Sunday, April 26, 2009

Drug Addiction

Drug addiction is a brain disease because the abuse of drugs leads to changes in the structure and function of the brain. Although it is true that for most people the initial decision to take drugs is voluntary, over time the changes in the brain caused by repeated drug abuse can affect a person's self control and ability to make sound decisions, and at the same time send intense impulses to take drugs.
It is because of these changes in the brain that it is so challenging for a person who is addicted to stop abusing drugs. Fortunately, there are treatments that help people to counteract addiction's powerful disruptive effects and regain control. Research shows that combining addiction treatment medications, if available, with behavioural therapy is the best way to ensure success for most patients. Treatment approaches that are tailored to each patient's drug abuse patterns and any co-occurring medical, psychiatric, and social problems can lead to sustained recovery and a life without drug abuse.
Similar to other chronic, relapsing diseases, such as diabetes, asthma, or heart disease, drug addiction can be managed successfully. And, as with other chronic diseases, it is not uncommon for a person to relapse and begin abusing drugs again. Relapse, however, does not signal failure—rather, it indicates that treatment should be reinstated, adjusted, or that alternate treatment is needed to help the individual regain control and recover.

5 comments:

thinktank1987 said...

I am a counselor and I am astonished to see such a through and simple explaination about drug addiction on internet. I have a question few of my counselees say that if they start drugs after several years after treatment than it won't be harmful for them? please explain me how can i explain my that if they start drug addiction it will be even more harmful for them.

Dr. Mahmooda Aftab said...

Thank you for your comment. Mostly people with drug abuse/addiction are in denial and they come up with such questions.
You need to handle them and be able to help them come out of denial. Give them examples to make them realize that they are in denile. Help them work on Step 1 of NA and help them to accept the nature of the disease they are having.
You need to educate your clients that drug addiction is a replasing disease. Mostly people experience cravings for 3 years after leaving drugs and for 3 years they are at risk of using drugs again. Craving for drug addiction comes for a very little time and they need to learn about how to handle cravings.

Anonymous said...

i want to ask u that why some peole become addicted nd some from the same enviornmen and circumstances do not go towards the drugs despite of having genetic reasons?

Dr. Mahmooda Aftab said...

Nature and Nurture: they both play their role. People start using drugs because of the environmental factors like tension,stress, anxiety, sexual problems, family problems, financial problems and peer pressure. Peer pressure is said to be the most common reason of using drugs. Some people become dependent on drugs or alcohol and some don't. The reason is chemical changes in the brain caused by repeated drug use and then the person is helpless. on the other hand some don't become dependent on drugs or alcohol because they don't have predispositions. If somebody is having genetic reasons and at the same time his or her environment is favourable,which means he or she is able to cope with the stressful situations, the chances are greater of not using drugs. This the main concept behind our Peer Counsling Progam. We help young students develop coping skills to resist peer pressure and other risk factors.

sumaira said...

hello, i want to know that why as if some people from the same enviornment stat using drugs and some from the same enviornment and circumstances do'nt go for the drugs beyond of genatic reasons??

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