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Obsession, compulsion, dependence, fixation, they are all terms that embrace addiction. On its own, addiction isn’t all that harmful. Someone could be addicted to their favorite soap opera, sushi, or iced tea. The good part is that eventually, the addiction will cease.
The bad part is when dangerous drugs are involved. Not only is the addiction life-threatening, it’s also difficult to avoid. As soon is someone is exposed to these dangerous drugs, all it takes is a little push and they’re hooked.
What is Addiction?
Addiction happens when the body seeks a certain pleasure-inducing behavior or substance. The activity or substance becomes a coping mechanism, used to relieve tension and stress. This is just one of the definitions.
In the case of drugs, addiction happens when the body adjusts to the drug. Known as tolerance, the body calibrates itself so that the drug has less effect. In order to get the same high, they have to increase the dose.
Thankfully, it’s not a linear road to disaster. To be clear, taking your first dose does not quickly make you addicted. There are several factors that give that push into the road of addiction.
What Will Push You Into Addiction?
We always do pleasurable things. Even if the activity or substance does not directly cause pleasure, it can still happen. When it stimulates the pleasure center of your brain, you’ll naturally want more of it. A good example is the runner’s high. The natural high makes you feel good and you’ll jog the next day because of it.
Accessibility is the first push. No access to drugs means no drugs. The law makes absolutely sure it stays that way. If someone had used drugs for the very first time, they might seek another dose. If the drug is accessible, they can get their second dose, and so on.
The first push happens when the drug is used to avoid stress. If the stress is constant, so will be the usage. The problem with drugs is that it produces “better” results than natural substances or activities. Exercise may give the high and tension release a person needs, but it requires effort. If the substance is accessible, then it’s an easy way out of the tension.
The third push lies on the body’s adaptation to the product. The absence of the drug can cause withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal causes shivering, sweating, irritability, and anxiety. Bottom line, it’s unpleasant.
The final push more indirect. When people close to the user starts to grown concerned, they either confront or avoid them. When confronted, an addict’s first response is to deny. When they can’t, they try to stay away. This isolates the person from people who could possibly help them. It gets worse when the depression sets in. Away from help and depressed, the only thing they can turn to is their addiction.
It gets to a point where the person is enslaved by the drug. All these factors inevitably push people deeper and deeper into their addiction. If left untreated, addicts will fall into a downward spiral. Their social, mental and physical health will corrode until it’s too late.
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