Most people know someone who has had issues with drug abuse. Without being in that situation yourself, it can be difficult to understand how a person could continue to use a substance that is ruining their life and hurting those around them. There is more to drug addiction than you may think. It starts off as a bit of fun, but a person becomes dependent on the drug as a result. This is what leads to serious problems.
What is Drug Addiction?
Drug abuse is more than just a simple desire for a substance. It turns into a physical dependency due to a formed brain disease. Drug addiction is considered a disease of the brain because it literally causes physical changes to the brain that impair its functionality. Most people begin using drugs voluntarily, but as a result of repeated use, they lose their ability to say no to the drug. They are plagued with impulses to use the drug at every waking moment, and it isn’t something that goes away on it’s own.
What Happens to the Brain?
The substances in drugs produce the pleasurable effects that drug abusers are accustomed to by manipulating elements of the brain. Drugs are basically chemicals that disrupt the way that nerve endings send, receive, and process information. The two methods that drugs are able to produce a desirable effect is by either triggering the brains pleasure sense in overdrive mode, or by disrupting the brain’s messengers.
Cocaine and heroin are good examples of drugs that imitate nerve endings in the brain. They fool neurotransmitters into sending messages that are out of whack, which the brain normally wouldn’t send. This can create hallucinations and slow motion effects for a person, which is a big reason that these drugs are popular.
Cocaine and meth are the drugs that shift the brains pleasure sense into high gear. This is why a user feesl like they are on top of the world and can do anything. The brain produces more dopamine, which is the drug that produces pleasure, than it is intended to do. This skyrockets a persons happiness for a brief period of time until the drug wears off, leaving a person feeling emotionally and physically drained.
Due to the changes that have occurred in the brain, it becomes very difficult for a person to stop using drugs by themselves. This is why most people will choose to seek treatment since it is the only way to keep a person away from drugs while keeping them in a positive environment with people that can help and support their decision. These treatments come in two different forms — inpatient and outpatient treatment.
Inpatient treatment is the most efficient yet hardest choice. This is when a person goes and stays at a rehab facility 24/7 for as many as 30 days or more. They interact with other people who are trying to recover as well. By motivating one another, attending therapy, and working in several other activities, the recovering addict is able to get their mind off their addiction and make a true recovery.
The other form of treatment is outpatient treatment. This form is different than inpatient treatment because it involves a person staying at home, but going to daily or weekly sessions to work on their drug abuse problem. While this form is not as efficient, it allows for a person to continue supporting their family and going on with their life. This method is not recommended as often as inpatient treatment because it leaves a lot of space for a person to have a lapse in judgement and use the substance again, but it can work in special situations.
Getting Someone Into Treatment
It’s not easy to convince someone to go into drug rehab, but there are some methods that you can use to help persuade them:
- Show them how they are affecting the people around them, as well as themselves.
- Give them an ultimatum to either get help or leave.
- Offer them up to a few days to continue their normal life before leaving for treatment.
- Show them how much you love and care about them.
- Support them and don’t make them feel like a bad person, just that they are making bad choices.
- Ask them if there is anything that you can do to help them out while they are in rehab.
- Help them not feel guilty for leaving a child behind or missing work while they are recovering
Drug abuse is a serious problem that can damage a person mentally and physically, and can hinder their life in various ways. It’s important to get an abuser into treatment as soon as possible so that they can get on the road to recovery.