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Addiction vs. misuse

As with other chronic health conditions, treatment should be ongoing and should be adjusted based on how the patient responds. Most drugs affect the brain's "reward circuit," causing euphoria as well as flooding it with the chemical messenger dopamine. A properly functioning reward system motivates a person to repeat behaviors needed to thrive, such as eating and spending time with loved ones. Surges of dopamine in the reward circuit cause the reinforcement of pleasurable but unhealthy behaviors like taking drugs, leading people to repeat the behavior again and again.

As a person continues to use drugs, the brain adapts by reducing the ability of cells in the reward circuit to respond to it.

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This reduces the high that the person feels compared to the high they felt when first taking the drug—an effect known as tolerance. They might take more of the drug to try and achieve the same high. These brain adaptations often lead to the person becoming less and less able to derive pleasure from other things they once enjoyed, like food, sex, or social activities.

Long-term use also causes changes in other brain chemical systems and circuits as well, affecting functions that include:. Despite being aware of these harmful outcomes, many people who use drugs continue to take them, which is the nature of addiction. No one factor can predict if a person will become addicted to drugs.

Addicted | Definition of Addicted by Merriam-Webster

A combination of factors influences risk for addiction. The more risk factors a person has, the greater the chance that taking drugs can lead to addiction.

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However, addiction is treatable and can be successfully managed. People who are recovering from an addiction will be at risk for relapse for years and possibly for their whole lives. Research shows that combining addiction treatment medicines with behavioral therapy ensures the best chance of success for most patients. More good news is that drug use and addiction are preventable.

What is addiction?

Results from NIDA-funded research have shown that prevention programs involving families, schools, communities, and the media are effective for preventing or reducing drug use and addiction. Although personal events and cultural factors affect drug use trends, when young people view drug use as harmful, they tend to decrease their drug taking. Therefore, education and outreach are key in helping people understand the possible risks of drug use. Teachers, parents, and health care providers have crucial roles in educating young people and preventing drug use and addiction.

Understanding Drug Use and Addiction.

Understanding Drug Use and Addiction

National Institute on Drug Abuse website. Skip to main content. What Is drug addiction? Points to Remember Drug addiction is a chronic disease characterized by drug seeking and use that is compulsive, or difficult to control, despite harmful consequences. This is why drug addiction is also a relapsing disease. As perfect as everything appears from the outside, Zoe is still drawn to temptations she cannot escape or resist. As she pursues a secretive life, Zoe finds herself risking it all when she heads down a perilous path she may not survive.

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Keep track of everything you watch; tell your friends. Full Cast and Crew. A gallerist risks her family and flourishing career when she enters into an affair with a talented painter and slowly loses control of her life. Sajjad's All time Favorite. Share this Rating Title: Use the HTML below. You must be a registered user to use the IMDb rating plugin. Learn more More Like This. Confessions of a Marriage Counselor The Perfect Guy I The Boy Next Door Careful What You Wish For When the Bough Breaks A surrogate mom for a couple becomes dangerously obsessed with the soon-to-be father.

Edit Cast Cast overview, first billed only: Jason Reynard Brandon Gonzales