Addiction is the condition that results when an individual uses a substance which can be pleasurable. With continuous use, however, using the substance becomes compulsive and ultimately seriously  interferes with that person’s life.

Addiction can be described as a complex, progressive disease.  It is considered chronic and treatable. It affects the functioning of the body and brain. It is often characterized by the consistent inability to abstain from use, craving, impairment in behavioral control and dysfunctional emotional response. Just like other chronic diseases, it involves cycles of relapse and remission. Without treatment it could lead to a person’s premature death. People get addicted to different drugs such as alcohol, cocaine, heroin and even prescription drugs. Below are a number of common addictions.


Heroin can be snorted or injected into the blood stream. It rapidly induces a state of euphoria and relaxation. After intake heart rate and breathing slow down, and thinking is cloudy. They go into a trance state that can last up to 6 hours. With regular use of heroin, the user develops tolerance to the drug. This means that the user has to use a larger amount of the drug to get the same intensity of feeling. As you take higher doses, over time one develops physical dependency and addiction. The body gets used to the presence of the drug and one may experience withdrawal symptoms if they reduce or stop using. Sudden withdrawal by people who are heavy dependents and are in poor health could be fatal. The withdrawal symptoms can be overwhelming and in an attempt to overcome them the addict uses more heroin.

Opiates – Painkillers

Opiates are drugs that are normally used to treat pain. When used for pain relief the patient will develop tolerance and will want more for the same effect. Some get addicted to the euphoria feeling and go to great lengths to get them such as double doctoring. Long term effects of opiates include weakened immune system, gastric problems and significant respiratory depression. A high dose could cause a cardiac arrest that could lead to the death of the patient. Due to the tolerance once could take a high dose trying to get the euphoria feeling.

Crystal Meth

Methamphetamine better known as meth is an illegal drug that people take by snorting, smoking or injecting into the blood stream. It creates a false sense of happiness, a rush of confidence, energy and hyperactivity. It a highly addictive drug as it burns the body resources and creates a dependence that is only relieved by taking some more. At the moment it is estimated that there are 1.4 million Americans using meth. It is associated with serious health conditions such as heart and brain damage, psychotic behavior and memory loss.

Marijuana Abuse

Cannabis better known as marijuana is normally smoked so as to give the user a relaxed or euphoric effect. It is the most common abused illegal drug in the United States. It is highly addictive and can cause adverse effects on one psychology and physic. It cause paranoia and anxiety and can lead to depression and reduced brains ability to think clearly. Long term use of cannabis can cause addiction. Marijuana is also referred to as a gateway drug. Its abusers are more likely so abuse other illegal drugs such as heroin.


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About the author

Robert M. has been in recovery since 1988. He is a sponsor and loyal member of AA. He has been working in the drug and alcohol field for nearly 20 years. During that time, he has written industry blogs and articles for a variety of industry websites including Transitions, Malibu Horizons, Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches and Lifeskills of Boca Raton.


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