Drug Rehabilitation Blog

drug abuse and addiction

Understanding Drug Abuse and Addiction

Drug abuse and addiction are two conditions that go hand-in-hand. A person who uses drugs usually has other types of addictions or addictive behaviors. The person may have an alcohol problem at the same time that he or she has a drug addiction. The person may also have a history of addictive dysfunctional relationships. The cycle of addiction can have many causes. It can originate in the person’s genetics. It can develop because of environmental factors. Another thing that can cause addictive behavior is brain chemical problems. Addiction has much to do with the reward system in the brain.

How Addiction Works

A person becomes addicted to a substance by experiencing the positive aspects of it first. For example, a pain pill seems pleasurable because it affects the parts of the brain that tickle the reward system. The person feels happy and accomplished while the drug is in his or her system. After the drug wears off, the addicted person feels the need to get that high feeling back. That desire causes him or her to take the drug again, and the cycle repeats.

Addiction continues to worsen over time because of the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms a person experiences when attempting to discontinue use of the substance. For this reason, it is highly recommended that the individual not attempt detox on their own. In most cases, the withdrawals will force continued consumption of the drug or alcohol, but the important thing to remember is that in some cases, withdrawals can be serious or life-threatening.

Getting Help for Addiction and Drug Abuse

Drug abuse and addiction requires a multilayered program if the affected person is going to recover. An inpatient rehabilitation center is the best way for a person to recover from drug addiction. The person’s journey will begin with detoxification, and it will consist of several phases. The addicted person can receive therapy, counseling, administrative support, departure support and the like. Specialists will try to help the person to understand where addictive behaviors originate, and helps them develop more positive and effective methods for dealing with life’s daily issues.


  • Ben Rogers

    I’ve known a few people with addictions. Glad to understand a bit better now.

  • Andrew Mitchell

    As a person who is not addicted to any drugs, it is great to know how addiction works that way it is easier to help and understand those who may have an addiction.

  • Ash

    This is very helpful. Drug abuse and addiction is a complicated matter. This article helped me understand what drug abuse and addiction mean.

  • Rich Pirrin

    Nice article. I think it’s important to mention that most addicts have had rally bad childhoods. As mentioned in the article, therapy will help pinpoint the origin of the addiction but doing the work and resolving the issues that caused the addiction is what will stop the addiction.

  • Peter

    Good job emphasizing the difference between the issue of drug abuse itself and general process of addiction. I don’t think most people really understand how addiction works on a deeper level

  • GT

    Very informative

  • George

    So from what you said about someone using pain pills, it sounds like some addicts may start out by self-medicating for a physical or even mental problems that go untreated in traditional ways.

  • Smash

    Watching a family member deal with this issue for over 30 years, wondering what will it take before committed to ending the dependence on chosen substance.

  • Jacqueline

    Very good article. This really helped me to understand what an addicted person struggles with and the phases of treatment they must go through to recover.

  • Angie

    If you need help for drug abuse and addiction, please seek out a great drug rehab center that will work with you to find the best recovery program possible for your needs. Also find one that has great after-care and support groups for you. Surrounding yourself with people who understand what you have been through is important! Having help to deal with your underlying issues that sparked your addiction is very important to making a full recovery.

  • maamko

    I was wondering if the duration of addiction has anything to do with the difficulty detoxing? Also is poly-addiction more difficult?

  • David

    Great information really helpful information

  • Jonathan

    I didn’t ever think about how drug addiction worked till now but this article makes sense. The person is trying to solve a problem inittialy by taking the drug and then gets addicted to the feeling that he feels.
    I do agree that having another person or terminal to work with will get a person through and off of drugs.

  • Helen

    I am glad to learn anything about how addiction works and how to get help.This article is really informative.

  • Amanda

    Addiction is one of the hardest battles in life. This article is great to give a little more information on what may be occurring for a person once they become addicted to a drug and/or alcohol. The biggest this with handling addiction is having the right people around that are supportive and willing to get you through the peaks and valleys of addiction. If you or anyone you know is addicted to a drug or alcohol please seek help immediately. Addiction can lead to broken home and broken lives and even death! i believe that every person should be given a chance at the best life possible.

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