The addiction to drugs is a long-lasting illness that is characterized by compulsive or uncontrollable, drug seeking and the use of drugs despite adverse consequences and changes in the brain, which can last for a long time. The changes to the brain could lead to harmful behavior that is seen in those who use substances. Drug addiction is also a relapsing disease. Relapse refers to the return to using drugs after an attempt to stop.
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The path to drug addiction starts by voluntarily taking substances. But over time, a person's ability to choose not to use drugs becomes more difficult. To take and seek the drug can become addictive. It is due in part to the effects of long-term exposure to drugs on brain function. Addiction affects parts of the brain involved in reward and motivation as well as memory and learning and also in controlling behavior.
Psychoactive drugs can cause temporary changes in mood and behavior. Find out more information about the various types of psychoactive substances.
But it's not easy. Because addiction is a lifelong illness, it's not possible to stop using drugs for a couple of days and then be completely cured. Most patients need long-term or repeated care to completely stop using and recover their lives.
Based on research conducted by scientists since the mid-1970s. The following key principles should form the foundation of any successful treatment plan:
Substance use disorder (SUD) can be described as a complex disorder that involves inexplicably high levels of use of a drug with no negative effects. People with SUD have an intense interest in using a certain substance(s) such as alcohol, tobacco, or illicit drugs to the point where the person's ability to function daily is impaired. The person continues to use the substance even though they are aware that it is causing or will cause problems. The most dangerous SUDs are sometimes called addictions.
The availability of a variety of treatments with a customized treatment plan and follow-up options is essential for success. Treatment should encompass both medical and mental health treatments as required. The follow-up treatment could be provided through family or community-based recovery support systems.
People suffering from a substance abuse disorder might have trouble understanding and behaviors. The brain's structure and function cause people to have intense cravings as well as shifts in their personality abnormal movements, and other behaviors. Brain imaging studies show changes in the brain regions of the brain which are connected to decision-making, judgment and learning, memory and behavioral control.
Devices and medications can be utilized to treat withdrawal symptoms, prevent relapses and treat co-occurring disorders.
Consistent use of a substance can trigger changes in the way the brain works. These changes can persist for quite a while after the immediate effects of the substance have worn off, or in other words, after the period of intoxication. Intoxication refers to the sensation of intense pleasure, euphoria, tranquility, enhanced perception and sense of smell, as well as other sensations caused by the substance. Intoxication symptoms are different for each substance.
Withdrawal. Medications and devices can help to reduce withdrawal symptoms in detoxification. The process of detoxification is not a "treatment," but only the initial step in the process. Patients who do not receive further treatment following detoxification usually resume their addiction. A study of treatment facilities revealed that drugs were utilized in a majority of detoxifications (SAMHSA 2014). In November 2017, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted a new indication to an electronic stimulation device called NSS-2 Bridge, to be used in helping reduce opioid withdrawal symptoms. This device is placed behind the ear and emits electrical impulses that stimulate specific brain nerves. In May 2018, too FDA approved lofexidine. FDA approved lofexidine, which is a non-opioid medication designed to ease withdrawal symptoms from opioids.
If someone suffers from an addiction to drugs typically, they build up tolerance to the substance, which means they require more of it to feel the effects.