This is a question that plagues many people, but to answer this age-old question, you need first to understand what addiction is in the first place. What is addiction? In short and simple terms, it is something that you are compelled to do every day to a point where it becomes harmful to you or your body in one way or another. But what does it mean medically? Is Addiction A Disease? What are its symptoms? Is it treatable? If it’s treatable, how do you treat it? Is it even a disease? We are sure you have any questions, and we will answer them all, one by one. So, let’s start with the first one.
What is Addiction in Medical Terms?Addiction is defined as the inability to stop taking drugs, alcohol, or other substances in medical terms. This inability inevitably leads to bodily and psychological harm in the long term. So, how does addiction happen for the first time? When you take drugs, consume alcohol or smoke marijuana, your body gets flushed with harmful, toxic, and sometimes even radioactive chemicals. Once these chemicals get into the bloodstream, they quickly make their way to your brain, and once they reach the brain, it triggers a sort of chain reaction. The chain reaction causes your brain to develop uncertain amounts of particular chemicals in your brain, such as dopamine, non-epinephrine, endorphins, oxytocin, and serotonin, among plenty others. The substances are usually involved in various functions such as emotions, moods, reward systems, and feelings of love, among others. A higher level of these chemicals elevates those functions, and it leaves the user with feelings of love, happy emotions, and calmness. Once the drugs start to wear off, so do the effects of the drug, and the user goes back to their same old self. Those feelings of happy emotions or calmness are the real addiction. The drug they take merely triggers these “happy” feelings and emotions. No matter how many times they have these “feelings,” they are never enough, and so they will keep taking this drug to stay in that “happy” state of mind. This is how one gets addicted in the first, and slowly it takes hold in their life. They would rather stay in their drug-addicted state of “happy feelings” rather than find happiness in real life. In such a state of mind, the person can’t be helped, at least not by their family or friends. The only people who can help them are the professionals in drug detox centers who are trained to handle drug abusers.
What Are Its Symptoms?Not all addictions are the same, and you have to keep this in mind. Same addictions may have symptoms absent in others, but there are a lot of common symptoms among people who are addicted. Here is the list of some of the most common symptoms of addiction-
- Sudden changes in behavioral pattern
- Health problems such as high blood pressure, lung damage, seizures, and irregular heartbeat are common among drug users
- Lying or acts of hiding things
- Stealing money or overspending
- Sudden urgency of going out without informing where or why
- Loss of interest may lead to negligence in work and college
- Relationships with their loved ones, friends, and family may be in jeopardy due to the influence of drug
- Strange and unexplained outings
- Items such as pipes, cigarette papers, and small-scale weighing machines, among other things, can be found in their rooms.
- Severe mood shifts.
- Death by overdose