Drug Addiction

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What is drug addiction?
-Drug addiction is a complex brain disease. It is characterized by compulsive, at times uncontrollable, drug craving, seeking, and use that persist even in the face of extremely negative consequences. -Drug seeking becomes compulsive, in large part as a result of the effects of prolonged drug use on brain functioning and, thus, on behavior. For many people, drug addiction becomes chronic, with relapses possible even after long periods of abstinence. Drug addiction is a chronic, often relapsing brain disease that causes compulsive drug seeking and use despite harmful consequences to the individual that is addicted and to those around them. 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 behavioral 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.

How Do Drugs Affect The People Around
Environment
* One of the largest ways in which drug abuse affects families is the creation of an unstable environment. Children especially are influenced and affected by their parents behaviors. As such, a sibling can also be affected by the actions of another sibling who is abusing drugs. Drugs can affect the way family members talk, act and care for their families. For example, the drug can often come before basic needs such as food, clothing or even the love and attention a child needs to have a stable environment. All of these actions can have long-lasting effects on others in the household, especially young children who grow up with drug abusers as role models. These effects can include the child following in the abuser's footsteps, especially if they have never seen what a functional family should look like. Financial

* Drug abuse can affect both family and friends financially. This can come both from enabling and from theft. Enabling is the action of helping a user with his habit because you feel bad for him, or feel it is keeping him around long enough for you to be able to change them. One of the main ways that enabling occurs is through directly or indirectly financing the drug habit through loaning or giving money to the addict. Drug abuse can also lead addicts to steal from friends and family members to support their habit. Violence

* Drug abuse can also affect family and friends by inviting violence into the relationship. There are two main times where violence can quickly escalate for an addict: during extreme highs and during withdrawal. Alcohol is an especially guilty substance for causing violence when users are well over the legal limit of blood alcohol content. This can cause violence both through direct actions, such as getting in a fight, as well as indirect...
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