How Is Drug Addiction A Disease?

 

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Many of us do not understand why or how people get addicted to drugs. The lack of awareness, in reality, create misconceptions. For instance, most people think that drug users lack moral principles and willpower to change leave the habit behind.

  • Addiction to drugs is a complex disease that makes it difficult for an individual to get away from the habit.
  • One of the most common effects of drug use is its ability to manipulate the brain.

Drug addiction, according to research, is 50 percent genetic predisposition and 50 percent poor coping skills.


A study was conducted involving 861 identical twins and 653 fraternal (non-identical) twins. With identical twins, one of the person in each of the pairs was observed to have a higher chance of becoming a drug addict, especially when one of them is addicted to alcohol. The non-identical twins, on the other hand, have an equal probability of becoming hooked on a drug, regardless of exposure to alcohol. According to the study’s findings, both identical and non-identical twins showed that genetic factors had a lot to do with the risk of becoming addicted. The chances are only enhanced with the other surrounding factors.

Higher chances of developing addiction have been observed in children of addicted individuals.

Another study was conducted featuring 231 people, who were diagnosed with either drugs or alcohol addiction. The population was compared to 61 other people who were neither into drug abuse or exposed to people with addiction. The study also looked into the first-degree relatives of those diagnosed with drugs or alcohol addiction. It was able to reveal that children of addicted individuals are eight (8) times more likely to develop an addiction. Through evolution and mutation, there are specific genes that are directly associated with addiction. Anatomy has predetermined our favorites; food and color for instance. If we eat something pleasurable to our taste, the brain will surely look for it in the future. The brain is designed to play favorites and repeatedly look for that certain item that brought about a pleasurable experience.

Everyone has the potential to become an addicted individual, but the discernment is in each one of us. While a person may get easily addicted to alcohol, another individual is more drawn to trying out illicit drugs.

Abusing the use of alcohol or drugs is just like conditioning your mind to the use of it.

Even if your genetic makeup does not predetermine you to become an addicted individual, you still have a possibility of developing the habit because of the environment you are in. The frequency of using alcohol or drugs is one of the biggest reasons why the brain is kind of rewired when illicit substances get into the bloodstream. Eventually, it may lead to constantly searching for drugs or alcohol because your mind only associates pleasure with it.

While the genes make people predisposed to drug addiction, around 50% of addiction cases are also attributed to poor coping skills. That same 50 percent is what most people have to make a difference and experience a better life, especially with those who came from families that have addicted parents.

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