Addiction impacts hundreds of lives every year. Not only the addict himself but the whole family is impacted. Addiction is treated like a malice in our society but it is in essence a mental health condition and most addicts usually turn to drugs because of some mental health issue. Not many recreational users become addicts unless they are using drugs to escape from a certain life situation.
These statements make one think if addiction is selective and raises the question about what makes some people addicted to certain drugs after a couple of usage incidents while others can control the urge and are able to go about their lives. In this article, we are addressing these very questions about addiction so that you can refer any addict you know to a mental health specialist, instead of just bashing them.
Is Addiction Selective?
The simple answer to this question is a yes but the explanation consists of two parts. The first part is straightforward and has been backed by scientific research which says that people who go onto become addicts have a biological vulnerability to addiction. What this essentially means is that some people are prone to addiction before they have even tried any drugs. The pleasure centers in the brains of these people do not work appropriately and they thus start craving drugs more than others.
The second part of the explanation is psychological. According to this explanation, some people are not trained properly to hold off gratification because of traumatic experiences or troubled childhood. These people are psychologically incapable to delay gratification and when they first get a taste of drugs, they are unable to control their urges. Thus, they go back to drugs again and again to experience the gratification that they need while their peers might be able to control themselves.
What Do We Learn?
Well, the obvious answer is that it is not a good idea to even try drugs because you never know if you are prone to addiction or not. Hundreds of people get their lives destroyed at the hands of addiction. You do not want to be one of them. Another more important lesson to learn here is that demonization of addicts is not really fair. As mentioned in this article, addiction is not a habit that people can just shake off, it is a mental illness and most of the time is out of control of the addict himself.
One more thing to remember here is that not only recreational drugs are addictive. Many painkillers are equally addictive and many people end up as accidental addicts after a surgery. It is thus a good idea to talk to your doctor about the dosage of painkillers. You should try your best to rely on natural pain relievers instead of hard drugs especially when the pain is chronic. As far as addiction goes, try to be sensitive to people who are a victim and try to get professional help from them, if the victim is a person in your close circle.
This article was produced in partnership with oladoc.com, a digital health company in Pakistan. Using oladoc, you can find the best neurologists in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad, and book an appointment online.