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Drug addiction is a serious problem where people become addicted to various drugs. There are many different types of drug addiction, and every addiction is different. There are drug treatment programs available, and they may be effective if the patient is willing to accept the treatment program. If not treated, many addicts can abuse drugs until the usage becomes fatal. 

Drug Addiction

Risk Factors of Drug Addiction

Anyone can become addicted to drugs, but some people are more at risk for addiction than others. These risk factors do not necessarily mean that a person will become addicted to drugs. Some common risk factors for drug addiction include: 

  • Genetic predisposition
  • High impulsivity 
  • Sensation seeking
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Eating disorders
  • Personality and other psychiatric disorders
  • Environmental influences
  • Exposure to popular culture references that encourage substance use
  • Starting alcohol, nicotine or other drug use at an early age 

Causes of Drug Addiction

Most drugs are addictive and trying them even once can make a person want to try them again and become addicted. The cause of drug addiction can be hard to find and can vary. Some common causes include: 

  • Changes in brain chemistry
  • Family history of addiction
  • Mental health problems
  • Peer pressure
  • Lack of family involvement

Symptoms of Drug Addiction

The symptoms of drug addiction are different for everyone. Some people do not experience severe symptoms or are able to hide them from their friends and family members. The more severe the symptoms are, the worse the addiction is. Some of the most common symptoms of drug abuse include:

  • Having intense urges for the drug
  • Taking larger amounts of the drug over a longer period of time 
  • Need to maintain drug supply
  • Spending too much money on the drug
  • Not meeting obligations and work responsibilities
  • Failure to keep good hygiene
  • Irritated skin
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Paleness
  • Shakiness
  • Depression
  • Cutting back on social or recreational activities because of drug use
  • Doing things to get the drug that you normally wouldn't do such as stealing
  • Driving or doing other risky activities while on drugs
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms 

Symptoms of Drug Addiction

Diagnosis of Drug Addiction 

Doctors can diagnose drug addiction in a variety of ways. They often talk with the addict and learn about their behaviours and struggles with addiction. They may also perform blood and urine tests to see which drugs a person is using. 

Treatment of Drug Addiction

Drug addiction can be treated in different ways. Most people will need to undergo rehabilitation where a medical professional with addiction experience will use a variety of different techniques to get the best results. Common treatments include: 

Treatment of Drug Addiction

Prognosis of Drug Addiction

The prognosis for drug addiction depends on the patient’s willingness to begin and complete a rehabilitation program. Patients who do complete a rehabilitation program may go on to live a normal life. Some patients will fall back into addiction even after a successful recovery.  Drug addicts who do not get proper treatment may struggle with health and social problems. Drug addiction can be fatal. 

Complications of Drug Addiction 

There are many complications associated with drug addiction. Some are more severe than others. Some common complications include:

  • Behavior problems
  • Mental health problems
  • Social problems
  • High risk of cancer
  • Tooth decay
  • Skin problems

Drug addiction, Psychiatry


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