Many do not understand why people become addicted to drugs and don’t understand how drugs change the brain. Many addicts are viewed as weak people without morals. A very common belief is that drug abusers and addicts should simply be able to stop taking drugs if they are willing to change their behavior. What many people underestimate and do not fully grasp is how complex a drug addiction can be. A drug addiction is a disease that affects the brain, and therefore an addict cannot break his addiction just by using his or her willpower.
A drug addiction is a chronic brain disease that often relapses. This disease causes compulsive drug use. Many people argue that an addiction is not a brain disease. This, however, is not true. The abuse of drugs leads to changes in the structure and functions of the brain. Although many people begin their drug use voluntarily, over time, the brain changes due to the repeated use and can affect a person’s self-control and ability to make good decisions as well as creating an extreme impulse to take drugs, despite the harmful consequences that may come as a result. Because of these changes, it is extremely difficult for a person with a drug addiction to stop his or her drug abuse. There are treatments, fortunately, to help people outweigh the addictions disruptive effects. Research shows that combining medications to help with the addiction, along with behavioral therapy, provides the best result for success. As with other diseases, even when managed effectively, it is not abnormal for one to relapse and begin his or her drug use again.
Drugs are chemicals that disrupt the way nerve cells in the brain normally send, receive, and process information. Drugs generally imitate the brain’s natural chemical messengers and/or overstimulate the “reward circuit” of the brain.
Some drugs, such as heroin, have a structure that is similar to that of the neurotransmitters which are naturally produced by the brain. Due to this...