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How to Understand Drug Addiction

How to Understand Drug Addiction

Understanding drug addiction is a complex and overwhelming situation. Drugs and alcohol impact every individual differently, so it is important to understand what each part of addiction is to understand if you or your loved one need help.

At Indah Recovery, we work with individuals suffering from addiction. This is a serious mental illness and requires rehabilitation through therapeutic treatment and structure. In our luxury facility, our clients have access to a safe environment through which they can develop the skills necessary for sustainable recovery. 

What Is Addiction?

Addiction is a diagnosable mental illness known as a Substance Use Disorder. According to the DSM-5, which is the manual on diagnosing mental disorders, a substance abuse disorder must have more than two of the following symptoms:

  • Hazardous use
  • Social/interpersonal problems related to use
  • Neglecting major roles to use
  • Legal problems
  • Withdrawal
  • Tolerance
  • Used larger amounts/longer
  • Repeated attempts to quit/control use
  • Much time spend using
  • Physical/psychological problems related to use
  • Activities are given up to use
  • Cravings

This new evaluation method combines what was once addiction with dependence. Substance use disorders can also be ranked by severity. To do this, researchers “Use[d] criteria count (from two to 11) as an overall severity indicator. [We now] use number of criteria met to indicate mild (two to three criteria), moderate (four to five), and severe (six or more) disorders.”

Knowing what can cause addiction is the next step towards figuring out how to understand addiction. 

What Causes Addiction?

Addiction has no direct cause, but there are many factors that can contribute to addiction such as environment, genetics, and lifestyle

Individuals who grow up in an environment with substance abuse are more likely to develop substance abuse later in life. In fact, researchers indicate that the younger an individual is when they start using drugs, the more likely they are to develop a substance use disorder in the future.

Genetics also plays a factor in the development of substance use disorders. Alcoholism, for example, tends to follow a generational pattern. Additionally, individuals whose parents suffer from other mental health disorders are more likely to develop a substance use disorder over time, either with a comorbid diagnosis or without.

Finally, lifestyle plays an important role in causing addiction. Individuals whose life is full of stressors, trauma, and/or pressures are more likely to develop substance use disorders than others. These extenuating factors increase the likelihood of substance abuse, especially in younger persons.

A final important factor in figuring out how to understand drug addiction and it’s impact on the brain. 

How Does Substance Abuse Affect the Brain?

Substance abuse impacts the brain by affecting how the neurons are being transmitted through synapse. 

The way the brain works is by sending information from one location to another. These main information storage locations are called neurons. To move information from one location to the other, neurons use the road between them. These roads are called synapse. 

When drugs or alcohol are present in the body, it impacts how the neurons transmit information over the synapse. It can interfere with how they send, receive, and process or interpret the information, therefore interrupting normal communication between neurons. 

Additionally, substances impact the reward centers of the brain. They do this by increasing, blocking receptors, and/or preventing the regulation of dopamine output in the brain. This causes the body to feel good (this is the high) and associate drug use with a positive outcome. 

How To Get Someone Help With Their Drug Addiction

If you are concerned that a loved one is using drugs and may be addicted, get help today at Indah Recovery.  Our high-quality treatment program utilizes a variety of the newest and best therapeutic treatments available for addiction. Our clients work through individualize rehabilitation programs to achieve holistic healing from addiction.

Contact us today to get addiction treatment in a luxury location that feels like home. At Indah Recovery we know how to understand drug addiction and help you recover.