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Article Summary

Does Recreational Drug Use Lead to Addiction?

Recreational drug rehab often leads to addiction. Recreational drug use is a practice that dates to prehistoric times. There is archaeological evidence of the use of psychoactive substances dating back at least 10,000 years, and historical evidence of cultural use over the past 5,000 years. While medicinal use seems to have played a very large role, it has been suggested that the urge to alter one's consciousness is as primary as the drive to satiate thirst, hunger or sexual desire.

Others suggest that marketing, availability, or the pressures of modern life are why humans use so many mind altering substances in their daily lives. However, the long history of drug use and even children's desire for spinning, swinging, or sliding indicates that the drive to alter one's state of mind is universal.

It is a fact that as people consumes drugs they are making changes in their brain and the way it functions. No one can predict how many times it takes for a recreational drug user to become an addict. For a select few, they never develop an addiction problem. However, the majority of recreational drug users find their habit becomes an obsession. They begin to abuse the drugs that once brought them so much pleasure and find that they rely on them just to get though the day. Eventually, they lose control over their actions and become drug addicts who will do whatever it takes to get their next “high”.

Drug Use and Peer Pressure

Many people start off merely experimenting with drugs, especially in the teen years. The strong need to belong, combined with peer influence, all too often convince someone to drink or use drugs all in the name of “fun”. Oftentimes, friends and family have no idea that alcohol or drug use is occurring until it begins to cross the line into drug abuse. It can be difficult to pinpoint when recreational drug use turns into drug abuse. The individual engaging in drug abuse may start using drugs alone instead of socially, and become more secretive.

Once an user becomes an addict, they lose control of their higher faculties in the brain. They begin to abuse the drug to achieve its beneficial effects in vain. It is at this point when drug abusers are most vulnerable. If not provided with medical assistance and rehabilitation, they might succumb to the lethal effects of the drug.

The general consensus defining the point when drug abuse turns into drug addiction is when an individual can simply no longer function without the drug and life has become unmanageable because of it. Drug abuse may lead to more risky behaviors that have a potential for self-harm such as unprotected sex or hanging out with unsavory companions. However, again, the line crossed into drug addiction is not always so clearly defined.

When these behaviors become more overt with an overall lack of concern for one's own well-being in order to get a “fix”, it can be said that a person has a drug addiction. Sharing needles, engaging in illegal activities, driving under the influence, missing work or school, neglecting family, neglecting normal life responsibilities, or disregard for one's own nutrition are all very clear signs that one has slid into drug addiction.

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