Drug addiction, also called substance use disorder, is a disease that affects a person's brain, behavior and leads to an inability to control the use of a legal or illegal drug or medication. Substances such as alcohol, marijuana and nicotine also are considered drugs. When you're addicted, you may continue using the drug despite the harm it causes.
Drug addiction can start with experimental use of a recreational drug in social situations, and for some people, the drug use becomes more frequent. For others, particulary with opioids, drug addiction begins with exposure to prescribed medication, or receiving medications from a friend or relative who has been prescribed the medication.
The risk of addiction and how fast you become addicted varies by the drug. Some drugs, such as opioid painkillers, have a higher risk and cause addiction more quickly than others.
As time passes, you may need larger doses of the drug to get high. Soon you may need the drug just to feel good. As your drug use increases, you may find that it's increasingly difficult to go without the drug. Attempts to stop drug use may cause intense craving and make you feel physically ill.
We at Visons Health & Wellness do a comprehensive assessment of your alcohol or substance use, and mental health concerns. Treatment for addictions and mental health issues are incorporated into single personalized treatment plans. You also have access to our psychiatric services if needed.