The path to drug addiction begins with the voluntary act of taking drugs. But over time, a person's ability to choose not to do so becomes compromised. Seeking and taking the drug becomes compulsive. This is mostly due to the effects of long-term drug exposure on brain function. Addiction affects parts of the brain involved in reward and motivation, learning and memory, and control over behavior.
It is also estimated that around a third of all older adults with alcohol problems developed them in later life for the first time. It has been suggested that factors such as social isolation, poor health, bereavement, and boredom all contribute to alcohol abuse in older people. Some older adults may begin self-medicating with alcohol when experiencing chronic pain due to age-related health problems.
On this site, you can get the answers that you need in order to make the most informed decisions for yourself or your loved one. From understanding basic facts about specific substances to identifying the program that best meets your unique needs, your path out of the darkness of addiction and into the bright promise of a healthier tomorrow can start here.
Medication may also be prescribed which can act as a substitute for your substance of abuse in the case of certain drugs where less addictive and damaging alternatives may be provided in the short term. Heroin addicts may be given methadone temporarily to replace heroin, from which they can then be weaned off with withdrawal symptoms that are much less unpleasant than those associated with heroin itself.
Stimulants, such as tobacco, cocaine or prescription amphetamines, stimulate the brain and nervous system, causing increased alertness. Depressants, such as barbiturates and benzodiazepines, slow activity in the brain and nervous system, causing relaxation. Hallucinogens, such as LSD and PCP, drastically disrupt the way the brain and nervous system communicate, causing hallucinations. Rehab: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)