Believe it or not, there are some individuals out there that will never have to worry about serious addiction issues linked to recreational and prescription drugs.
For a variety of different reasons (some of which we will get into just a moment), some individuals are seemingly impervious to the addictive tendencies that recreational and prescription drugs bring to the table. Obviously, addiction is a serious and significant issue that we as a society have to fight, but understanding why some people are more likely to become addicted to drugs ban others is going to help unlock a number of solutions to addiction that we may never have considered before.
Understanding drug abuse and addiction today
There are an almost untold amount of reasons as to why people experiment with different drugs, almost too many to count. The overwhelming majority of people that experiment with drugs (prescription and recreational alike) do so out of curiosity, and no small amount of those individuals do so because they know friends or family members that have experimented with the same kind of substances.
Others get into drug habits because of medical problems that required specific prescription medicines to be recommended, and others still are looking to boost athletic performance, eliminate stress and anxiety, or better manage their depression.
The reasoning behind drug use is almost impossible to pin down without speaking to an individual and understanding their specific motivations, but it’s important to realize that the overwhelming majority of people use drugs because of what it can do for them and not because of the consequences that long term drug use or abuse can bring to the table.
Drug addiction is an entirely different animal than drug use or even drug abuse, and needs to be treated as such. Drug addiction is a compulsive and almost autopilot response to using drugs even when the pleasure of using them has fallen by the wayside, and is more closely linked to a smaller amount of factors than drug use or abuse.
Most people become addicted to drugs because they:
- Have a family history of addictive personalities
- Have struggled with abuse, neglect, or some kind of trauma (especially in their formative years)
- Are currently or have in the past had to fight through emotional disorders and depression/anxiety
- Experimented with drugs at an early age before their brain chemistry was able to inoculate them against addictive tendencies
- Have created habits that require them to continue their drug abuse long after the “positive of facts” ceased to work
Drug addiction has a tendency to sneak up on you
Even though we have clearly illustrated that there is a world of difference between drug abuse and drug addiction, the truth of the matter is a significant amount of drug addicts out there aren’t going to realize that they are addicts at all – mostly because of the “slow creep” that addiction has on their lives.
Maybe they begin with a “gateway drug”, recreationally using it whenever they go out to party and have a good time. Soon enough though they are using drugs on a regular basis or even a daily basis, and before they know it, they are caught in the middle of a downward spiral that they cannot see a way out of.
On top of that, because of all the negative consequences and side effects of drug abuse, they may begin to look at the drug itself as the only way to fulfill a very specific and important need. This reinforces the drug addiction habit and a self-perpetuating circle begins to turn things into a very, very nasty situation.
Myths about drug addiction that need to be addressed
Drug addiction isn’t simply a choice or decision in many cases. Sure, willpower is going to be necessary to fight back against this terrible habit, but in many circumstances you’re going to be dealing with a biochemical issue that creates a chemical dependency in the body. This requires a medical approach to resolving the addiction, rather than just trying to “push through it”.
Conversely, it’s important to realize that whether you believe addiction is a disease or not– there is a lot that you can do to destroy addiction and addictive habits if you have fallen victim to this kind of lifestyle. You have to realize that you aren’t a helpless victim, that brain changes linked to addiction can be reversed, and that there are treatment options available to help you get back on your feet.
Finally, you have to realize that even if you have tried to defeat addiction in the past and failed, that is no rock solid predictor of future behavior. You simply need to try a different and distinct approach to alleviate your addiction issues, and before you know it you’ll be able to lead a happy and healthy lifestyle free from drug use or abuse. Most experts agree that the odds of recovery increase each additional time spent in rehab. So don’t allow past failures to discourage future attempts at recovery.