Drug addiction: causes and consequences


Find out in this article what drug addiction is, its causes, its consequences, and how to overcome it to avoid falling into deep drug addiction.

Table of contents

There are people who do not understand how other people can develop an addiction to drugs, mistakenly thinking that those who use drugs lack moral principles or willpower and that they could stop drug use without any problem.

However, drug addiction is a complex phenomenon, a multitude of factors play a role in the causes and consequences of addiction, and stopping use requires more than good intentions or intense willpower.

In this article, we will talk about drug addiction, its causes and consequences.

Lines of coke
Lines of coke

What is drug addiction?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an addiction is a physical and psychological illness that creates a dependence on a substance, activity or relationship.

To be more specific, drug addiction is a condition in which a person engages in the use of a substance for which the rewarding effects provide an incentive to continue that use behavior repeatedly despite the consequences.

Addiction can involve the use of alcohol, inhalants, opiates, cocaine , nicotine, and other substances.

There is scientific evidence that addictive substances and behaviors share a key neurobiological characteristic: intense activation of reward and reinforcement pathways in the brain, many of which involve dopamine.

Drug addiction has a high probability of being accompanied by different mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety or other problems. In addition, it is characterized by social deterioration with interruption of daily activities and social relationships, since continuous consumption is usually detrimental to relationships and work or school obligations.

It is also common for them to continue using despite the physical or psychological damage caused by such consumption. And, usually, tolerance to the substance increases as the body adjusts to the presence of the substance.

Effects of drug addiction

Drug use has effects at various levels, from the brain or biological level to contextual effects.

Fortunately, research has advanced a lot and today we know some of the effects of drugs on the life of the person who has developed addiction, as well as treatments that can help people recover from addiction and get involved in a healthy life.

What are the causes of drug use?

Not all people who use drugs become addicted. There is not a single factor involved or causing addiction, it would rather be a set of social, biological, environmental or contextual factors that would increase the risk of a person being addicted to drugs.

To gain an in-depth understanding of drug addiction, its causes and consequences, we must take into account the following risk factors:

  • Biological factors: These factors along with environmental factors increase a person's vulnerability to developing addiction. Being a man or having a mental health disorder can increase your risk.
  • Environmental or contextual factors: Family, friends, and socioeconomic status have a significant impact on a person's likelihood of developing an addiction. Domestic violence , physical or sexual abuse, stress, and peer pressure can influence the development of addiction.
  • Developmental factors: Although people can become addicted at any age, the earlier substance use occurs, the more likely that use will become addiction.

Consequences of addiction and drug use

Nowadays, part of the deaths, illnesses, accidents or others can be caused by substance abuse. Dependence on drugs prolonged over time interferes with a person's life and has effects on almost all the organs of the human body.

Consequences of drug addiction on the body

Although each drug has different harmful effects, here are some of the common conditions that substance use can cause:

  • Damaged immune system – which increases susceptibility to various infections
  • Cardiovascular conditions – including heart attacks and collapsed veins
  • Nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain
  • Overexertion of the liver or liver failure
  • Convulsions and shocks
  • Widespread brain damage that can interfere with memory, attention, and decision-making, as well as even permanent brain damage.

Social consequences of drug use

On the other hand, some of the worst effects of substance use are not related to health. Substance use can have a number of detrimental consequences for a person's psychological and social well-being. Some of these consequences are:

  • Job's lose
  • Loss of important or appropriate relationships for the person
  • Economic problems
  • Risk behaviors
  • be homeless
  • Imprisonment

Many of these problems can be reversed or minimized by quitting the addiction, but there may be some health and emotional problems that will remain over time. The best way to prevent permanent damage is prompt professional addiction treatment.

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Disclaimer: This article is purely informative, I have no authority to make a diagnosis or recommend treatment. I invite you to visit a psychologist to treat your particular case.