Addiction is the physical need for a substance (physiological substance dependence). Even when use of a drug does not create physical addiction, some people may overuse, or abuse, it because it gives them temporary self-confidence, enjoyment or relief from tension. Psychological factors such as the need to reduce stress, peer pressure, thrill seeking and poor social adjustment have all been proposed as triggers for addictive behavior. Addiction patterns vary according to cultural practices and the social environment.
A core concept evolving with scientific advances over the past decade is that drug addiction is a brain disease that develops over time as a result of the initially voluntary behavior of drug use. The consequence is virtually uncontrollable, compulsive drug craving and use that interferes and often destroys an individual’s ability to function in society. This medical condition demands formal treatment.
Studies overwhelmingly show that alcoholism and substance abuse are strongly linked with high-risk *** behavior that leads to HIV transmission. The crisis is particularly acute among the nation's young people. Individuals aged 15 to 24 have the highest rate of binge and heavy drinking and are at the highest risk for initiating illegal drug use. Not surprisingly, AIDS is the leading cause of death by illness among people in this age group.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse’s recently published “Principles of Effective Drug Addiction Treatment. ” Is a guide that gives information on how to treat all aspects of the individual who is addicted to alcohol and/or drugs.
Similar to other brain diseases such as schizophrenia and depression, the best drug addiction programs treat the entire individual using medications and behavioral therapies. They also provide family therapy services to enable the patient to return to a successful family life.
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