There are many misconceptions and misunderstandings about what drug addiction is and what characterizes it. Is it a choice or is it predetermined? How does it work? Can it be eliminated? Creating awareness and understanding of drug addiction is important to how it is perceived, and how it is addressed. Many cases of drug addiction go untreated simply because the individual is not connected with the resources they require to change their behavior. Here is a list of professional pointers to use when approaching the topic of drug addiction:
- Drug addiction is defined by medical professionals as a disease of the brain that involves chronic drug abuse, even when the abuser is aware of its harmful repercussions. Drug addiction has been observed to alter the brain’s neurological activity, and the effects of drug addiction can be long term and devastating on a person’s life.
- One major misconception about drug addiction is that it is a totally voluntary behavior, which can impress a stigma on an addicted person. Medical professionals agree that an advanced addiction disables a person’s ability to control their own behavior, and proof of this exists in studies on the drug addicted brain which show alerations to the parts of the brain responsible for the addict’s cognitive processing.
- Dopamine is the neurotransmitter associated with the reward system of the brain, or the area tied closely to emotion and pleasure, amongst other things. Recent studies have shown a possible connection between addictive personalities and inhibited dopamine production, which would explain the addict’s desire to ingest substances that stimulate their dopamine production. A drug addiction sets in because the brain cannot distinguish between natural and synthesized dopamine production and craves the new amount it is receiving.
- With the right treatment and decision making, drug addiction can be eliminated. Most Christian drug addiction treatment centers make use of medications and spiritual counseling in order to treat the person’s physical addiction and the personal issues or disorders that influence it. Christian drug rehab treatment is statistically more successful than secular rehab treatment, especially when methods are adapted to the individual patient’s needs and circumstances.