Why Do People Use Drugs? And How to Stop !
Why Do People Use Drugs? Mental health and substance use disorders affect people from all walks of life and all age groups. These illnesses are common, recurrent, and often serious, but they are treatable and many people do recover. Mental disorders involve changes in thinking, mood, and/or behavior. These disorders can affect how we relate to others, and make choices.
Reaching a level that can be formally diagnosed often depends on a reduction in a person’s ability to function as a result of the disorder.
Serious mental illness is defined by someone over 18 having (within the past year) a diagnosable mental, behavior, or emotional disorder that causes serious functional impairment that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.
For people under the age of 18, the term “Serious Emotional Disturbance” refers to a diagnosable mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder in the past year, which resulted in functional impairment that substantially interferes with or limits the child’s role or functioning in family, school, or community activities.
Substance use disorders occur when the recurrent use of alcohol and/or drugs causes clinically significant impairment, including health problems, disability, and failure to meet major responsibilities at work, school, or home.
The coexistence of both a mental health and a substance use disorder is referred to as co-occurring disorders. The National Institute for Mental Health’s Mental Health Information page has information about specific conditions and disorders as well as their symptoms.
Why do people use drugs?
In general, people take drugs for a few reasons:
- To feel euphoric
- To cope with pain
- To have more confidence
- To aid depression
- To name but a few
Drugs can produce intense feelings of pleasure. This initial euphoria is followed by other effects, which differ with the type of drug used.
For example, with stimulants such as cocaine, the high is followed by feelings of power, self-confidence, and increased energy. In contrast, the euphoria caused by opioids such as heroin is followed by feelings of relaxation and satisfaction.
To feel better. Some people who suffer from social anxiety, stress, and depression
start using drugs to try to feel less anxious.
Stress can play a major role in starting and continuing drug use as well as relapse (return to drug use) in patients recovering from addiction.
Some people feel pressure to improve their focus in school or at work or their abilities in sports. This can play a role in trying or continuing to use drugs, such as prescription stimulants or cocaine.
Curiosity and social pressure.
In this respect, teens are particularly at risk because peer pressure can be very strong. Adolescence is a developmental period during which the presence of risk factors, such as peers who use drugs, may lead to substance use.
Do people choose to keep using drugs?
The initial decision to take drugs is typically voluntary. But with continued use, a person’s ability to exert self-control can become seriously impaired. This impairment in self-control is the hallmark of addiction.
Brain imaging studies of people with addiction show physical changes in areas of the brain that are critical to judgment, decision-making, learning and memory, and behavior control.12 These changes help explain the compulsive nature of addiction.
Can drug addiction be treated?
Yes, but it’s not simple. Because addiction is a chronic disease, people can’t simply stop using drugs for a few days and be cured. Most patients need long-term or repeated care to stop using completely and recover their lives.
Addiction treatment must help the person do the following:
- Stop using drugs for good.
- Manage painful emotions
- Be productive in the family, at work, and in society
- Identify Triggers and manage cravings .
- And much more.
Principles of Effective Treatment
Based on scientific research since the mid-1970s, the following key principles
should form the basis of any effective treatment program:
- Addiction is a complex but treatable disease that affects brain function and behavior.
- No single treatment is right for everyone.
- People need to have quick access to treatment.
- Effective treatment addresses all of the patient’s needs, not just his or her drug use.
- Staying in treatment long enough is critical.
- Counseling and other behavioral therapies are the most commonly used forms of treatment.
- Medications are often an important part of treatment, especially when combined with behavioral therapies.
- Treatment plans must be reviewed often and modified to fit the patient’s changing needs.
- Treatment should address other possible mental disorders.
- Medically assisted detoxification is only the first stage of treatment.
- Treatment doesn’t need to be voluntary to be effective.
- Drug use during treatment must be monitored continuously.
- Treatment programs should test patients for HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C,
Tuberculosis, and other infectious diseases as well as teach them about steps they can take to reduce their risk of these illnesses.
What are treatments for drug addiction?
There are many options that have been successful in treating drug addiction,
- Behavioral counseling
- Relapse prevention
- 12 step work
- Family Therapy
- Evaluation and treatment for co-occurring mental health issues such as
- Depression and anxiety
- long-term follow-up to prevent relapse
A range of care with a tailored treatment program and follow-up options can be crucial to success.
Treatment should include both medical and mental health services as needed. Follow-up care may include community- or family-based recovery support systems.
Contact your nearest provider today and find out how, we can help .
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