Frequently asked questions on drug abuse

31 Jan, 2020 - 00:01 0 Views
Frequently asked questions on drug abuse


Mthandazo Ndlovu 

This week we will take time to answer some of the questions that have been coming through the inbox for the benefit of all.

What is the difference between drug addiction, physical dependence and dependence?

Physical dependence is not equal or equivalent to dependence or addiction. This may occur with the regular (daily use) of any substance legal or illegal , even when it is a prescribed substance. Physical dependency occurs because the body naturally adjust adapts to regular exposure to a substance for example caffeine or prescription drugs. When the substance is taken away symptoms can emerge while the body re-adjusts to the loss of the substance. Physical dependence can lead to craving the drug or substance to relieve the withdrawal symptoms  and it is at this point that one has to speedily engage a trained drug withdrawal specialist to help them recover, because if this is missed some end up using other drugs and substance to try and get rid of this, when what is needed is specialised help to help them recover, this can be seen in alcohol users as they graduate from one pint to two pints a day or more or even a cross over to the high percentage alcohol content beverages. When you see yourself desiring a pick me up drink or substance that is physical dependence.

Drug dependence and addiction refer to substance use disorders which include physical dependence, psychological dependence and emotional dependence .

How do drugs work in the brain to produce pleasure?

Nearly all addictive drugs directly or indirectly target the brain reward system by flooding the circuit with dopamine. 

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter present in the regions of the brain that regulate, movement, emotions, cognition, motivation and feelings of pleasure. The overstimulation of this system, which rewards our natural behaviours, produce the euphoric effects sought by people who use drugs and teaches them to repeat the behaviour. 

Is drug abuse a voluntary behaviour?

The initial decision to take drugs is mostly voluntary. However, when addiction takes over, a person’s ability to exert self-control can become seriously impaired. Brain imaging studies done to those addicted to drugs have revealed physical changes in the critical areas of the brain that are for judgement, decision making, learning, memory and behaviour control. These changes alter the way the brain works and explains the compulsive and destructive behaviour of an addicted person.

Can addiction be treated successfully?

Seeking help from qualified drug prevention and rehabilitation specialists leads to a successful recovery, as the recovery is designed for an individual so that all areas in the person’s life are addressed.

Let 2020 be your year of recovery or recovery for your loved ones, for more information and help contact +263772399734 or email [email protected] and join the Rechabites in building drug free healthy and productive families.

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