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Copyright © 2017 Connexion Psychological Practice Ltd.

Addiction

What is addiction?

An addiction is a recurring brain condition that is characterized through compulsive seeking of drugs and other harmful substances despite the fact that they are indeed deemed harmful towards the body. This highly affects the brain because of the fact that it changes its patterns immensely and also damages it. Lasting addictions to different drugs can have long term effects on the brain, changing behaviors, lifestyle, and ultimately the user themself.

Symptoms:

-Feeling the urge to use the drug many times a day

-Over time, using more of the drug in one sitting

-Maintaining a steady supply of the drug

-Experiencing withdrawals from the drug when you stop taking it

-Focusing more time and energy on the drug

 

Addictions can be easily diagnosed and can be easily inherited. At younger ages, people can easily become addicted to various drugs with marijuana, alcohol, and tobacco being the most popular among them. One of the most obvious symptoms of an addiction can be withdrawals which being where the user will reach anxiety over not being exposed to the drug for a certain period of time. Thus withdrawals are the main reason why people become addicted to drugs as they constantly desire them to make themselves feel good.

 

Addictions are a very serious problem and must be instantly treated. Long term addictions can have very dangerous and negative effects on the user such as brain and liver damage. In many cases, severe addictions can also cause overdoses which can be fatal. There can also be many social issues created by addictions such as relationships with family and friends. In many cases, users become so desperate for the drug that they reach poverty from spending all their savings on drugs.These new introduced behaviors and lifestyle of the user may negatively affect the user’s social life.

                          

Addictions in Children/Youth

The problem with more and more younger people nowadays is that they are more susceptible to drug addiction; and it can easily be taken too far, too fast. In the society that many children and young adults are raised up in, there can always be negative influences from classmates, friends, or even parents. The risk of youth developing addictions at an early age is very high and can negatively impact their own health, and the relationships between them and friends or family. Many families are permanently damaged as a result of addiction, from losing their own child from an overdose, to long term suffering. Addictions in youth have notably been more common in north america with adolescents between the ages of twelve to twenty five being the most affected. These common, easily accessible drugs such as alcohol and marijuana are also the main causes of youth crime, and suicide. This has had a widespread impact on many different communities across the world, leading to tragedy and loss.

Youth are more susceptible to addictions compared with adults because of their lack of brain development at an earlier age. This leads them to be easily influenced by others to give in to trying new drugs. It is always important for youth to be educated at an earlier age about the risks and dangers of using drugs. It is also important to make sure that they are around good influences at home and at school so they can avoid making these bad choices.

Getting youth into treatment immediately after the addiction occurs can save lives and prevent tragedy. It is better to have addiction therapy at an earlier age as our bodies become more vulnerable to the effects of drugs as we age, therefore the earlier someone goes through rehabilitation, the higher the chance of recovery will be.

 

Treatment:

Treatment for addiction usually begins with the withdrawal method, where the patient will be advised to stay away from the drug for a period of time. Although there are potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms, it is always medically supervised during treatment programs. This supervision helps relieve the stress and pain of withdrawal. Behavioral therapy is the next step of addiction treatment and asks the patient to motivate themselves into avoiding the drug and how to cope with the temptation of further using the drug. Self motivation however is something that is very difficult to overcome. Many drug users will find it very challenging to stay away from their addiction. Patients are advised to change their entire thoughts, feelings and behaviors in order to get out of the loop. Having better relationships in life such as choice of friends, or relationship to family are also very important steps to improving what influences the everyday choices you make. These positive social elements combined with self motivation combine to create a positive effect on drug addicts and enable them to lose their old habits for good.