With all the recent media attention centered on the recent passing of Whitney Houston and her interview in regards to Michael Jackson’s death; it is really important that the topic of drug abuse and addiction is acknowledged more than ever.
In order for an individual to abuse drugs, they must have an addiction to a substance. An addiction to a substance is not dependent of common stimulants such as: alcohol, marijuana, heroin, methamphetamine, or any other common street drug. An addiction to a stimulant can vary in many forms and there are no restrictions over what type of substance an individual can become addicted too. An addiction can be to any type of stimulant or substance such as:
- Mood Stabilizers,
- Street Drugs,
- Alcohol, and
- Any type of over-the-counter medication or doctor prescribed medication.
An addiction is clinically defined by the American Psychological Association, as a condition in which the body must have a drug to avoid physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms (APA, 2010). When an individual suffers from an addiction, there psychological processing methods goes through stages of the addiction. The first stage of an addiction is the dependence stage at which the individual becomes reliant of their drug of choice; as mentioned above drug addictions can vary in substance types. The strength of an addiction to any type of drug in the dependence stage can greatly affect the individual’s ability to function on a daily basis without the intake of the drug of choice. Individuals during this stage are mentally and emotionally in distress, they to satisfy their addictions by any means necessary for some individuals; depending on the severity of their addictions. Once an individual’s level of dependence reaches its peak, the individual develops a tolerance to their drug of choice at which they tend to consume larger doses of the drug in order to feel the effect they once felt at the beginning of their dependence level.
Once an individual reaches the stage of developing a tolerance to their drug of choice, their addiction can spiral out of control. This is how the term “drug abuse” becomes a functional part of the individual’s life. Their drug abuse is stemmed from an addiction to a drug that has simply overpowered their ability to function without the reliance of the drug.
Any type of drug addiction that someone has developed drug abuse will not only have harmful effects to the individual user. These harmful effects can their lives in many ways, but this is not limited to the individuals in their life. If you suspect that someone close to you has an addiction, it is important to seek assistance immediately. The dangers of drug abuse are surmountable.
For more information, check out: