Drug addiction (now known as substance use disorder) is an involuntary long-term condition characterised by compelling, repetitive and potentially fatal urges to consume mind altering drugs, regardless of the knowledge that the consequences are extremely harmful. You do not start taking drugs with the intention of becoming dependent, but rather to obtain temporary states of wellbeing, yet the influence develops to a point beyond your control.
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How drug hell starts:
Most victims of drug use disorder start with a disadvantage they are unaware of. They are usually vulnerable to it before they start taking drugs, due to a host of elements that shape their lives, such as a dysfunctional childhood, trauma in adulthood, environmental factors, genetics and other acute sensitivities. They are lured into it by social pressures, experimentation and a need or desire for emotional comfort.
How drug hell affects you:
Drugs can take complete control and turn you into an unwilling slave. You know it is destroying you and everything that is valuable to you, but you are compelled to carry on taking it. It changes your thought processes and you do things contrary to your nature. Your motivation is often misinterpreted and subjected to social bias. Your actions can result in prosecution. You can become an outcast and lose everything.
How drug hell can end:
Drug use disorder has only one of two outcomes. There are no safe or guaranteed grey areas of redemption in between. You can steadfastly refuse to accept help and continue to progressively spiral deeper into the whirlpool that is destroying yourself and all that is valuable to you. Alternatively, you can bravely submit to reason, no matter how difficult, unpleasant or frightening it seems, accept treatment and be saved.
How drugs enter peoples lives
From birth you are exposed to many influences that shape your adaptations to the world around you. As a child you can encounter traumatic circumstances and, without proper guidance or experience, be forced to find your own solutions to soothe. In adulthood, uninvited distressing events and circumstances can overwhelm you. People differ and many of us are not equipped to deal with these disruptions, so our stress, anxiety and or depression levels can start to take over.
When we encounter drugs, a common thing nowadays, we are often so enthralled by the temporary relief it brings, that we eagerly grab this straw as a crutch to assist us. We know that it is addictive, but we tend to believe that we will not fall for it or simple need the substance as part of a natural coping mechanism for day to day life.
These coping mechanisms are a natural mental response that enables us to do everyday things that are inherently risky, but cannot be avoided, such as crossing a busy street. We all have it in us to cross the street however if crossing a busy road triggers an unfavourable childhood memory of a car accident we would experience an unnatural and subconscious fear of the simple task. These memories follow us into adult hood and accumulate overtime. Completely irrational to our conscious lives we are drawn to finding soothing outlets to ease theses subconscious burdens.
At first we enjoy the soothing or dissociative effects of the drug.
We start using it more often, because it seems to work well, so why not make the most of it? The danger is that addictive drugs cause tolerance, a feature that forces you to take more and more of it each time you use it, before you can get the same rewarding effect.
In these ways, the drug sets deeper into your problem and solution coping mechanisms until it becomes part of your conscious persona and entrenched into your day to day survival mechanics.
Apart from tolerance, the moment you stop, an addictive drug hits back with withdrawal symptoms. This is because your body becomes used to the drug and can not function properly if you suddenly reduce or stop feeding it the drug. This is where you pass the point of self regulation and can no longer control your life. You start focusing intensely on the drug, at the cost of everything else.
List of common addiction disorders