Drug Addiction Brings Out the Worst

Addiction produces behavioral, emotional and cognitive changes to patients, that help perpetuate the disease.

People facing drug addiction need all the love and support they can get but, frankly, it can be hard to love an addict. Addiction changes some of the nicest, most successful people into hardened, homeless and hopeless criminals. Sticking by someone you love can be hard when you play second fiddle to a needle or pill.

Addiction makes someone crave drugs and do just about anything to get high, even ripping off the people he loves. At first, the cravings are easy to feed – he just gets a refill from his doctor. Addiction is progressive, which means these cravings get worse, driving the person to take part increasingly in activities that would normally offend or frighten him. He might start stealing from friends or family, for example, or even venturing into buying illegal street drugs.

Using most drugs continually for a long time usually causes the body to grow tolerant of the drug, requiring ever-larger doses to achieve the same effect. As his drug habit grows, so does the cost and his desire. Drug addiction causes financial ruin as the individual tries to keep up with the growing demands of his habit. It is exceptionally difficult to watch your friend become destitute but it is devastating when your spouse, parent, or child brings economic devastation upon your household.

Left unchecked, drug addiction usually results in some form of criminal activity to buy or pay for drugs. Hanging around with criminals can ruin your reputation or even lead to arrest by association – getting caught in the middle of a drug bust or drug deal gone wrong could even be fatal.

Psychoactive drugs get people high and cause other neurological effects that changes how someone thinks, feels, and behaves. At first, he enjoys fuzzy thought processes, feeling exuberant, and having fun. In time, the neurological effects of drug become more permanent and affect his ability to make rational decisions, sort out his emotions, or behave normally. After a while, he begins to consistently make terrible choices, have trouble interacting with others, and react to everyday situations in inappropriate ways. These are not choices or defects in his character – they are side effects of chronic drug use – but they can still make someone unbearable to be around.

The behavioral, emotional, and cognitive changes caused by addiction are not accidental – these alterations serve to perpetuate addiction by first demanding total obedience from the addict then separating him from the people who can save him.

While it may not be easy to love someone struggling with addiction, it is imperative that you try. Russell Brand, international comedian and recovering drug addict, said it best: “The mentality and behavior of drug addicts and alcoholics is wholly irrational until you understand that they are completely powerless over their addiction and unless they have structured help, they have no hope.”

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