With drug use becoming more and more prevalent in media, curiosity of viewers has followed suit leaving many to wonder what all of the buzz is about when it comes to drug use either for recreation or as a coping mechanism during hard times.
While normalizing drugs is a great way for doctors to get patients to feel comfortable taking prescriptions, illicit drugs being normalized is a double-edged sword. Trying a drug just once doesn’t make you addicted but it does pave the way to it, making it easier for certain individuals to fall victim to addiction.
Understanding What Addiction Is and How It Starts
Addiction is a marathon, not a race, and takes repeated use over time before addiction begins. The stages of recreational, problem, abusive and dependency-driven drug use all come before addiction but are still part of it. Imagine each use of a drug is simply stacking on top of the previous one, eventually stacking up so high that it seems impossible to safely dismantle the addiction.
Realizing that there are recognized and diagnosable causes for addiction can help show that addiction can be addressed at any point and also that you can have a predisposition to addiction even if you’ve never touched a drug in your life.
Family history of drug addiction often comes with passed down genes harboring addictive traits and seeing the use of drugs within the family household. These two factors alone are enough to make even a single use of a drug a cause for concern, as the slippery slope of addiction can get too steep to stand on very quickly.
What Drives Addiction Differs Between People
There’s truth behind the idea that some people are more prone to addiction than others. As we’ve already talked about, genetics play a huge role in someone’s baseline chances of becoming addicted to drugs.
The same goes for the environment they grew up or currently find themselves in. Aside from drug use at home, traumatic events and peer pressure can make turning to drugs seem like the better alternative to reality.
Early drug use, even if not due to addiction, can impact the brain’s development and severely impact the growth of the areas of the brain responsible for decision-making and self-control. As such, trying a party drug at a house party as a teenager may not have started an addiction then and there, but it did plant the seed that likely led to a current addiction.
Always Be Cautious Regarding Drug Use
There are millions that have tried a drug once and never again but it’s vital to remember that this number is made up of individuals, all with their own genetics, life story and personal history that helped them not continue the drug use. Never rely on someone else’s personal experience with a drug when deciding if it’s safe for them to keep using it.
Addiction takes time which means it can be stopped. If you find yourself leaning into drug use more or have a loved one struggling with the battle against addiction, we encourage you to immediately reach out to our team for a confidential consultation. We work to fight addiction, whether it’s newly onset or been around for decades, and give back the freedom to live a great life to each individual.