Addiction to substances is a disease that affects the brain and behavior. When a person is addicted to drugs, he/she cannot resist the urge to use them, no matter how much harm it causes. The sooner this problem is caught and the person begins to be treated, the more likely it is to avoid some of the more severe consequences.

Addiction is not only towards heroin, cocaine or other illicit drugs. One can become addicted to alcohol, nicotine, sleeping pills, anxiolytics (drugs that reduce anxiety) and other legal substances.

People who become addicted initially choose to take a drug because they like the way it makes them feel and think they are able to control how much and how often to use it. But over time, these substances change the way the brain works, and prolonged use can lead to loss of control and self-destruction.


Frequently used illegal drugs

Drugs are classified in several ways. Many of them are potentially addictive and harmful. Examples of illicit drugs include:

  • Heroin
  • Cocaine or crack,
  • Methamphetamines,
  • Methadone,
  • Ecstasy,
  • Marijuana,
  • LSD,
  • Psychotropic mushrooms, etc.

Frequently used prescription drugs that can be addictive

Legally available prescription drugs are used by almost all age groups for non-medical reasons, often in combination with alcohol. The risks of drug interactions or accidental overdose can be fatal. The following drugs are most commonly abused:

  • opioid painkillers;
  • benzodiazepines;
  • stimulants such as those used to treat ADHD;
  • antidepressants;
  • mood stabilizers.

Depending on the substance, some of these warning signs may be present:

  • Desire to use the drug every day or several times a day
  • The addict always manages to get the drug even if he cannot afford it or it happens at the cost of a lot of effort – theft, sale of property, etc.
  • The addict continues to use the drug even if it causes him trouble at work and problems with family and friends
  • Neglecting the appearance; the person stops being interested in how he looks
  • Spending most of your time procuring, using, or recovering from the effects of medications
  • Withdrawal symptoms when trying to stop using the substance

The important thing to remember is that drug addiction is treatable, and in most cases requires long-term treatment, which includes multiple interventions and regular monitoring.

Treatment may include cognitive behavioral therapy, drug therapy, or a combination of both. The specific type of treatment varies according to the individual needs of the patient.