How a Drug Addiction Starts

We are often confronted with mixed messages about the use of psychoactive substances (substances that affects the mind or mental processes). Drug use is often glamorized in the various forms of media, while opinions on usage vary from region to region. These factors contribute in part to make drug use more easily accepted and considered as normal. This perception may push the individual to undermine the effects of drugs and amplify his curiosity.

One aspect of drug addiction, which is important to understand, is that alcohol and other addictive drugs are basically painkillers that render the individual numb. It helps them to temporarily escape from problems and unpleasant circumstances. Yet, drug usage comes with its own set of consequences. Once it becomes a habit to resort to drugs as a means of escaping reality, a drug addiction is imminent and almost inevitable.

Like most individuals in our society, the drug addict is basically good. Drugs are not necessarily an evil presence that will continually haunt him, since they are a foreign substance in the body and can be removed. The problems that could lead to drug usage include difficulty "fitting in" as a child or during adolescence, anxiety due to peer pressure or work expectations, identity issues, injuries or chronic pain. This problem is real and troublesome for the individual, who is having difficulty coping with it.

Everyone at some point in the life has experienced this to certain extent. The difference between a drug addict and the non-addict is that the drug addict chose drugs as a solution to the problem, instead of seeking a healthy and effective solution.

As soon that drugs or alcohol seem to solve his problem, the individual feels better and content. He’s given this false impression that he is now more capable of dealing with life. This is when drugs are seen as valuable and precious to him. Their characteristic painkilling effects become the solution to the discomfort that he feels. Such a release is the main reason for the person to use drug or drink a second, third or fourth time.

Drug consumption eventually becomes obsessive and necessary to the individual. The individual wants the drug, needs the drug and is willing to go to great lengths to get it. Now trapped, the drug addict doesn’t immediately realize his situation or is blatantly denying it. Whatever problem he was initially trying to solve by using drugs, fades from his memory. At this point, all he can think about is getting and using drugs. He loses control over his usage and turns a blind eye over the grave consequences of his actions. Drugs have now become the most important thing in his life. Ironically, the addict’s ability to get "high" from the alcohol or drug gradually decreases as his body adapts to the presence of these foreign chemicals. He now needs to consume more and more drugs, not just to feel their effect, but also just to function at all. By doing so, he has crossed an invisible and intangible line, that now makes his a fully fledged drug addict or alcoholic.