Understanding Addiction and Drug Use

Understanding Addiction and Drug Use

A lot of individuals do not understand how or why other individuals become addicted to narcotics. They may mistakenly think that people who use these substances lack willpower or moral principles and that they could stop their substance use by choosing to.

In reality, addiction is a complicated disease, and quitting normally takes more than just good, strong will, or good intentions. Narcotics change people’s brains in ways that make quitting pretty hard, even for people who want to. The good news is, studies know more than ever about how these things affect our brain and have found effective treatments helps addicts recover from dependency and lead a more productive life.

What is narcotics addiction?

This thing is a chronic illness characterized by substance seeking and use that is hard to control and compulsive, despite its harmful consequences. The initial decision to take these things is voluntary for most individuals. Still, repeated use can lead to changes in the user’s brain that challenge their self-control, as well as interfere with their capabilities to resist drastic urges to take these substances.

Check out this site for more details about opioid addiction.

These changes can be persistent, which is why dependency is considered a deteriorating illness. Individuals in recovery from narcotics use disorders are at risk for returning to substance use even after many years of not taking it. It is pretty common for an individual to relapse, but it does not mean that therapy does not work.

As with other long-term health conditions, treatment needs to be ongoing and should be adjusted depending on how the user responds. Treatment plans should not be reviewed often. It should be modified to fit the individual’s changing needs.

What happens to people’s brains when they take narcotics?

A lot of drugs can have a tremendous effect on the brain’s reward circuit. It can cause euphoria and flood it with dopamine, our body’s chemical messenger. An appropriately functioning reward system can motivate individuals to repeat behaviors required to thrive, like spending valuable time with their loved ones, eating, drinking, and sleeping.

The outpouring of dopamine in the circuit can cause reinforcements of pleasurable but very unhealthy behaviors such as taking narcotics that can lead people to repeat their behavior repeatedly. As the user continues their vices, the brain adapts to the situation by minimizing the ability of brain cells in the circuit to respond to it.

What is dopamine? Click https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/dopamine to know more.

This action minimizes the high that they feel compared to the high they felt when taking the substance the first time – an effect also known as tolerance. Users might take more to try and attain the same experience. These adaptations usually lead to the individual becoming less able to derive pleasure from other things they usually enjoyed, like social activities, sex, or food. Long-term abuse can also cause changes in various chemical circuits and systems, as well as affecting functions that include:

  • Decision-making
  • Judgment
  • Learning
  • Behavior
  • Memory
  • Stress

Despite being aware of these outcomes, a lot of individuals who use narcotics continue to take them. It is the nature of drug addiction.

What happens to people's brains

Why do some individuals become very addicted to these things while others do not?

No one factor can help predict if an individual will become dependent on drugs. A combination of various factors influences the risk for dependency. The more factors an individual has, the greater the chance that taking it can lead to addiction. For instance:


People’s genes are born with accounts for half of a person’s risk of getting hooked on these substances. Ethnicity, the presence of mental disorders, and gender may also help influence risks for substance abuse or addiction and can have a huge effect on addiction treatment or therapy.


An individual’s environment includes tons of different influences, from friends and family members to the general quality of life and status. Factors like sexual and physical abuse, peer pressure, stress, parental guidance, and early exposure to drugs can have a huge effect on a person’s likelihood of substance dependency and abuse.


Environmental and genetic factors interact with crucial developmental stages in an individual’s life to affect substance abuse risk. Although taking narcotics can lead to addiction, the earlier it begins, the more likely it progress to addiction. It is especially problematic for young adults since the areas in their brains that help control judgment, self-control, and decision-making are still in development; young adults may be particularly prone to various risky behaviors, including drug use.