Author: Gary Jackson

Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction: Introduction

Drug abuse changes how the brain works and triggers can take a drug user or recovering addict back to the time when the substance use brought those feelings of pleasure. The self-medication theory of addiction suggests that suffering is at the heart of addictive disorders (Khantzian, 2012). That is, individuals with deficits in skills relevant for modifying emotional reactions and tolerance for negative emotions use drugs in an attempt to manage negative or distressing states.

  • The sooner you seek help, the greater your chances for a long-term recovery.
  • In most cases, willpower is not enough to stop using drugs, as chronic drug use is not often a choice.
  • Individuals with substance abuse disorder are also three times more likely to develop a mental illness.
  • Synthetic cannabinoids, also called K2 or Spice, are sprayed on dried herbs and then smoked, but can be prepared as an herbal tea.
  • Signs and symptoms of inhalant use vary, depending on the substance.
  • There is a tendency for curious and impressionable individuals to want to see what the excitement is all about.

It is characterized by compulsive and uncontrollable drug cravings. Those who are addicted will continue to use and seek out drugs, despite the adverse consequences in their lives. Prolonged drug abuse creates lasting changes in the brain, re-wiring how it works.

Common Causes of Drug Abuse

In doing so, prevalence of, and attitudes towards drug use are firstly examined. Influences on why people use illicit drugs are subsequently explored through the lens of established risk factors. Drug use and dependence are embedded within a complex interplay of invidual, genetic, cultural, and socio-economic components. In most cases, willpower is not enough to stop using drugs, as chronic drug use is not often a choice. Drug addiction is a brain disease, and people who cannot stop using are not necessarily weak, flawed, or immoral.

Why Do People Use Drugs

Thrill seekers love to take part in exciting activities that carry some risk. The fact that most drugs (except alcohol and nicotine) are illegal in most places fuels the desire in some people to try them. Recreational marijuana use is legal in Canada but still outlawed in many parts of the world.