Drug Use and Addiction Q&A
When you take drugs, whether legal or illicit, you lose control over your behavior and brain due to drug addiction. While there are several approaches to treating drug dependence, prevention is the best strategy. Do you or a loved one struggle with substance abuse? With Charles L. Montante, MS, CASAC, LMHC, and his team, learn about the warning signals as well as ways to obtain the best treatment. Contact us today, or book an appointment online. We are conveniently located at 919 Westfall Rd Building B, Suite 60, Rochester, NY 14618.
Table of Contents:
Drug use encompasses a broad category that involves the consumption of various substances, including prescription or over-the-counter medications and recreational drugs. Drug use in and of itself does not necessarily equate to dependency or addiction.
While not all drug use is harmful and often involves drugs taken for medical reasons, such as over-the-counter or prescription-based medications that benefit an individual, caution is essential due to the addictive properties of some drugs and the potential for developing dependence or experiencing other dangerous side effects.
When using drugs for medical purposes, it’s important to adhere strictly to the administration schedule provided by a healthcare provider and to consistently monitor the effects of the drug. Both medical and recreational drug use can potentially lead to drug addiction, but the relationship between drug use and addiction is complex and varies widely among individuals.
Drug addiction is a complex disease that significantly influences an individual’s behavior and thinking, leading to a loss of control over their use of both legal and illegal drugs. It often starts with experimental or recreational drug use in social situations, or it may involve the misuse of prescribed drugs.
Over time and with increased frequency of use, individuals can develop a dependency on the drug. As dependency deepens, more of the drug is needed to achieve the same effects, which can escalate the addiction and increase the risk of withdrawal symptoms or overdose.
Addiction manifests as intense urges that can overshadow other thoughts, compelling individuals to use the drug regularly, which may be daily or several times a day. This compulsion can lead to engaging in risky behaviors, financial hardships, and harmful consequences for both the individual’s health and their relationships with others.
Treatment for drug addiction under the guidance of specialists such as those at Westfall Associates is diverse and tailored to the individual’s specific needs, often involving a combination of therapies and medications.
Not everyone who takes drugs becomes addicted. The risk of addiction is present alongside most drug use, however, making it important to exercise caution whether using drugs recreationally or for medical purposes. Factors such as the brain’s pleasure system and the release of dopamine play a role in addiction, but not everyone who uses drugs will develop an addiction. It’s crucial to be aware of the potential for addiction and to monitor drug use carefully.
Drug addiction can affect almost anyone; however, certain factors may indicate a higher susceptibility to developing an addiction. Co-occurrence with other mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), is common. In these cases, addiction may be used as a coping mechanism for painful feelings associated with the mental health disorder, potentially worsening the condition and creating a self-perpetuating cycle.
A family history of addiction can also influence the development of drug addiction. Individuals who engage in drug use at a young age are particularly susceptible, as it can cause changes in the developing brain. The use of highly addictive drugs, whether recreationally or medically, such as opioid painkillers or cocaine, also increases the risk of addiction compared to less addictive substances.
Awareness and vigilance are crucial for individuals using medications to monitor dosages and be alert to signs and symptoms of addiction. It is equally important to be observant of these signs in loved ones and to seek appropriate treatment, such as that offered by specialists at Westfall Associates, to effectively address and manage drug addiction. Highly effective treatments are available for drug addiction that can help patients recover and take control of their lives.
Drug addiction treatment is available at Westfall Associates. We provide comprehensive and individualized care to those battling drug use disorders. Contact us today, or book an appointment online. We are conveniently located at 919 Westfall Rd Building B, Suite 60, Rochester, NY 14618. We serve patients from Rochester NY, Brighton NY, West Henrietta NY, East Rochester NY, Irondequoit NY, and the surrounding areas.