Substance use disorder, commonly called drug abuse and addiction, is considered to be a complex multifaceted condition where individuals compulsively seek and use mood altering substances despite the harmful consequences to them and to those around them. Although the initial decision to take drugs is voluntary, the pleasure pathways in the person’s brain change over time and challenge an addicted person’s self-control and interfere with their ability to resist intense impulses to use drugs.
There is currently no cure for addiction, but it is treatable. With the right support and treatment, people struggling with addiction can learn to manage their condition and lead healthy and productive lives.
Main Causes of Drug Addiction
Although drug addiction is a complex condition, there are some major causes that contribute to its development. One of the most important is exposure to drugs at an early age. Children who grow up in homes where drugs are present are more likely to develop an addiction later in life. Similarly, people who have a history of mental illness or trauma are also at increased risk. Genetics also play a role in the likelihood of someone developing a drug addiction.
While these major causes can predispose someone to addiction, it often takes a major life event to trigger the disease. For example, loss of a job or the death of a loved one can lead to drug use as a way of coping with the pain. Once someone begins using drugs, they can quickly develop an addiction.
Common Addictive Drugs
There are many different drugs that people can become addicted to. Some of the most common ones include:
Marijuana is the most commonly used drug. It can be smoked, eaten, or vaporized. While marijuana addiction is not as common as other types of drug addiction, it can still be difficult to overcome.
Cocaine is a powerful stimulant that’s often abused for its ability to produce feelings of euphoria. Cocaine addiction can lead to serious health problems, including heart attack and stroke.
Heroin is an opioid drug that’s often abused for its ability to produce intense feelings of pleasure. Heroin addiction is very dangerous and can lead to overdose and death.
Many people become addicted to prescription drugs after taking them for legitimate medical reasons. Prescription drugs that are often abused include painkillers(opiates), sleeping pills, and anxiety medications(benzodiazepines).
Methamphetamines are powerful stimulant drugs that are often abused for their ability to produce feelings of euphoria and increase energy levels. Methamphetamine addiction is very dangerous and can lead to serious health problems, including heart attack and stroke.
Signs of Drug Addiction
The signs of drug addiction can vary depending on the person and the drug they’re addicted to. However, there are some common signs that indicate someone is struggling with an addiction, including:
- Changes in appearance. People who are addicted to drugs often let their physical appearance suffer. They may lose weight, look disheveled, have poor hygiene, or have dilated or constricted pupils.
- Changes in behavior. People with a drug addiction may start to behave differently. They may become more withdrawn, irritable, or secretive. They may also start to miss work or school, or they may stop participating in activities they once enjoyed.
- Changes in mood. People with a drug addiction may experience drastic changes in their mood and frequent mood swings. They may become more anxious, depressed, or irritable.
- Financial problems. People with a drug addiction may start to experience financial problems. They may spend more money on drugs than they can afford, or they may start to steal to pay for their habit.
- Health problems. People with a drug addiction may start to experience health problems. They may have trouble sleeping, suffer from memory problems, or develop infections more easily.
Long-Term Effects of Drug Addiction
Drug addiction can lead to a number of serious long-term physical and psychological effects if not treated. Although the long-term effects of drug addiction can vary depending on the drug used, here are some of the more common side effects of long-term use.
- Liver damage
- Heart disease
- Respiratory issues
- Sleep issues
- Brain damage
- Heart attack
- Distorted views about the drug’s effects
- Violent behavior
Treatment for Drug Addiction in Richmond, VA
Drug addiction is a serious problem that affects people of all ages and backgrounds. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible. There are a variety of treatment options available, and the best option for you will depend on your individual situation.
Williamsville Wellness provides residential drug addiction treatment in Virginia for those struggling with drug addiction. Our drug rehab is located in central Virginia, near Richmond, on a 400+ acre property. Our drug treatment program is unique in the fact that we place a greater emphasis on individual therapy than other treatment facilities. We utilize a variety of evidence-based therapies including cognitive behavior therapy(CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), Schema therapy, trauma-informed therapy, and family therapy to ensure we’re meeting the individual needs of our patients.
For those struggling with a mild to moderate drug addiction we also provide online outpatient treatment. Our online intensive outpatient and partial hospitalization programs allow greater flexibility while also still remaining just as effective as in-person treatment.
Contact Us Today
If you are ready to begin your journey to recovery, we can help. Contact us today to get started with one of our in-person or online drug addiction treatment programs.