What is the root of addiction?
In this current world we live in as outsiders, we always wonder how can people become addicted to such harmful substances? We tend to ask ourselves “what is the root of addiction?” No one will ever understand what the drive is. We see peer pressure, medication but how can such small inconveniences become such a dangerous problem?
Let's Start with the Facts
Addiction begins when adults or teens try drugs or alcohol for the first time. Addiction starts from the feeling alcohol and drugs give you. Drugs give you the euphoria affect. The euphoria affect makes you feel as if you escaped from life. The enjoyment of this feeling makes you want to continue to take drugs more and more. “It made me feel popular, powerful, happy and just relived” my interviewee mentioned. Alcohol gives you enjoyment. As you start to consume these substances more and more, the neurotransmitter dopamine is released in the brain which causes the feeling of pleasure. The memory region of your brain records a memory of this feeling. Over time this pleasurable feeling turns into very strong and intense cravings. These cravings are produced by the same mechanics in your brain that tell you to eat food and to survive. Once you’re caught into this “trap” it’s hard to stop and leave it. It’s very hard to leave this trap because now, whenever drugs are present it becomes the new normal rather to when they are not. This is how addictions form.
How does addiction arise?
A lot of teens and adults try new substances through curiosity, peer pressure, medicine etc. Peer pressure is defined as when a group of people or a person influences or pressures bad behavior onto an individual. From personal experience from people, it also could be when a group of people are doing and they feel the need to do it as well. Another way addiction arises are from medicated/prescripted drugs. Drugs recommended by doctor’s relief pain and cause a pleasurable feeling. This causes overdosage and abuse of these drugs. Depending on If its sleeping pills, adhd medicine or pain-relieving medicine, people abuse the ability of taking how much they want. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the commonly most abused type of prescription drug is narcotic, or opioid, pain relievers, including codeine and morphine. These types of drugs I just listed are usually prescribed for normal and severe pain. Drugs like these can be highly addictive and by continuing the abuse of these drugs can lead to a fatal overdose.
What is addiction? How does addiction impact your life?
Addiction now a days is considered a disease rather than a human being just lacking moral principles. This is because once you’re caught in this it’s very hard to get over or escape. Addiction is a chronic disease characterized by drug seeking and use that is compulsive or difficult to control, despite the harmful consequences. Long term drug abuse can affect learning, judgment, decision-making, stress, memory, and behavior in the long run. Addiction can come from the genes people are born with. Gender, Ethnicity, and the presence of other mental disorders may also influence risk for drug use and addiction. Like mentioned before there is peer pressure but it also comes from physical and sexual abuse, early exposure to drugs, stress, and parental guidance. Parental guidance can make one of the biggest Impacts. My interviewee mentioned that the worst part of his addiction was he wasnt able to tell he was addicted. He felt it was normal because he would move on from drug to drug and drink to drink. He mentioned he could feel his life being ruined over this, but he couldn’t do anything about it until he had to make sacrifices to change.
What happens when you attempt to quit?
When you stop using these substances you brain function can go back to normal but, we see withdrawal symptoms. Which can be mild or severe depending on how serious your addiction is. Withdrawal symptons are intense cravings that occur. They affect your mood, body and can make you feel very sick. They are the same cravings that you get for food and water. This is a major reason why its hard for people to quit drugs/drinking once they are addicted.
Exposure to Drugs
Early start to drugs can cause addiction rather than starting late. Everyone can get addicted at any age but if your younger the addiction is greater and more powerful. This is problematic for teens because there are parts of the brain that aren’t developed yet, and the smoking and drug use affects this. The part of the brain that isn’t developed is the decision-making part of your brain. This develops at 25 years old. Smoking can affect this so by the time of 25, this part of your brain won’t be able to develop properly so the decision making as an adult will be very poor. It is shown that 2.08 million or 8.33% of 12- to 17-year-olds nationwide report using drugs in the last month. This number is growing rapidly, and I doubt it will slow down soon.
Drug addiction is a deadly issue to get involved in. Your body is being controlled by substances. You can’t control yourself which could end very poorly. I believe the number of teens and the young ages drugs and alcohol are being introduced are also tragic. Children are taking drugs and no adults are taking action. Addiction can begin when you’re not aware and it's hard to escape. In our world you have to be smart and make sure you’re not feeling pressured or abusing your freedom with what you have.