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Addiction - Understanding Its Effects!

MD - Psychiatry, MBBS
Psychiatrist, Delhi  •  11 years experience
Addiction - Understanding Its Effects!

Addiction can be considered as a behavioural change where a craving for something specific intensifies to such an extent that the consequences are ignored. Addiction controls the brain by diverting it in such a way that it registers only pleasure and does not give any importance to other standard drives like motivation and learning. In general, breaking up an addiction is difficult, but it is not impossible and with strong determination, addiction can be broken.

Effects of Addiction
In general, people are subjected to addiction will not have self-control over what they do. If addiction is not treated or diagnosed on time, it may reach harmful proportions. Addiction is not only related to consumption of drugs and alcohol. It may include other habits too, that cannot be controlled. Sometimes even having a particular craving for a fruit or a vegetable can be termed as an addiction. Among other things, the most harmful can be the usage of drugs, sexual pleasures and other effects that over a period of time can become uncontrollable.

How a person can get addicted?
A human brain registers all types of pleasures in the same way they register a joy from a psychoactive drug, sexual encounter, monetary rewards or a satisfying meal. When any of these things happen, the human brain releases a neurotransmitter dopamine in the nerve cells. If these habits become regular, the enzymes will be released in high quantities leading to the addiction problem.

Drugs usage leads to addiction within a short period of time. Consumption of almost all types of drugs, starting from nicotine to heroin leads to a powerful surge of dopamine in the nucleus accambance leading to high addiction. Addiction is not exactly a disease, but it is a condition that can occur at any age. It is likely to occur more during the young age where the required maturity is yet to be gained. So it is advisable to be careful during your adolescent period as this is the time when you are more vulnerable.

There are various medical tests to detect drug use by the person but so fas as Addiction is concern it is a pattern of drug use which affect behaviour, causes withdrawal, tolerance, craving ects. 

Treatment of Addiction
In Acute phase, detoxification is done in which withdrawal symptoms are addressed. Detoxification may last upto 3 to 4 weeks depending upon severity of symptoms and amount of drug use. Later in maintenance phase basically craving, behavioural changes is handled along with insight building psychotherapy is used. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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