Addiction is a brain disease that can cause permanent brain damage, as well as severely affect both the mind and body. People that are experiencing substance abuse disorder often experience changes in their behavior, perceptions, judgment, and decision making. People can begin taking drugs for a variety of different reasons, including:
An addict may see drugs as a normalized behavior because everyone around them uses drugs and do not discuss the dangers. However, someone can also use drugs due to peer pressure. This is when someone or a group of people constantly try to get someone to do something, usually negative.
Someone may start first using drugs as a way to improve their performance either at sports or academics. An aspiring college athlete may start taking drugs to help them perform better during their track meet. Unfortunately, this can have dangerous consequences.
An addict may have started using a drug as a means of relieving pent up stress because they heard that drugs produce an intense high feeling. Drugs do release a very intense feeling of pleasure, but it causes your brain to continuously seek that same high.
To Feel Better
Someone who becomes addicted to drugs may have started taking them in an effort to self-medicate. They may be struggling with a different underlying mental illness and are trying to treat the symptoms. However, this can just complicate matters.
Permanent Effects of Addiction on the Brain
Both short-term and long-term use of drugs and alcohol can have lasting effects on the brain. Your brain changes by being unable to resist the need to experience the same high that you had while on drugs.
Nothing else is able to compare or give you the same pleasure that you experienced while on the drugs. This is because your reward pathways have been rewired, either temporarily or permanently. Even if this has happened, there is still hope. The Arizona Addiction Recovery Center works with patients to help manage their symptoms and return to the most fulfilling life they can achieve.
Drugs and alcohol are destructive and can work in different ways. The brain will also try to adapt and make changes, according to what it is feeling on the drugs. Besides the reward pathway rewiring, the addict may also experience a complete loss of being able to experience pleasure. Among other things, this can lead to severe mental illness.
Social Impacts Of Drug Abuse
Addiction can affect anyone and nobody is immune. Unfortunately, when addiction strikes there are social impacts that can occur. While all facets of an addict’s life will be affected by addiction.
An addict could experience the loss of their friends. Addiction often causes relationships to become strained, including those of friends and family. Emotions could run high in these relationships, which may cause some people to cut ties with the addict due to their behavior.
The addict could be expelled from higher education. Drugs and alcohol are not permitted on school grounds and could even result in legal action. Some college and even high school students have been known to self-medicate to help them better prepare for tests or other academia. Students suffering from addiction may also bring paraphernalia to class. This can result in expulsion from the school system and you may even be arrested.
The addict could be kicked out of any teams or clubs they are part of. People may use drugs in order to enhance their academic or sports performance, as well as use while at special events. Drugs can affect your breathing, heart rate, senses, and coordination. It is very dangerous to throw these random variables during sports activities. If someone catches wind, you will be thrown from the team and could even face legal action.
An addict could experience a loss of their job. Someone suffering from addiction could lost their jobs for several different reasons. An addict experiences an intense need for a drug and this could lead to the addict using drugs instead of going to work. These missed days could lead to termination. An addict may also not be able to perform while at work because they are under the influence. The addict could also feel inclined to bring drug paraphernalia into work or get high while at work, which would lead to getting let go from the job.
Teenagers And Drug or Alcohol Abuse
Teens are more likely to see the perceived positive social benefits that can come from drug and alcohol use versus the negative implications that can happen. Teenagers are more likely to want to engage in risk-taking behavior.
So, experimenting with drug and alcohol during these years often reaches its peak. During the teenage years of development, massive growth spurts occur both physically and mentally. The frontal cortex is primarily responsible for good decision making. However, it is not usually fully developed until well after the teenage years. Drug and alcohol abuse can also affect the brain and body in other ways.
Drugs and alcohol can cause the brain to rewire itself, falsely recognizing the high as what it needs to strive for. The teenage brain, during this crucial period of development, can also affect short-term or long-term memory. The list below contains what can occur to the teenage brain during substance abuse.
- Damaged Synapses
- Memory problems
- Habits that are unhealthy for both the body and mind
- Limiting learning potential
If you or someone you love is suffering from addiction, the best course of action is to get help immediately. Addiction can cause damage to both the mind and body, even leaving addicts with permanent effects. This potentially fatal disease can affect all aspects of a person’s life.
All addicts deserve to get help for their disease. The Arizona Addiction Recovery Center believes that the road to recovery is unique for all addicts. This is why they work closely with an addict to give them personalized attention and create an individualized plan that will work best for them. Their various treatment options give addicts the opportunity to treat all their symptoms and work on creating a healthier life.