Loss of control of life by consuming a substance is what defines the dependence on it.
Addictions are chronic diseases that affect the brain, characterized by the search and the continued and uncontrolled use of substances harmful to humans.
Drug addiction, why?
Overall addiction does not depend on the type of substance used, but on other factors. Scientific studies estimate that genetic factors account for between 40 and 60 percent of a person's vulnerability to addiction.
But other factors, such as age or previous medical condition. Thus, according to experts in psychiatry , they are teenagers and people with previous mental disorders, which have a higher risk of abuse and drug addiction than the general population.
For example, while marijuana is not addictive for most casual users, can cause addiction in a high percentage between 10 and 14% of those who consume. Or caffeine, which is rare but becoming addicted to it, large consumers (from 300 mg) can itself present dependence.
Number 1 on our list is occupied by nicotine, the addictive legal drug over there.
The chemical addiction
As foreign chemicals to the brain, they change its structure and how it works. These changes may take a long time and results in a change of mental state and behavior change in the person, which can become dangerous and escapes his control.
When drugs are used, they produce an increase of up to 20 times more release of a brain chemical called dopamine, largely responsible addiction.
The changes affect brain areas responsible for control of decision-making, memory, learning capacity and judgment. Similarly, the changes affect the mental state of the person, may suffer depression, irritability, tremors, sleep disturbances, headaches, etc.. Develop even more serious mental illness such as psychosis or schizophrenia.
Consequences of addictions
The consequences are serious, as the addicted person can not enjoy everyday activities: work, family, leisure ... but only live for and consumption of drugs, to get your reward, in a vicious circle.
It's like an upward spiral where ever you need to consume larger amounts to get the pleasurable effect, what we know as dependency.Although we can not say that the use of any substance can cause death by itself, it is true that all of them, along with other factors, such as medical illnesses superadded, genetic vulnerability, route of administration, adulterants, etc ... may lead to death.
For example, alcohol can lead to death; like nicotine can lead to death, for continued use can cause very serious problems, such as cirrhosis or cancer.
Other drugs, such as heroin, cocaine and synthetic drugs by themselves can lead to death by several mechanisms, either cardiac arrest produce either a cerebral hemorrhage, among others.
Treatment of drug addiction
They are chronic diseases, such as diabetes, asthma, hypertension, but have treatment that is addressed primarily to regain self-control of their lives. An addiction is not a life sentence, but it does require a great effort by the patient and the therapist.
As chronic diseases, the possibility of relapse; however this is not synonymous with failure, but the alarm signal need to review the therapeutic intervention.
Addiction treatments must be individualized; however in general the treatment is a combination of medicines and aid in changing habits that are based on a simultaneous behavioral therapy. An attention should be directed towards solving the simultaneous medical problems, psychological problems and / or psychiatric and social each patient. It is what is known in medical science a comprehensive treatment.
Acquiring the ability to stop abusing drugs is just one part of a long and complex process of recovery.
Am I addicted to any drugs?
One is addicted when you lose control of their lives by consuming, regardless of the substance or the number of doses.
For example, one is addicted if you stop going to the movies with friends in the room because you can not smoke; One is addicted if you have to go to the dentist often because the teeth are stained by caffeine; One is addicted if you forget to pick up his daughter from school to buy cocaine; One is addicted if not usually pays at work because she gets up with a hangover to drink every night, etc.