, such as AIDS.
  • Poor appetite and weight loss
  • Distortions in cognitive and reactive abilities
  • Severe damage to the health of various organs such as liver, lungs, kidneys, and heart.
  • Acute intoxication and even death
  • Seriously affect work, study, and interpersonal relationships.

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