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What Is Drug Addiction Characterized By?

The addiction to substances like drugs are defined as a chronic disease that can cause the brain to relapse. It is characterized by the compulsive desire to use despite its harmful consequences.

  • The addiction is considered as a brain disease because the drugs can potentially alter its structure and functions. Addicted users, often have changed brains functioning , which often leads to harmful social behaviors.
  • Addiction is just like any other disease as cancer or heart ailment; it is capable of disrupting the underlying organ’s’ normal and healthy functions.
  • They can also have very serious and harmful consequences that if left untreated, can last a lifetime.

Why Do People Take Drugs?

The reason for substance abuse varies from one individual to another. Most of them take it just to feel good as it gives off the feelings of intense pleasure. The user is then enticed to recreate the initial sensation of euphoria over and over again.

Stimulants like cocaine are known to provide self-confidence, and increased energy. By contrast, opiates like heroin can induce feelings of relaxation and satisfaction.

There are substance abusers, who are suffering from stress-related disorders, depression and social anxiety. They may resort to taking the drug just to lessen their feelings of distress. While stress plays a major role in the beginning of drug use, it also has a large part in continuing drug abuse as well as in relapse from recovering patients.


There are also those who take the drug due to intense pressure for excellence. Some substances have the capacity to chemically enhance their athletic and cognitive performance. It is common to see prescription stimulants and anabolic or androgenic steroids to be given for this purpose.


Then again there are those who were just curious at the beginning because others were doing it. Adolescents in particular are very vulnerable to succumb to peer pressure and strong influencers. In fact, teens are more likely to engage in risky or daring behaviors than adults just to impress their friends and feel independent from the society’s rules.

Why is the use of drugs a problem if it makes people feel better?

People feel positive effects in the “honeymoon stage” of using the drug. Making them believe that they can just control their use of it However, drugs can extremely take over a person’s life. In a prolonged time, pleasurable activities cease to give them “high” as the drug takes over their life and tricks them to use the substance to feel normal again. They may be under the compulsion to take drugs even if it no longer gives them pleasure.

While the first use of the drugs is usually voluntary, the continued use will eventually make them seriously impaired. The impairment of a person’s self-control is then the hallmark of addiction. Studies of people with addiction reveal that physical changes in the parts of the brain used in judgment, memory, learning, decision making and behavior control become affected. Research shows that addictive substances alter the way the human brain functions, which may help explain the destructive and compulsive behaviors of addiction.



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