What is Drug Addiction?

Drug addiction is a chronic, often relapsing brain disease that causes compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences to the drug addict and those around them. Drug addiction is a brain disease because the abuse of drugs leads to changes in the structure and function of the brain. Although it is true that for most people the initial decision to take drugs is voluntary, over time the changes in the brain caused by repeated drug abuse can impair a person’s self-control and ability to make sound decisions, and at the same time create an intense impulse to take drugs.

It is because of these changes in the brain that it is so challenging for a person to stop abusing drugs. Fortunately, there are treatments that help people to counteract addiction’s powerful disruptive effects and regain control of their lives. Research shows that combining addiction treatment medications, when appropriate, with behavioural therapy is the best way to ensure success for most patients. Treatment approaches that are tailored to each patient’s drug abuse patterns and any concurrent medical, psychiatric, and social problems can help achieve sustained recovery and a life without drugs.

As with other chronic diseases, such as diabetes, asthma, or heart disease, drug addiction can be managed effectively. Yet, it is not uncommon for a person to relapse and begin abusing drugs again. Relapse does not signal failure; rather, it indicates that treatment should be reinstated or adjusted, or that alternate treatment is needed to help the person regain control and recover.

Treating drug addiction can be a difficult and daunting task, however, it is possible. Through hard work and dedication, you will be able to overcome your addiction and move forward with your life in a positive and healthy way.

Contact Step One Recovery today and take your first step on the road to recovery.