Brain Health And Teen Drug Addiction – Why One Drug Leads To Another

What chance does a teenager have to avoid the “drug tentacles” reaching into every crack and crevasse of American society? Drug addiction and drug abuse are not simply about “street drugs” sold by nefarious persons to innocent victims. Both illegal and legally prescribed drugs mimic each other in the many in which they exploit the structure or neurobiology of the user’s brain. The bad news is that teenagers have free-and-easy access to any number of mind-bending mood altering substances.

The money culture of America has created an “open hunting season” for access and “market share” of Americans’ consciousness by alcohol, tobacco and drug marketers of all ilk and stripe.

Beer and spirits ads promote brand use, yet finish with “drink responsibly” throwaway lines, as though the millions of kids and adults might “just have one”.

Smoking and cancer are proven bed-fellows, yet brand sellers “pitch” their products, while placing label warnings and even advertising their “stop smoking” web sites.

Last but certainly not least are the research and pharmaceutical firms, embracing FDA approvals for distributing all manner of body and mood-altering drugs.

The intersection between government and money interests simply rubber stamps the “she’ll be right, Mate” attitude towards creeping drug addiction. Everyone has seen the somber and chilling TV ads about “Just Say No To Drugs” government campaigns to build awareness of teenage drug addiction, as well as law enforcement muscle applied to illegal drugs trafficking. To what impact? Precious little, as drug addiction and drug abuse proliferate across all age groups and economic classes.

Sign Of Drug Addiction – What To Look For

At its core, teen drug addiction describes an inner drive, and an inner void, towards self-medicating. Why? Alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, cocaine, hallucinogens, heroin and crack swamp the teen’s mind, diffusing anxiety while creating a distanced abstracted “dream like” safety space from the press of reality.

* Physical Signs

Your teen shifts towards an out-of-phase approach towards eating and sleep. Food tastes change, cravings pointing towards intense high caloric sweets and fats. Sleep disorders prevail, with late nights and impossible mornings the new order. Weight gains are interchangeable with weight loss as eating disorders slowly surface. Concentration lapses, missing school work and poor grades. Beginning with headaches and dizziness, physical sign of drug addiction can suddenly “blow up” into a full scale anxiety panic attack.

* Anti Social Behavior

For allegedly “normal” teens, all parents are “pathetic and lame”. Add drug use and hostility and suspicion towards parents becomes legion. Teen drug addiction amplifies the normal tendency towards intense secretiveness. Many parents, and even brothers and sisters, are the last to know that a teen “in the next room” has created a life threatening drug addiction. To be a teen is to be a master of the “cover up”.

Cause Of Drug Addiction – Contributing Factors

Peer pressure, stress, struggling self-esteem and identity issues, feeling of worthlessness, inability to manage the whipsaw of daily emotions, body changes and pressure to look a certain way, sex, parental pressures, parental neglect. Any one, or combination of factors, can become a cause of drug addiction once use begins and overwhelms a teenager.

Neither a teen nor her parents will typically “catch” the early signs in time before the snowballing effect of daily drug use radiates into a major drug abuse life crisis requiring aggressive professional intervention for drug addiction treatment of the mind and body. For parents, Hell’s door has just opened as they struggle to learn new attitudes towards their child, and to admit that they “no longer know” their child.

Knowledge Of Brain Changes Key To Drug Addiction Recovery

Consider the staggering complexity of our brains, with over 10 billion individual brain cells each with over 20,000 separate and unique synapse-links to other cells and a neural “roadway” of 4 million miles of nerve fibers.

* Drugs Create Unique Homes In The Brain

All substances, drugs included, travel along unique neurological “pathways”. So-called receptor sites become temporarily “occupied” by drug compounds, creating a short-lived “feel good” mood altering impact. Responding to external pressures, the teen “self medicates” in order to re-create that safety zone. The Catch 22 for all drug users is that they lack the ability to self-analyze and resolve psychological issues, and their self-medication only buries them deeper inside the very problems they’re trying to resolve. This is the inevitability, steep slope and snowballing reality of teenage drug addiction.

* Brain Adapts – Drug Use Increases In Search Of The “High”

Brain receptor sites adapt over time. Result? Starter drugs no longer create the “same high”. Teen response? Experiment and find another, more powerful drug. The cycle of brain adaptation and intensifying drug usage creates a downward spiral of increasing drug addiction, where withdrawal stresses produce a bio-chemical flow of demand for more drugs and shorter intervals.

Top 5 Drug Addiction Causes In Teens – Things You Must Be Aware Of As A Parent

As a parent it is important to stay up to date on topics such as teen drug usage to see what your child may encounter in his/her teenage years.

Much of today’s youth’s drug usage begins with peer pressure and the need to want to fit in and be like everyone else. By the time your child reaches the age of 18 there is about a 70 percent chance that your child has been offered some kind of drug in his/her life time. There is about a 15 percent chance that he/she has actually tried some sort of drug at one point. For the most part, teenagers are curious and rebellious so they tend to experiment. Cigarettes, alcohol, and marijuana are the most common and the most accessible.

With this said, it is important that you get to know your child’s group of friends so that you have an idea about what type of people they are associating with. Studies show that we are like the five people we hang out with the most. If you look at the five people closest to you, you will find yourself. It is crucial that you prepare your child for the peer pressure that they are sure to experience. You may want to give them different scenarios and ask them for their response in such a situation.

Another factor that causes drug addiction in teens is a poor family life. People that are unhappy at home are three times as likely to become addicted to drugs or start using them than someone who experiences a healthy living environment. The reason for this is that they start using drugs to escape the emotional pain they are experiencing and drugs work for that. If you feel like the living situation you are in at the moment is affecting your child, make sure that you talk to them about it and do something to help them cope with the situation.

Some teens feel like they can only be confident and happy with the consumption of drugs and alcohol, that is why it is important that you give them proper praise whenever they do something good. Make sure you acknowledge them for achievements, even if they are small. A simple, “good job,” can go a long way to build confidence and self-esteem in your child.

Furthermore, steroids are becoming more and more popular among high schoolers. With all the actors and actresses in perfect shape, we all tend to think that being like that is normal. Teenagers look up to these people more than anyone. This is why a lot of females experience eating disorders and why a lot of males start taking steroids. They want to have the perfect body in the shortest amount of time possible. Unfortunately, a lot of teenagers don’t see steroids as being as detrimental to their health as marijuana or other drugs. A lot of teenagers start taking them with the intention of quitting when they get the body they want. They figure that because it isn’t an addictive drug that they will be able to do so. However, due to the fact that once you quit using them, you lose a lot of muscle mass, a lot of people tend to get back on them when they notice themselves getting smaller. They cycle on and off of them and over time this can cause extreme irreversible health problems.

The last, most common cause of drug addiction among teens and others is that it starts off as medication. The most common type of drug that starts off as medication are pain killers. Pain killers can be extremely addictive and hard to break away from once you are on them. The addiction to these drugs kind of sneak up on you. If you know your child is taking them for some kind of injury they experienced make sure you are monitoring their usage and cutting them off when you feel appropriate. What happens is that people get so used to taking them that they end up needing them just to feel normal. Once the normal dosage stops doing the trick they end up taking more and more.

With all this said, it is important that you talk to your children about drugs and their effects on the body and mind. Make sure you educate them properly. A lot of parents make the mistake of thinking their children are too young to speak with them about drugs but they aren’t. You should talk to them about it as soon as possible and set a good example for them. Show them pictures of what drugs do to people and give them as much information about them as possible.

The Causes of Drug Addiction

Addiction is a disease that affects the lives of so many people, the numbers are staggering. Even more alarming is the fact that many addicts are in denial, which means that the number of people struggling with drug or alcohol addiction in our country could be far greater than we actually know.

The addict of drugs or alcohol is generally in a state of denial and believes that he or she can stop at any time. This is not true. Once an addict has begun the cycle of denial, they have entered the realm of addiction. Although they know it is wrong and they know the effects that drugs and alcohol can have on them both mentally and physically, they put these negative effects and consequences out of their mind and continue to use. This is the quagmire of addiction. How, then, does addiction work? Let’s take a brief look at what some of the determining factors are.

FROM A SCIENTIST’S POINT OF VIEW

Compulsion is the main aspect that propels an addict through their addiction. Addiction manifests itself in different ways, and can sprout up seemingly out of nowhere. Science has been studying addiction for many years now, attempting to locate the addiction centers to see exactly how they work. The trouble with this is that addiction is a very individualized behavior, slightly different with every individual it affects.

Psychological addiction is when an addict believes that he or she needs the substance they abuse to be able to function. Whether it is a drink to calm their nerves or a line of cocaine to give them a pick-me-up, the psychological addict honestly believes that they are fine, but that they require these substances to feel balanced. Although not as serious as a physical addiction, psychological addiction is very strong and debilitating for addicts nonetheless.

Physical addiction is when the addict’s body requires certain amounts of a drug to be able to function. This is quite common with users of crack cocaine, methamphetamines, cocaine, heroin, and even alcohol. The addict has used these substances for so long and so frequently that there body is unable to function properly without certain levels of drugs and/or alcohol in their system. Without the drugs or alcohol, the body begins to experience withdrawal. Withdrawal is a painful process in which the body begins to shut down and violently crave the drugs that it needs in order to function.

GENETICALLY SPEAKING

According to some scientists, a person’s genes can determine whether or not they have a propensity for addiction. There are even some in the scientific community who have gone so far as to claim that certain ethnic backgrounds are more at-risk for addiction than others. Whether this is true or not, statistically speaking, familial traits do seem to play a role in the addictive behaviors of individuals. This could also be because those who have sought treatment in the past recognize it at earlier stages than those who have not had to deal with addiction in their families.

ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS

Environment has a lot to do with how individuals behave. Many addicts grew up around other addicts, whether in the immediate family or with those that they spent a lot of time with during their development. Neighborhoods where drugs are prevalent naturally have more addicts than “clean” neighborhoods, although no one is immune to the problem of addiction.

FINAL THOUGHTS

The fact of the matter is that addiction cannot be traced back to one factor. There are usually several precipitating factors that ultimately help to spawn an addict. A combination of genetic or family history, combined with an environment in which the potential addict is exposed frequently to drug and alcohol abuse compounds the likelihood of addiction in an individual. The important thing to remember is that addiction is a disease. No one chooses to become an addict; there are many factors involved. Seeking help and beginning a rehab program of recovery is the best way to fight back.

Several Causes Of Drug Addiction

Taking drugs can either be for medical or personal purpose. People take drugs as a form of medication. There are also those who take drugs for pleasure. Drug dependent individuals never realize their addiction until their family members notice a sudden change in their mood and personality. We can say that a person is at his peak of addiction when they crave for the substance. They may also show some signs of changes in attitude, personality and behavior. They cannot live without a dose of cocaine, heroin, marijuana and other illegal drugs.

The purpose of this article is to know some of the causes why some people get hooked into drugs.

1. Curiosity. Some people are too curious, and they would like to try everything in life. They might be curious how it feels to be on the state of being “high on drugs.”

2. Peer Pressure or Social Pressure. Since no man is an island, we tend to have friends and partners. Those who would like to be accepted on a circle of friends will do everything. They may be even forced to take drugs to test their loyalty to the group. A group of drug addicts can easily encourage an individual to take drugs because peer pressure is too strong.

3. Low Cost. There are illegal drugs that are too cheap and accessible to many. Marijuana is extraordinarily cheap, and they are available almost anywhere.

4. When a person lost a family member or a loved one. Those who suffer from emptiness tend to use drugs to alleviate their pain and emotional distress.

5. Competition in Sports. This is a prevailing issue among the athletes today. Some of them take drugs because it boosts maximum performance. The level of energy that they can show in the game may reach at the maximum level. Some of the drugs used by athletes include steroids and amphetamine.

6. Stress in the workplace. Those who have stressful jobs take drugs. They need it for long work hours and overtime.

7. Sexual Abuse. They maybe forced to take drugs by their sexual partners aside from sexual abuse that they experience.

8. Love life. Those who are often on a break up and failed relationship tend to take drugs because of low self-esteem.

9. Marital Problems. Bad relationships and a compelling husband or wife can also be the reason. Drugs can be used to reduce stress caused by marital arguments and misunderstandings.

10. Financial Problems. Even those poor people can still have access to illegal drugs. They do certain crimes in order to get money and buy the substance that they need.

Many people had been trying to combat drug addiction. There are instances wherein an individual can no longer fight the pressure that they tend to give in to the negative vice. Drug addiction can be addressed with counseling services and therapy. Family members often bring their loved ones to a family therapist or drug rehabilitation center to help them move away from drug addiction.