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Many Theories for Causes of Drug Addiction It has always fascinated me that people of good will, people of letters

, qualified people who study and earnestly try to understand the nature of addiction, can so often completely disagree with each other. Is drug addiction caused by a human being's response to pain? Is it genetic? Is it socio-economic? Is it caused by a lack of love? The Mayo Clinic offers a scientific explanation of when drug addiction occurs, stating, "Physical addiction appears to occur when repeated use of a drug alters reward pathways in your brain. The addicting drug causes physical changes to some nerve cells (neurons) in your brain. Neurons use chemicals called neurotransmitters to communicate." Narconon sees the addiction as being caused partially by the self-esteem of the individual. "People who have low self-concepts, who feel bad about themselves, have a higher rate of addiction. People with low self-concepts use psychoactive substances either to enhance or create pleasure in their lives, or to decrease the constant emotional pain they live with. The better a person feels about himself, the less likely he will be to use or abuse psychoactive substances. A society that has easy access to drugs that has a population that is "addictionprone" due to genetics or emotional pain, and that has pro-use or unclear norms, is a society prone to addiction." Another approach to the cause of drug addiction is presented by Dr. Greg Baer, a former ophthalmologist, who asserts that the primary cause of addiction is a response to pain, emptiness and the lack of what he calls real love. He does not ascribe to the theory that addiction is a disease. "After extensive interviews with thousands of addicts," says Dr. Baer, "less than one percent of them fail to respond enthusiastically to this definition of addiction and the clarification of the causes of drug addiction, whereas most of them have had serious problems with the usual definitions and explanations." There are countless explanations of the cause of drug addiction. I chose these three because they offered different viewpoints. Humans are prone to excess. There is never enough, or it's not good enough, or it's not available soon enough. We push the limits, as Adam and Eve did in Genesis 3. When we push the limits of something, there are consequences, both medical and psychological. We search to get our fill of what's missing in our lives. In the absence of God, there are few options. Power, wealth and pleasure, in varying degrees, are options for most people. Few people make the real love connection with God. Dr. Baer tries to make love connection, but without God. The human condition in most mandates that we accept God on our own terms, that we get to define God, that we set the limitations on just how close God is allowed to come. What is the cause of addiction? It is a lack of allowing God in our lives.

What is drug abuse and drug addiction? Drug abuse, also known as substance abuse, involves the repeated and excessive use of chemical substances to achieve a certain effect. These substances may be “street” or “illicit”

drugs. Different drugs have different effects. If people around you are doing drugs. prescription drugs provide an easy access point to other family members susceptible to abuse. Prescription drug abuse Prescription drug abuse is just as dangerous as street drug use. Prescription drugs in the opiate family. due to the changes drugs make to the brain. the brain‟s chemistry is actually altered to the point where not having the drug becomes extremely uncomfortable and even painful. especially if you are a teenager. are often prescribed for chronic pain or recovery from surgery. Some other risk factors include:     Family history of addiction. such as vicodin (hydrocodone) and oxycontin. With time. Furthermore. What causes drug abuse and addiction? What makes one person abuse drugs to the point of losing their home. This compelling urge to use. if you have a family history of addiction. benzodiazepines or the prescription oxycontin. though. both alcohol and nicotine can be highly addictive and have serious health effects. such as cocaine or methamphetamine. What most drugs have in common. Benzodiazapines. drugs can be a tempting way to deal with the situation. and health. The problem arises when these drugs begin to be used „off label‟. Without the self-resilience and support to handle stress. used for pleasure rather than for medical reasons. while another does not? There is no one simple reason. Drug abuse can worsen mental illness or even create new symptoms Untreated physical pain. such as heroin. Without medical supervision.soothe or get relief from untreated mental or physical pain. relationships. Unfortunately. A powerful force in addiction is the inability to self. illegal due to their high potential for addiction and abuse. pain medications or illegal drugs like heroin can rapidly become addictive. Some. While the interplay between genetics and environment is not entirely clear. may produce excessive feelings of relaxation and calm. . Alcohol and smoking While legal. becomes more and more powerful. loneliness or depression. their family and their job. Others. may produce an intense “rush” and initial feelings of boundless energy. Peer pressure. When used appropriately. They also may be drugs obtained with a prescription. Drug abuse and addiction is due to many factors. History of mental illness. addiction. is overstimulation of the pleasure center of the brain. you are at higher risk for abusing drugs. it can only take a few times or even one time to be on the road to addiction. it can be difficult to resist the pressure to try them. prescription drugs can have beneficial effects medically or psychologically. are prescribed to treat anxiety. such as valium or Xanax. disrupting work.

reducing blood pressure. metabolism and reducing the ability to sleep. benzodiazepines and barbiturates) Sudden weight loss or weight gain Cycles of excessive sleep Unexpected changes in clothing. and inability to sleep (often seen in stimulants) Abnormally slow movements. increasing blood pressure. chills. roach clips or syringes For snorted drugs. agitation. More and more of the drug is needed to achieve the desired effect. chronic troubles with sinusitis or nosebleeds For smoked drugs. often impairing judgment to a dangerous level. leading to coughing up excessive mucus or blood. depending on the drug. Drugs like opiates and barbiturates slow down the body. depression. speech or reaction time. severe aches and pains. can include shakes.Signs and symptoms of drug abuse and addiction How can I tell if I or a loved one has a drug abuse or addiction problem? Although different drugs may have different effects on overall physical and mental health. Physical signs of abuse and addiction Drug abuse affects the brain and body directly. difficulty sleeping. confusion and disorientation (often seen in opiates. Tolerance is built up to the drug. These withdrawal symptoms. the basic pattern is the same. friends and family. restlessness. breathing and alertness sometimes to dangerous levels. as drugs are abused for the temporary good feelings they provide. the drug affects the entire body. from blood pressure to heart rate. Some physical signs of abuse and addiction include:          Cycles of increased energy. The physical and emotional consequences of drug abuse and addiction also make it difficult to function. a persistent cough or bronchitis. trying to cut down or stop is unpleasant or even painful. Getting and using the drug becomes more and more important than anything else. to hide scarring at injection sites Suspected drug paraphernalia such as unexplained pipes. and even hallucinations or psychosis. These feelings can vary depending on the drug used. Avoiding withdrawal adds to the urgency of keeping up drug abuse and increases drug dependence. As the body physically adjusts to the drug. Stimulants like cocaine and methamphetamine “amp up” the body. While high. Some mental and emotional signs include: . Mental and emotional signs of abuse and addiction Abuse and addiction also affect mood. Progressive severe dental problems (especially with methamphetamine) Tolerance and withdrawal Most abused drugs are not only mentally addictive but physically addictive as well. such as constantly wearing long sleeved shirts. including job.

and can make concerned family members feel like they are the problem. The urge to use is so powerful that criminal activity for money or more drugs can be a strong temptation. . Increased irritability. Productivity at work often suffers. Heavy drug use directly affects health as well. If you suspect your teen has a drug problem. with seemingly boundless energy. from neglecting their own health to risk of infectious disease like hepatitis or HIV from sharing needles.and even the community. and eventually trouble keeping a job or even homelessness can occur. But it also affects the entire family. After all. Staying addicted: Denial and rationalization One of the most powerful effects of drug abuse and addiction is denial. heart problems. teenagers are notorious for oversleeping. Health. Is your teen suddenly having trouble in school? Does he/or she seem more and more isolated. appearance and health. making the family feel like they are exaggerating and overstating the problem. and can make the family member feel like the dysfunctional one. employment and crime Those who abuse drugs have a greater risk for health problems down the road. including health.or be keyed up or unable to sleep. hallucinations Lowered threshold for violence Teenagers and drug abuse It can sometimes be hard for parents to tell if their teenager has a drug problem. friends. What makes this so frustrating for family members is the person abusing drugs often sincerely believes they do not have a problem. look for marked changes in behavior. finances and stability. or have a new group of friends? A teen with drug problems may spend a lot of time sleeping. They may lash out at concerned family members. Have you noticed that money or objects that could be sold for drugs seem to be disappearing? Do prescription drugs seem to be used up too quickly? Effects of drug abuse and addiction What makes drug addiction problems so challenging to face. “up” and cheerful. colleagues-. how much it is costing them. delusions Temporary psychosis. and how much time it takes away from their family and work. being argumentative and pushing boundaries. as opposed to other mental or physical problems? Drug abuse affects the person‟s life in many ways. arthritis. agitation and anger Unusual calmness. What‟s more. the strong denial and rationalization of the person using drugs makes it extremely difficult to get help. including lung disease. or wanting their own privacy and space. The urge to use is so strong that the mind finds many ways to rationalize drug use. brain damage and death from overdose. unresponsiveness or looking “spaced out” Apathy and depression Paranoia.       Cycles of being unusually talkative. Someone abusing drugs may drastically underestimate the quantity of drugs they are taking.

from every socioeconomic status. and you are not alone. Children are especially sensitive. drug abuse and addiction doesn‟t only affect the person abusing drugs. Family stress If you have someone you love abusing drugs. Jakarta | Tue. Drug addicts branded as criminals under new law The Jakarta Post . While work and relationship stresses happen to everyone.This denial and rationalization can lead to increased problems with work. Drug abuse affects millions of families. Or the realization that there is something seriously wrong is almost too painful to admit. It may have started slowly. instead pretending nothing is wrong. family and the entire society. You might not be able to see friends and engage in hobbies. The person abusing drugs may blame an “unfair boss‟ for losing her job. cutting back from work to deal with the abuser‟s problems— or working more to make financial ends meet. while doctors have said that drug addiction is a curable disease. There is help and support available. Domestic violence also happens more frequently. You might feel obligated to cover for the abuser. or lack of impulse control can lead to increased physical and emotional abuse. Abusing drugs leads to higher risk of injuries and death to self and others in car accidents. . it is an enormous emotional strain. finances and relationships. The abuser may neglect a child‟s basic needs in the quest for more drugs. “This law classifies drug addicts as criminals and therefore subjects them to criminal charges. You might have gotten so used to the drug abuse that coping with it seems almost normal. When someone you love has a drug abuse or addiction problem You may not immediately realize that someone you love has a drug problem. Drug abuse and the family Sadly.” the Indonesian Coalition for Drug Policy Reform (ICDPR) coordinator Asmin Fransisca told reporters outside the House‟ plenary session hall. Don‟t be ashamed. It affects friends. Child abuse and neglect is much more common when there is drug abuse in the family. as coping with the abuse takes more and more time. an overall pattern of deterioration and blaming others may be a sign of trouble. or a „nagging wife‟ for why he is increasingly going out with friends to get high. and your loved one might also have tried to hide the extent of the drug use from you. The shame of drug abuse in the family stops many family members from asking for help. race and culture. The emotional toll can be overwhelming. 09/15/2009 9:01 AM | National The House of Representatives passed the anti-narcotics bill into law Monday amid criticism from anti-drug groups that the newly passed law will not help rehabilitate drug addicts. Drug abuse by a pregnant woman affects the developing baby‟s health.

according to the National Narcotics Agency (BNN).790 users between the ages of 25 and 29.747 between the ages of 16 and 19.017 junior high school students.” Article 55 of the law stipulates that parents of underage addicts who fail to report their child‟s addiction to authorities will be subject to a Rp 1 million (US$100) fine and a maximum of six months in prison. ABC NEWS > . The newly passed law replaces the old law endorsed in 1997. 1.866 elementary school students and 669 university students.689 users above 29 years of age.989 male users and 2. there were more than 27. 2. with 17. Chris Dayas says drug addiction can reduce a person's desire to perform basic human functions such as eating. In January 2009. 2008 9:46pm AEDT There is growing evidence drug addiction can permanently change the brain's chemistry. Senior high school students rank the highest.503 users. Dr. and 109 users below the age of 16.067 female users.720 users between the ages of 20 and 24. 5. followed by 6. New research in to the effect of drugs on the brain is one of the subjects being discussed at a 3 day neuroscience conference in Hobart. A Neurobiologist Dr. New research finds drug addiction can change brain function Posted Tue Jan 29. (hdt) Article 55 of the law stipulates that parents of underage addicts who fail to report their child‟s addiction to the authorities will be subject to a Rp 1 million (US$100) fine and a maximum of six months in prison. The number includes 12. 6.000 drug users in Indonesia. There are 24. Dayas says normal behaviour is often replaced by an overwhelming need to take more drugs.“The law should have recognized that a proper solution to drug addiction is to empower drug addicts. not to punish them as criminals. A joint investigation by Swiss and Australian scientists has shown the chemicals in drugs can override basic suvival instincts.

10. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol--that our lives had become unmanageable. set up a meeting with an intervention specialist to discuss the history and .alcoholism or other drug addiction. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps. 6. First. friends and careers also suffer and can be destroyed by the abuser‟s addiction. 8.3 In addition. As with all addictions.Drug and Alcoholism Interventions Drug and alcoholism intervention is an attempt by family members and friends to help a chemically dependent person get help for his or her addiction. Family. and family therapy. The National Intervention Referral process gives an example of a step-by-step approach to how intervention works. Made a list of all persons we had harmed. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible. 5. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. 92 percent of those intervened on go to treatment and have the opportunity to change their lives. 11. 2. life saving step in helping a heart attack victim. drug and alcohol abusers are usually the last to admit there is a problem. 12. It is also the most ignored.3 These 12-steps consist of: 1. except when to do so would injure them or others. 7. as we understood Him. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. one out of 3 people is living with or related to someone with an alcohol or other drug problem. Interventions are usually successful and often enable the abuser to move on to successful drug and alcohol treatment programs. Admitted to God. intervention is the most powerful step that a family can take to initiate the recovery process. to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. Or. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him. medications can also aid in suppressing withdrawals or cravings and in blocking the effects of drugs. The purpose of an addiction intervention is to help the substance abuser see the physical and mental destruction their addiction creates. Intervention is the most effective technique families can use to help a loved one suffering from chemical dependency . and to practice these principles in all our affairs. and became willing to make amends to them all.2 By taking action. praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out. we tried to carry this message to alcoholics. But just as CPR is often the first. support groups. psychotherapy. Second. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God. families and friends can get help for their loved one and help for themselves as they cope. the abuser may realize there is a problem but just cannot seem to seek help. According to Addiction Intervention Resources. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it. 3. 9. contact and intervention facility and speak to a staff member. 4. Treatment centers and 12-step programs offer counseling. Jay notes.

abc. In addiction. Families and friends must choose to not look the other way but to proactively seek help for themselves and the substance abuser. conduct the intervention. These treatment centers are offering physical and psychological assistance.1 According to National Treatment Referral.html http://www. before the actual intervention a drug and alcoholism intervention can and will save the life of a loved who is addicted to drugs and alcohol.thejakartapost.html http://helpguide. Reference: of the person in crisis. The intervention specialist will remain active in the recovery process and act as a liaison between the family and the recovering patient. after the intervention has taken place. the intervention specialist will continue to keep contact with him or her. and the consequences for the substance abuser if he or she does not follow through with the intervention. their Sixth. Fifth.htm Fourth. education and training.addictionsearch. the treatment centers with the greatest success rate are those treating the whole person.html . the intervention specialist will continue to spend time with the abuser and provide transportation to an arranged-in-advance treatment center. once the individual is undergoing treatment. the intervention specialist will meet with the family and friends to discuss each person‟s role in the intervention. Third.