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Jul 26, 2022 12:54 PM EDT

Understanding The Psychology Behind Addiction: A Case Study Of Survivors

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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

(Photo : Annie Spratt on Unsplash)

Addiction can be developed over time. And it can lead to deadly consequences. But what is the psychology of someone who started developing an addiction and leading it down dangerous paths?

This write up discusses what survivors of drug addiction were going through in terms of their psychological patterns. This will give us a deeper understanding of why addictions develop. If you are looking for a way to get treated for addiction, drug abuse recovery by Gallus Detox may be your best option.

Let's talk more about addiction and the psychology behind it based on what survivors are saying about their past struggle.

Addiction: What is the root cause?

The root cause of addiction may differ from one person to the next. For one, people may undergo amounts of emotional stress. It can get to the point where it may be a huge challenge for someone to get rid of it through natural methods.

For this reason, they may use drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism. Unfortunately, depending on such substances to quell a frequent feeling can lead to addiction. Thus, its efforts to keep stress at bay would be done by feeding an addiction.

Not only that, these coping mechanisms are considered unhealthy. The reality here is that healthier versions can be provided by therapists and can also be acquired through your own means. However, the stress can get to the point where it affects your subconscious mind and thus relieving it on your own will be hard to come by.

The unfortunate part about quitting drinking or drugs cold turkey can be a challenge. Yet, some will do it and never touch it again. But for others, they will need to deal with their problem with the help of long-term therapy and rehab.

Drugs and the need of 'feeling good'

Many people (if not all) who use drugs are doing it to create an escape from something. This can be mental trauma, stress, or something that affects them negatively. Once they choose a drug of choice, they are able to manipulate their dopamine levels.

However, this will depend on the drug they are using. Drugs like heroin and cocaine are known to release a large amount of dopamine and then prevent the brain from reabsorbing it. Because of this, the pleasure that is stemmed from the experience of using such drugs will go on longer than normal.

If the person keeps using these drugs, it can get to the point where the chemistry of one's brain is altered. Any kind of activities that would naturally make you feel good such as sex or eating your favorite foods won't seem as pleasurable as usual. Because of this, that's when you know the drug you're using will need to be in your system in order to achieve that reward of pleasure when it is included in your system.

Healthy activities that make you feel better will not be the same. It's almost as if your brain has forgotten it entirely. This may be one of the reasons why you'll want to go back to the way things were if you are battling addictions.

Survivors of addiction said that they had lost interest in the things that really mattered most. This included their favorite activities, spending time with family or friends, or anything they found joy in. If you are dealing with this yourself, you might understand that this may be painful for not just yourself, but also for the ones who love you.

When does behavior become addiction?

Behavior and addiction are two different things. If one were to drink in excess on the weekends, this is considered a behavior since they choose a specific time to do this. Yet, they don't knowingly engage in this on the weekdays.

They are in control of this behavior and it may make the difference between using it to have a good time or depending on it to get through the day. They are also given the opportunity to give up the behavior in favor of a more healthier approach.

However, using alcohol and drugs as a coping mechanism is a behavior that becomes addictive because it is repeated over time. A trigger event happens and it causes someone to experience something. Because of that experience and the emotions associated with it, it serves as an anchor to help them partake in their drug of choice.

There is also compulsion. This is when someone partakes in a behavior knowing it will be harmful to them. They may partake in a drug knowing that it can get them high and harm them in the long-term if they keep using it.

Compulsion can be acted on once and the person may never do it again. Once more, this is about the decision to control your behaviors, regardless if you are aware if what you are doing is unhealthy or not. It gets to a point where someone will do anything to feed their habit.

This includes but is not limited to stealing money or committing crimes, risking arrest and conviction. It's unfortunate that people will do desperate things in an effort to get another dose of their favorite drug.

What's also unfortunate is that they'll build up a tolerance to the point where they need more to attain that same high. This will ultimately result in an overdose, which can be fatal at its worst.

Final Thoughts

Knowing the stories of what survivors went through during their addiction may be one way to understand the psychology behind their addiction. It's common for people to talk about how they reached a tolerance level and wanted to attain that same high (and risk their lives in the process). Not only that, they can tell you of the acts of desperation they have done in order to get their hands on the drugs they want.

It's never too late to get the help you need. Whether it's an early addiction or in the late stages, help is around the corner.

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