Addiction – Causes and Symptoms of Addiction

Addiction is a chronic and relapsing disease that causes dependence on a medication or street drug, despite the harmful consequences. Any type of addiction is a brain disease because it leads to changes in the structure and function of the brain. It is because of these changes occurring in the brain that it is so challenging for a person who is addicted to stop drug abuse or any type of addiction. Addiction in any form can cause serious problems in the physical and mental health.

Causes of Addiction
Addiction or dependence on substances that are harmful to the body depends on many things. The two main factor include:

  • Environment: Family beliefs, attitudes and getting exposed to peer group encourages the use of certain drugs or other products initially and then getting dependent on these drugs.
  • Genes: Researchers have found a relation that addiction is caused by inheriting certain traits from either of the parent.

Other risk factors
There are certain factors that can develop addiction. They include:

  • Sex: Men are more prone to addiction when compared to women.
  • Family history of addiction: If you have addict in your family, such as a parent or sibling with alcohol or any other addiction, then you are at a greater risk of developing addiction.
  • Psychiatric disorder: If a person is suffering from depression, schizophrenia or any personality disorder, they are more likely to develop this disorder.
  • Lack of family involvement: when there is a lack of attachment or affection with your parents, then this may increase the risk of addiction.
  • Taking high addictive drugs: Some drugs like heroin and cocaine cause addiction faster than others.
  • Peer pressure: Young people get addicted when they see there friends using these drugs and when they are pressurized to use these drugs or any substance that causes addiction.

Most addictions start with a social or casual use of a substance. The usage of these harmful substances becomes a habit and soon you start feeling good and you may find it difficult to go without these substances. When you try to stop, you undergo withdrawal symptoms. The symptoms include:

Addiction symptoms in the initial stages

  • Failing in your attempts to stop the substance that is causing addiction
  • A feeling to use the drug or any substance regularly
  • Though you can’t afford, you spend money to buy the substance.
  • Doing things like stealing to obtain the drug
  • Doing risky activities like driving when under the influence of the drug.
  • Wasting energy and more time on getting and using the drug.

Other Psychological changes
Signs and use of drugs or any other harmful substances include:

  • Red eyes
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Slow reaction time
  • Paranoid thinking
  • Decreased coordination
  • A heightened sense of auditory, visual and taste perception
  • Increased blood pressure and heart rate
  • Drowsiness
  • Memory impairment
  • Slurred speech
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Euphoria
  • Restless
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Nasal congestion
  • Hallucinations
  • Panic
  • Delusions
  • Aggressive and violent behavior
  • Sedation
  • Constipation
  • Needle marks
  • Slowed breathing
  • Tremors
  • Lastly, when the addiction is very severe and serious, the person may suffer from loss of consciousness

When to consult your doctor?

When you feel that the use of any drug is out of control or is causing problems its better to seek help. The sooner you consult a doctor, the greater your chances are for a long-term recovery. You can consult a mental health care provider or a psychiatrist.

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