An Introduction to Drug Addiction

Drug addiction in its simplest form is a complete dependency on either prescription drugs or street drugs. Basically, individuals with drug addictions are not able to function without their regular "fixes". Usually, especially with prescription drugs, the individuals start out taking a particular drug for a legitimate purpose, but as time passes, they consume more and more and finally, are not able to cope without the drugs. And, even though they have been prescribed by a doctor, this is considered abuse, because in most instances, the safe period for taking the drugs has long expired. For those taking illegal drugs, a simple session of trying the drugs for fun or interest can turn into a deadly circle of ups and downs.

Furthermore, drug addiction involves all walks of life and social circles. It has been commonly believed that participants needed to be rich to maintain drug habits, but, in reality, millions of people find the financial means to satisfy their cravings. Even age does not seem to be a barrier, because the young and the elderly are just as susceptible to the activity as people in the middle age brackets. Drug addiction does not discriminate. The only difference is how people perceive the activity. For example, when someone sees a strung-out addict on the street, he is considered the lowest denominator of society. On the other hand, when a wealthy socialite abuses prescription drugs, she is coddled, and people make excuses for her behavior, in fact, justifying the activity.

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As the addiction progresses, it becomes more difficult, if not impossible for dependent individuals to accept that the behavior is clearly wrong. They deny all observations and comments from others, instead preferring to believe that everyone else has a problem, and is invariably making something of nothing. They use expressions such as "I only take a little to help me get through", "I can quit anytime I want", "The doctor would not have prescribed them if they were so dangerous", "If I can get just get through this scenario, I will quit when everything gets back to normal", and on and on. Really, any excuse is as good as the next when dealing with a drug addict.

Sadly, there does come a point of no return, meaning that addicted individuals can no longer make decisions for themselves. In other words, the addiction is so great that even if they wanted to stop today, it would be almost impossible. The pain of withdrawal can be just as dangerous as the drug itself. So what ends up happening is the drug addiction takes over. The dependence is so great that individuals engage in uncharacteristic behaviors such as violence and stealing, many become paranoid thinking close friends and family are out to get them, and often they stop going to work when they can no longer hide the addictions and do their jobs satisfactorily.

Finally, drug addiction is a downward spiraling activity. Once caught up in the madness, it is difficult to reverse on one's own. Typically, others must intervene and rehabilitation is necessary. The biggest issue, however, is whether or not the addicted person will comply. At this point, it generally takes something catastrophic for the person to see the light and seek treatment.