Understanding Contributing Factors and Causes of Drug Addiction

Drugs are basic elements of modern medicine. It’s difficult to imagine how infections can be treated, pain relieved, and depression alleviated without drugs. Each day, many lives are saved because of drugs. Even the seemingly insignificant problem of not being able to sleep can be solved with the use of drugs.

Indeed, drugs are life savers if used properly. But when abused or used illicitly, they can be “life takers.” The effects of drug addiction bring havoc to the user himself, to his family, and to society in general. While it’s true that the drugs which are subject to abuse keep getting stronger, even the prescription medications are not spared by illicit drug users.

Drug addiction causes severe harm to the body. This is an oft-repeated statement and no one disagrees with it. But what exactly are the causes of drug addiction?

In many respects, the answers to this question – which are supposed to shed light on the nature of the problem – are rather complicated. It is known that repeated use of certain substances can result to the user becoming dependent on them. This is most certain in the case of illicit drugs.

There are basically two kinds of dependence associated with drug addiction; physical dependence and psychological dependence. In physical dependence, the drug user has developed tolerance to the drug. This means that the doses the user takes become larger and larger, so that the level of “high” he experiences remains the same. The opiates (morphine and heroin) are perfect examples in this case.

Psychological dependence on a drug, on the other hand, is characterized by a compulsive emotional need for the drug. The cannabis (marijuana and hashish) may be used as examples in this instance.

Medical and scientific researches have come to the conclusion that drug addiction is both physical and psychological dependence; both have a biochemical basis on the brain, although the distinction between them is not very clear. This, perhaps, is the reason why today’s interpretation of the term “drug addiction” has been made rather easy to understand: It relates to a behavioral pattern that is characterized by compulsive use of a drug and an extreme concern with obtaining it.

There are also suggestions that having an “addictive personality” may contribute to a person becoming addicted to drugs. This means that a person’s tendency towards drug addiction may be determined by his physiological and biochemical makeup. In other words, the said tendency can be genetically inherited. But this factor needs further explaining; thus, a person with an addictive personality has probably inherited some factors that heighten vulnerability but do not make it inevitable that addiction to drugs will happen.

Psychological and environmental factors are those often linked to the occurrence of drug addiction. We have heard of many cases of people being driven to drug abuse because of problems in the family, poor living conditions, lack of confidence in oneself, social pressures, and stress. Of course, these factors alone do not make drug addiction incapable of being evaded.

Using CBT As an Effective Means of Addiction Counseling and Therapy

Life is not always a bed of roses. There are times when we have to face many challenges, trials and tribulations. This makes the task of facing up to life rather tough and challenging too. Sometimes these challenges are in the form of addictions that people contend with and find it very tough to come up trumps against.

Addictions can get quite debilitating sometimes. There are some folks who get so dependent on habits like taking drugs or alcohol, or perhaps even being addicted to sex that normal life becomes quite tough on them. You may have seen some people being so addicted to drugs or alcohol that they ruined their health as well as family life. Such people need help, and urgently, which could be in the form of CBT or Cognitive Behavior Therapy. CBT is extremely helpful and has seen to be very effective in helping people kick off various kinds of addictions that they may have got entangled with.

The basic premise on which CBT is based on is the fact that we are creatures who are guided by our thoughts. Thoughts are the source from which emotions and actions spring up in our life. If you dwell on this, you will realize that this is quite true. When you feel sad or perhaps angry, you would know that thoughts would be at the root of such emotions, as we think first and then we feel or act. After all, we are thinking beings and not mindless zombies or robots.

CBT helps addicts to analyze their behavior patterns and addiction induced actions, so that they can isolate those thoughts that make them prone to addiction. It is true that an addict to drugs or alcohol is feeling some lack, which is prompting him to indulge in addiction to fill that need. With CBT, the trained therapist would be able to help the addict understand as to what are the specific situations and thoughts that act as triggers forcing the person to give in to addiction.

Using CBT, it would be possible for the patient to replace negative and addiction causing thought with positive and wholesome thoughts that can slowly but surely cause less dependence on the addiction. Thought replacement is a very powerful technique that CBT is able to very effectively induce. This helps the addict to kick the habit that is so harmful.

Nicotine Addiction Won’t Let You Stop Smoking

Nicotine addiction won’t let you stop smoking – nicotine is a drug – drugs are addicting. When the Surgeon General initially reported their studies and cigarette warnings, they reported that tobacco was addicting because of its nicotine content with similar properties to other addicting drugs.

Nicotine is not only addicting, it was concluded to be as addicting as heroin or cocaine, but it is still legal. Nicotine is found naturally in tobacco, and its quantity has been increased in cigarettes and tobacco products over the years. And why not, if nicotine is addicting and going to keep smokers from being able to quit, then it would stand to reason that cigarette manufactures would want to increase the amount.

Nicotine addiction causes your body to need it physically and mentally. Nicotine impacts how the brain works, and as a result the smoker will crave more, while going through withdrawal symptoms when stopping or even cutting back on smoking. This is directly related to why it is virtually impossible for some people to quit smoking; it becomes overwhelming to address the effects of both of these aspects of the nicotine addiction. And besides the impact of the direct results, it is hard to even keep the amount you smoke constant, let alone quit, because the nicotine has the effect of making your body crave more.

Nicotine addiction has been one of the hardest for people to break. When you smoke, it takes about eight seconds for the nicotine to hit your brain, where it stimulates the dopamine pathways – dopamine is essentially a neurotransmitter that gives feeling of pleasure. So, when this happens, there is a tendency for the smoker to want the nicotine, because of the urge for, and anticipation of the feelings the drug gives. But this phase wears off in a relatively short period of time, thus causing the smoker to continue to want more, and to continue to smoke throughout the day, while increasing the quantity over time..

Besides the nicotine leading to the release of dopamine, it also suppresses MAO, which causes the satisfaction to linger longer than it normally would. This combination of anticipation and satisfaction leads the smoker to wanting more nicotine and the longer they smoke, the more nicotine will be needed for them to be satisfied – this is endemic of drug addiction, and especially nicotine addiction with its ongoing and increasing effects.

As if nicotine addiction wasn’t problematic enough, smoking also has other physiological effects that can be viewed as beneficial to the smoker, and give additional reason to not stop smoking. Nicotine is known to inhibit the release of insulin. Considering that insulin is a hormone that removes sugar excess from the blood, having it inhibited or decreased can make the smoker become hyperglycemic. As a result, the blood sugar level is increased, and this has the tendency to suppress the smoker’s appetite.

Feel constant pleasure and satisfaction from nicotine, while also being able to control or lose weight – why would anyone ever want to stop smoking? And that is the core problem of nicotine addiction, and other supposed benefits from nicotine. Psychologically and illogically, these offset the fact that smoking is causing tremendous damage to your health, and to your real well being. And don’t forget that nicotine is not the only hazardous substance that is found in cigarettes. There are 100s of additional chemicals that are affecting the body while smoking – these include known carcinogens, along with carbon monoxide.

Benefits from smoking – what a ridiculous concept. There is nothing that leads to more illnesses, diseases, and conditions – and death, than smoking. And when smoking is the cause, these are all preventable. Cancer, heart disease, increase in infertility, decreased lifespan, etc etc etc – these are the real benefits from smoking. Whatever it takes – stop smoking today.

When the smoker finally decides to quit, they are going to have to confront the nicotine addiction and resulting withdrawal systems. It is typical to suffer from things like irritability and anger, anxiety and depression, and weight gain. And these are difficult to deal with as they may last for a few days or weeks depending on the level of addiction – but that is a relative short period of time when compared to the benefits of repairing your health, and adding years to your life.

There are numerous aids to stop smoking and stop smoking today. Sure, quitting ‘cold turkey’ is the quickest and most efficient way to stop smoking for those who can do it that way. But the objective is quitting, and if you need to use stop smoking aids or even seek counseling to do so, then do it.