Drug Dependence

For some people it is very difficult to understand that drugs can change a drug consumer’s reactions. Drugs produce specific reactions in the brain that lead to compulsive drug use. One of the common misconceptions is that those who abuse drugs should be able to stop doing so, believing that just “willing it” will suffice to change their behaviour. But drug addiction is a disorder that affects the brain in different ways. For a person with drug dependence simply deciding to give up is not enough.

Although it is true that for most people the decision to take drugs for the first time is voluntary, over time changes in the brain caused by substance abuse can affect a person’s self-control and ability to make healthy decisions.

People’s fascination with drugs is not a new phenomenon, psychoactive substances are known and used in all historical periods. When a person becomes drug dependent it is recommended to seek specialized help to start the recovery process. Addiction treatment begins with the recognition of these problems and the desire to overcome them. Guide to Rehab specialists recommend personalized rehab treatment options that will help you start the road to recovery.

The use of toxic substances is a major public health problem due to the public’s increased use of illicit substances and the reverberation it has on social development and adaptation, and the high morbidity and mortality rate to which it is closely related.

About drug dependence

Drugs are psychoactive substances that generate physical and mental dependence which can lead to severe disorders of mental activity, perception and behaviour.

Drug addiction is a psychosomatic condition, resulting from the person’s interaction with a specific psychoactive substance (psychotropics). Drug addiction can lead to behavioural disorders and a lack of self-control; it involves a permanent, continuous or periodic desire to use the drug, in order to obtain certain psychic effects.

Symptoms of drug abuse:

  • the permanent need for continuous or regular use of a natural or synthetic drug, tending to increase the initial dose
  • physical and mental dependence
  • inability to stop using drugs
  • psychopathological and physiological manifestations that occur in case of sudden interruptions of substance use
  • physical, mental, moral, and social degradation following long-term drug use

When drug use is stopped abruptly, the person with dependence may experience drug withdrawal syndrome.

Many of the drug withdrawal symptoms are opposite in reaction to the drug administered, these symptoms can be more severe in the case of heightened and short-lived toxic substances such as heroin. Withdrawal syndrome can lead to death.

Causes of drug use

A single factor is not enough to determine whether a person will become dependent on psychotropics or just an occasional consumer using drugs recreationally without any serious effects. The global risk of dependence is influenced by the individual biological matrix, and it can even be influenced by gender or ethnicity, his stage of development, psychobehavioral factors (personality, attitudes, activities) and social/cultural environment – interpersonal relationships (school, colleagues, family).

The most common key elements which determine someone to use drugs are:

  • curiosity, looking for new experiences, the attraction for forbidden pleasures, fascination with the perception of potential danger
  • the antisocial connotation of toxic substance abuse, which leads to the denial of social values and the system; escape from a world perceived as hostile
  • drugs can provide the temporary illusion of intellectual performance growth or the capacity for artistic creation
  • a need to compensate the inability to deal with emotionally-charged situations
  • peer pressure
  • other life problems and/or coming of age (family, school, friends)
  • self-medication for anxiety, social phobias, insomnia, negative symptoms of mental illness

Drug classification

Drugs that inhibit nerve centers:

  • cannabis
  • opium
  • morphine
  • morphine derivatives
  • heroin
  • methadone
  • pethidine
  • codeine

Drugs that stimulate the nerve centers:

  • cocaine
  • amphetamines

Hallucinogenic drugs:

  • lSD
  • ecstasy
  • phencyclidine
  • peyote
  • psilocybin and psilocin

Changes in the brain after drug abuse

Drugs are chemicals that disrupt the brain’s connections and the communication system affecting the way neurons normally send, receive and process information. There are at least two ways drugs can affect the brain: by imitating the brain’s natural chemical messengers, and/or by overstimulating the brain’s “reward circuit.”

Some drugs, such as marijuana or heroin, have similar structures to brain messengers, called neurotransmitters, which are naturally produced by the brain. This similarity allows drugs to “trick” the brain’s receptors and activate nerve cells to send abnormal messages.

Risk factors in drug addiction

The risks associated with drug use vary depending on the substance taken, dose and route of administration, as well as the patient’s status. These include:

  • acute toxicity
  • psychobehavioral effects
  • toxic effects of drug-associated substances, dual diagnosis conditions, mental disorders
  • professional difficulties, problems within the family
  • high risk of crime (personality disorders, poverty, relationships with other drug users and previous incarceration or drug use, are all factors that can influence a drug dependent to commit crime)

Getting help for drug dependence

Fortunately, adequate treatment helps patients fight the powerful effects of addiction and regain control from drug dependence; Guide to Rehab is here for you if you are looking for a rehabilitation center in the UK.

The rehab specialist adapts the recovery programme to be compatible with each patient’s needs, using both recovery treatment and cognitive behaviour therapy.

Rehabilitation varies depending on the type of drug and each patient’s medical history. Using a personalized treatment suitable for each patient’s needs is essential for his full recovery and social reintegration.

The detox program must address the individual’s drug use and any other associated medical, psychological, social, vocational, and legal issues in order to be effective. Treating drug addiction is a long-term process and frequently requires multiple sessions of treatment.

The medically assisted detox programme is only the first stage of the drug recovery process. The rehab programme is continuously evaluated and modified, as appropriate, to ensure that it meets the changing needs of the patient.

Remember that sudden cessation of substance use can lead to serious life-threatening effects. The medically supervised detoxification process can minimize withdrawal symptoms, reducing complications. In our rehab centers, the drug recovery process is safer and easier. Our specialists treat drug dependence using detox treatments that meet each patient’s needs.