Addiction: A Disease That Does Not Discriminate, Sort Of
“I’m a Heroin Addict.” Those were the words from Philip Seymour Hoffman at Sundance Film Festival, weeks before his death. Social media buzzed with conversations that range from netizens criticizing him to netizens expressing feelings of sadness and pity.
A lot of people discussed the sudden media exposure on heroin addiction when it’s has long been devastating communities with minorities in Los Angeles, CA. Others lamented the manner in which the media portrayed drugs addict from inner-city regions as criminals and crackheads as opposed to individuals also in need of help. There was a heated conversation between netizens with different view, and this eventually led to a heated debate on drug addiction and equality.
The most surprising part of the discussion was that it proved many people believe that drug addiction only affects minorities in inner-city communities in Los Angeles, CA and other areas. The truth is, addiction affects people from all walks of life. Sure, the media may portray some individuals negatively through stereotypes. Sure, racial and ethnic disparities may exist. However, one thing that’s certain is that addiction does not play favourites.
Addiction does not discriminate!
Anyone Can Become Addicted to Drugs
The phrase “addiction does not discriminate,” simple means that anyone can become addicted to drugs. Yes, not everyone who tries drug socially will become an addict. The phrase is simply meant to remind us that anyone who uses drugs, risks becoming an addict, whether he’s an Oscar winner or someone from a poor background.
For instance, say two teenagers attend the same party in Los Angeles, CA. One is from a wealthy family in Beverly Hills and the other from a lower class family in Anaheim. If both decide to try heroin, there is no guarantee that both will or will not become addicts. What is certain is that both risk becoming addicted to the substance. This is because the brain plays a greater role in determining how someone becomes addicted to drugs rather than their social or economic standing.
The Brain’s Role In Drug Addiction
When a person takes heroin or any other type of drug, he or she will begin to experience unnatural feelings of happiness and joy. The drug activates the reward circuit in the brain that is involve with pleasure and motivation, releasing two times the amount of dopamine that natural rewards do. Of course some users may also experience other effects on the user. Some first-time users for instance get nauseated while those who smoke heroin and other drugs may experience some coughing. However, in most cases there will be some changes in the brain after repeated usage.
To compensate for the unnatural levels of dopamine, neurons may release less dopamine. This in turn causes the reward circuit in the brain to be severely weakened. Life may begin to seem joyless without the drug. As a result many people continue usage in order to regain that feeling of happiness, taking larger amounts each time.
Drug Addiction Spans All Races, Affecting The Wealthy the Poor, And Everyone In Between
Overall the reason behind addiction remains an open question. Although we know what effect drug has on the brain, there is no telling how often a person will need to take the substance in order to become an addict. One thing that has long been known is that addicts experience less feelings of pleasure because of their unnaturally low dopamine levels.
Still, there’s no race, gene, social environment or any predisposing physical elements that sentence a person to a life of substance abuse. Drug addiction knows no race or age. Drug addiction knows no religion. Drug addiction knows no social class. Drug addiction does not discriminate. Academy
Award winning actor, Phillip Seymour Hoffman was not only adored by millions worldwide but was also highly respected among his peers. Through the media we saw what appeared to be a happy and successful man who enjoyed being around his family when not working. However, Hoffman had been struggling with heroin addiction long before his death.
The truth is, contrary to what the media may portray, drug addiction spans all races. It affects people in poor inner city communities and it also affects those living in affluent neighbourhoods in Los Angeles, CA. What you should always try to remember is that, every addict needs and deserve access to proper treatment, regardless of their address, race or socioeconomic standing.
Speak Up and Offer Your Support
Understanding drug use addiction is important if you have an addict in your family. Addiction does cause behavioural changes, so it’s important that you try to separate the addict from who he or she once was. Remember that it’s not the person that lies, it’s the addict. It’s not the person that tries to steal from you, it’s the addict that does. It’s not the person that fights and screams insulting words at his/her family, it’s the addict. Still, sadly, it the person that you’ll lose to addiction, not the addict.
As with most chronic disease, the earlier they receive treatment, the better their chances are at recovery. Don’t be hesitate to voice your concerns to your love one and offer your assistance to help them get the help they need.
At BLVD drug rehab centers in Los Angeles, CA, we can assist you with giving your loved ones the support they need, from assisting you with the intervention to providing specialized care. During our many years of operation, we’ve provide drug addiction treatment to individuals of all races, from various social background in Los Angeles, CA, and will continue to do so. We’ve learnt that addiction does not discriminate and that’s why each of our patients receive the same level of attention and care when they enter our doors. Give us a call at (888) 896–5234 to find out how we can help you.