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Why Some People Are Drug Addicts

Posted on :  June 20th, 2014  |  By :  towardsrecovery

A big part of working with recovery as your goal is understanding the root cause of the addiction in the first place.

It can be easy to pinpoint the blame in one area only, and this kind of addiction sourcing can leave sufferers feeling guilty and confused.

Furthermore, recent research also suggests that traditional theories may be incorrect, neglecting the widely-seen truth that some people are more vulnerable to the lures of addiction than others.

The most plausible candidates for explaining the addiction phenomenon are known as the disease theory, and learned theory, respectively.

In this article, we’ll examine both in the hopes that they may shed light on the process of addiction, and recovery from it.

The Disease Theory

The disease theory of addiction is fairly self-explanatory, treating addiction as a biologically disorder, an illness that controls impulses and manifests as an overarching desire for one or more particular thing/s.

This theory, in fact, is one maintained and acted upon by Alcoholics Anonymous who, as an organization, focus on the journey to independence as akin to recovering from a biological disorder.

This theory also points to a potential, if not yet actualized, future solution: a form of medication that can remove the impulse that generates the addiction.

The Learned Theory

Conversely, the learned theory of addiction stipulates that addictive behaviors are reinforced by sociological and psychological factors.

In this way, drug addiction is caused by a reward system. Neuroscience shows that drugs trigger the release of dopamine in the brain, which is the primary cause of reward-seeking behaviors, such as drug taking.

The learned theory is also backed up by numerous experiments in which many animals will perform tasks in pursuit of rewards.

Why are some more likely to get addicted than others?

Given, then, that most addictive behaviors are in pursuit of reward in the form of dopamine release, why are some people more at risk of addiction than others?

In the most basic terms, there are two correlative reasons for this.

“For a start, many long term addicts will have severely depleted levels of existing dopamine.”

This is because overstimulation can reduce the levels and nothing overstimulates dopamine receptors quite like long term drug use.

Furthermore, however, research has suggested that many addicts may have had dopamine deficiencies before they ever began taking drugs, and so, had more difficulty experiencing pleasure in their lives.

This suggests that the solution may have to be maintenance-based, and perhaps, apply to everyone who has the increased potential to become addicts.

If you, or someone you know, needs help to recover from drug addiction, or you’d like like to learn more about who may be at risk, and live in or around Hamilton, St. Catharines, or Brantford, Ontario, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Towards Recovery on 519-579-0589 to locate your nearest clinic and kick start your journey.

Make sure you have an unexpired OHIP card or call 1-866-532-3161 to find out how to get one.

Towards Recovery Clinics Inc. (TRC) is an Ontario addiction treatment centre with the philosophy to help individuals take control of their addiction and help them rebuild their lives and careers.

Don’t hesitate to call us! We’ll be happy to help you.

Who We Serve ?

  • Individuals using/abusing street narcotics (e.g. heroin).
  • Patients abusing prescription narcotics(i.e., Codeine, Talwin, Percocet/Percodan, Dilaudid, Morphine or Demerol, et cetera).
  • Individuals displaying any of the following behaviours: Compulsive drug use or drug seeking/craving.
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