Mental Health

Addiction: Drug Abuse, Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Addiction is defined as a neuropsychological disorder characterized by substantial use of the drugs, despite harm. Repetitive consumption of drugs increases craving and also makes us lose our self-control. Thereby, making us more inclined and dependent on these drugs.

Drug addiction is also called substance use disorder (SUD) which is a result of uncontrollable use of drugs despite knowing of its ill consequences. Classic signs of drug addiction include rewarding stimuli, preoccupation with a substance or behavior, and continued use of drugs even knowing about its negative consequences. The different kinds of drug and behavior addiction includes- marijuana addiction, amphetamine addiction, nicotine addiction, and video game or sexual addiction.

Drug misuse is generally associated with prescription medication, prescribed by doctors for a specific health condition. These drugs can cause adverse effects if directions are not followed. Drug misuse usually occurs when a particular substance is taken for a purpose that is not legal or not per the medical guidelines.

How Drug Abuse is Different from Drug Addiction

Researchers and doctors state that drug addiction has a more severe presentation than drug abuse. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, addiction differs from drug abuse in that addiction is more chronic and it is comparatively more difficult to cure.

Abuse of certain drugs or substances causes changes in the brain, which increases our dependence on the brain and leads to addiction.

The Causes of Addiction Includes

  • Family history of addiction- a family who has a history of drug addiction, children of such a family can easily fall into trap of addiction.
  • Mental health disorder- a person who has mental health disorders such as depression, stress, post-traumatic stress disorder, etc can lead to increased dependence on drugs on the person.
  • Peer pressure- youngsters especially teenagers can easily fall into trap of this drug addiction and it is very difficult for them to avoid it.
  • Lack of family involvement- sometimes family avoids what their child is doing and because of this lack, a child easily falls into drug addiction.  

Common Symptoms of Drug Addiction Includes

The common symptoms of drug addiction include

  1. Developing a tolerance to the drug
  2. Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you try to stop it.
  3. The urge to continue taking drugs even when a person wants to stop.
  4. Constantly thinking about the drugs.
  5. Unable to focus on daily tasks and not able to complete them.
  6. Relationship disbalance with friends, family, and co-workers
  7. Irritation, agitation, and change in motivation.

How to Overcome Drug Addiction?

Some of the tips doctors recommend to overcome addiction include:

  1. Surround yourself with supportive people- Surround yourself with people that radiate positivity and motivate you. Spending time with your loved ones makes you feel motivated and keeps your mind healthy and active.
  2. Engage yourself- find new hobbies and engage yourself in them. Staying busy and distracted is the best way to keep your mind off addiction.
  3. Exercise- doing daily exercise is good for your mind as your physical health improves. The natural high from “endorphins” elevates your mood.
  4. Eat well- eating healthy has a serious impact on well-being.
  5. Meditate- mindfulness exercises have been proven to relieve stress and anxiety. They have a positive impact on blood pressure and immune system.
  6. Seek professional help- recovery from drug addiction is hard. There is no shame in asking for help from medical professionals and doctors. Physicians and therapists can help to cope easily with this


Addiction not only has a severe impact on health but also hurts loved ones. No one chooses addiction by themselves. Due to heavy dependence on drugs; the person is unable to withdraw from this. Friends, family, and doctors are real support systems to help a person get rid of addiction. People should be smart and should know what is right and wrong for them.


Ritika Gupta

Ritika Gupta is an MPharm. graduate who is keen on spreading awareness about various unexplored medical fields through her writings.

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