What is Drug Addiction?

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A neurobiological disorder that involves the mind, body and spirit, drug addiction is complex. Because drugs alter the brain’s structure and function, it is called a brain disease.

Below is a brief overview of drug addiction including:

  • What is the best definition of drug addiction?
  • What are the warning signs of drug addiction?
  • Is Addiction Possible?
  • What are the Most Commonly Used Illegal Drugs
  • What is the best treatment for drug addiction?


People who are addicted to drugs often feel that they can’t function without the drug. This can cause a variety of problems that can impact your professional goals, your personal relationships, and your overall health. These serious side effects can become more severe over time and, if not treated, may even prove fatal.

What is the best definition of drug addiction?

A progressive, chronic brain disease, drug addiction, requires integrated treatment for the mind, body and spirit. Brain changes that are not treated can cause permanent brain damage and even lead to death.

What are the warning signs of drug addiction?

Sometimes, the signs of alcohol abuse or misuse are obvious. Sometimes they may take longer to appear. The chances of a successful recovery are greatly increased if drug addiction is detected early.

These are some of the signs where drug addiction is common:

  • Control loss
  • Continued problems despite negative consequences
  • You are spending less time doing activities that were once necessary such as exercising, hanging out with friends, and other hobbies.
  • Performance and attendance at school or work drop

It is important to seek quality treatment if you feel your drug addiction is affecting your life.

Is Addiction Possible?

Americans below 50 are most likely to die from drug overdoses. Drug overdoses can occur in two ways: accidental and intentional.

Accidental overdoses can occur when someone takes more prescription medication than they intended or uses too much illegal drugs to get high.

Intentional overdoses usually occur when someone tries to commit suicide. No matter what the intention, overdoses can cause death and have long-lasting consequences.

What does drug addiction do to the body?

Every organ of the body is affected by drug addiction. Drug addiction can have many negative medical consequences, including overdose. These include:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Contraction of HIV, Hepatitis, or other diseases
  • Heart rate irregularities, heart attack
  • Lung cancer, emphysema and other breathing problems can all be caused by poor airflow.
  • Abdominal pain, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea
  • Liver and kidney damage
  • Seizures, stroke, brain damage
  • Changes in appetite, body temperature and sleeping patterns
  • Stroke
  • Pancreatitis
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Malnutrition
  • Sleep disorders and insomnia

What are the Most Commonly Used Illegal Drugs?

There are many ways to classify drugs. Many drugs can be addictive or harmful.

Some examples of illegal drugs that are commonly used include:

  • Heroin
  • Crack cocaine or Cocaine
  • Methamphetamine
  • Bath Salts
  • Methadone
  • Ecstasy
  • Marijuana
  • LSD
  • PCP

What are the most commonly prescribed drugs?

All ages can legally obtain prescription drugs. They are often used in combination with alcohol.

Prescription drugs are often misused and commonly used such as :

  • Opioid painkillers
  • Benzodiazepines
  • ADHD stimulants such as those used for treatment
  • Antidepressants
  • Anti-obsessive Agents
  • Mood stabilizers

Is Alcohol a Drug or a Substance?

Alcohol is not considered a drug. This is a common misconception. Although legal, alcohol can cause mind-altering effects. The effects of alcohol can be fatal when combined with other drugs. However, Origins has helped many people overcome their addiction and rebuild their lives using our proven treatment methods.

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What is the best treatment for drug addiction?

Integrative treatment is key in treating drug addiction. Integrative treatment offers comprehensive programs that provide all the resources needed to heal the individual physically, mentally, as well as spiritually.

Although there is no single cause of addiction, living with a mental disorder can increase your chances of developing a substance abuse disorder. Every person is unique. Sometimes, a mental disorder may have existed before the onset of drug abuse. Sometimes, the symptoms of mental illness are not evident until addiction has set in. In some cases, drug abuse can worsen these conditions.

It is important to receive personalized, integrated treatment. People who are struggling with addiction can recover when they receive long-term support as well as therapeutic and spiritual interventions. Recovery is about mental, spiritual, and physical well-being.

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