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Article Summary

How Drug Addiction Starts in the Mind

The mind is our most important tool. With our mind, we solve the problems that we encounter in life. How drug addiction starts in the mind is by harming one’s ability to think or to be fully aware of their present surroundings. These effects on the user’s mind continue long after the effects of the drug appear to have worn off.

Addictive drugs activate the brains reward systems. The promise of reward is very intense, causing the individual to crave the drug and to focus his/her activities on getting and taking the drug. How drug addiction starts in the mind is that the drugs chemically alter the brain’s reward mechanisms and change the users normal functioning. The drug user does not see life the same way they once did before their addiction. This can be a slight change in perception, wherein the person is seen to make occasional mistakes, or it can be as serious as total insanity - where the events apparent to the drug addict are completely different from those apparent to anyone else. These changes in the user can also be all grades in between. It isn't that the drug user doesn't know what's going on; it is that he perceives something else going on instead of the actual series of events that are happening around him.

Drug Addiction is a Temporary Escape

One aspect of drug addiction, which is important to understand, is that alcohol and other addictive drugs are basically painkillers that render the individual numb. It helps them to temporarily escape from problems and unpleasant circumstances. Yet, drug usage comes with its own set of consequences. Once it becomes a habit to resort to drugs as a means of escaping reality, a drug addiction is imminent and almost inevitable.

Like most individuals in our society, drug addicts are basically good at heart. Drugs are not necessarily an evil presence that will continually haunt him, since they are a foreign substance in the body and can be removed. The problems that could lead to drug usage include difficulty “fitting in” as a child or during adolescence, anxiety due to peer pressure or work expectations, identity issues, injuries or chronic pain. This problem is real and troublesome for the individual, who is having difficulty coping with it. Everyone at some point in the life has experienced this to certain extent. The difference between a drug addict and the non-addict is that the drug addict chose drugs as a solution to the problem, instead of seeking a healthy and effective solution.

Drug Addiction and Effects on the Mind

Drug addiction takes an effect on the user’s mind in an unnatural way. This is because the chemicals released into the brain when people take drugs have a similar size and shape to the brain’s own natural neurotransmitters. In the right amount or dose, these drugs lock into receptors in the brain and start an unnatural chain reaction of electrical charges, causing neurons to release large amounts of their own neurotransmitter. Some drugs lock onto the neuron and act like a pump, so the neuron releases more neurotransmitter. Other drugs block re-absorption or re-uptake and cause unnatural floods of neurotransmitters.

By abusing drugs, the person has changed the way their brain works. Drug abuse and addiction lead to long-term changes in the brain. These changes are how drug addiction starts in the mind and causes addicted drug users to lose the ability to control their drug use.

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