Nature of Drug Addiction Obsession with a substance is at the core of drug addiction. Continuous use of a substance, despite negative effects, characterize the daily life of an addict.

Habits versus addiction

A habit is performed by a person by choice. A person has control over his or her habits. Some habits are unfavorable, but even then, a bad habit is not the same as an addiction. Addiction entails changes in a person’s physical and behavioral function. Addiction, unlike a habit, is repetitive and compulsive at the same time. In substance abuse, a person has no control over his or her choices.

Addiction to the use of prohibited substances is a chronic disorder characterized by a compulsive need to avail of the substance. There is a specific outcome tied to this need — the resulting high brought about by substance use. The brain and the body changes as a consequence of repeated usage, and the lack of the substance leads to dysfunction.

How addiction develops

Addiction develops over time. Many residents of drug addiction recovery centers in Salt Lake City confess to starting out with experimentation. They were curious, or they succumbed to peer pressure. For others, substance use was initially an escape from what for them was a harsh reality.

As soon a person starts using a prohibited substance habitually and compulsively, some cells of the brain undergo chemical and physical change. As the reward circuit gets flooded with pleasure hormones, the need to take the drug only intensifies. Another consequence of this chemical battering is the lowering of the response of the cells to the substance, making it more difficult to achieve the expected high, prompting greater frequency of use.

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Do you know someone who has a drug problem? If a friend or family member exhibits signs of substance abuse, the first step to helping them is to understand the nature of addiction.

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