It may surprise you to learn that drug addiction is considered a chronic disease of the brain. A person who is a drug addict continues to use drugs, despite the fact that there are negative consequences for their actions. Drug use affects the individual's brain structure and the way it functions. These changes may last for a long time, even after the person has stopped using drugs.
There are a number of reasons why a person falls into drug addiction. Some people start using drugs because they don't like themselves or their life and want to feel better. A person who is anxious, depressed or stressed out may turn to drugs as a way to deal with their feelings. Since drugs create a feeling of pleasure for the user, this is a powerful attraction for people as well.
Drug addiction can also start due to curiosity about drugs and peer pressure to try them. If a person's friends are experimenting with drugs, it can be very difficult to say no to trying them yourself. In the case of athletes who use drugs, they may start due to pressure to perform at a very high level and are looking for something that will give them an edge over other competitors.
A number of factors come into play when it comes to drug addiction and who is at risk of becoming addicted. Risk factors for drug addiction include:
- Difficulty with social skills
- Inadequate parental supervision
In addition to social factors, there are biological influences at work. There is a genetic factor at play as well, and some people are more likely to become addicted to drugs simply because of their biological makeup. People who are mentally ill and teens are more vulnerable to drug addiction than the general population.