Addiction is a highly misunderstood issue in our society. That’s why family members sometimes miss the signs that their loved ones are addicted. It’s also the reason why society tends to look down upon addicts. Handling addiction would be so much easier if people understood the psychology of it. To help treat people struggling with drugs, here are 5 things to know about the psychology of addiction.
- Addiction is usually the result of mental illness
While the prevailing perception is that addicts are degenerates, there is always an underlying reason for it. In most cases, addiction is usually the result of an underlying mental illness. Some of these underlying conditions include PTSD and Anxiety Disorders. This information is critical because, it can help society treat people with drug addictions more empathetically. With more respectful treatment, people struggling with addiction can also heal faster.
- You can spot someone with addiction issues
Most families don’t spot addiction in their loved ones until it is too late. However, if they are keen enough, there are tell-tale signs that a person could be struggling with addiction. For instance, if you find out that a family member has suddenly started becoming economical with the truth, it could be a sign that they are doing drugs, and don’t want family members to know about it. Investigate them and you could realize that they could be doing drugs, and lying to conceal their activities.
- Genetics do play a role in addiction
While addiction is largely triggered by environmental factors such as the availability of drugs, there is a genetic side to it. Different studies show that there are people who are genetically predisposed to become addicts. This knowledge is important because, it can help in making people more empathetic towards those struggling with addiction. When you know that there is a genetic predisposition to addiction, it is easier to be more considerate towards people who are struggling with drug addiction.
- Addiction can be the result of childhood trauma
Before you judge a person addicted to drugs, understand that their addiction could be the result of childhood trauma. For instance, a kid who is raised by abusive or inconsistent parents may turn to drugs, as a way to overcome this lack of love. Slowly the drugs consume them, and they end up as addicted adults. This is psychological trauma that plays a role in addiction, and a reason to show empathy towards those who are addicted.
- Addiction starts as an innocent pursuit of pleasure
Pleasure comes from the release of feel-good hormones called dopamine in the brain. While dopamine is produced every time someone encounters happy events, drugs accelerate its production at multiple times the natural rate. This makes it very easy for someone suffering some kind of unhappiness to easily fall into drugs. Over time, as they seek more drug-induced happiness, they get hooked. One doesn’t even realize that they are addicted until they are hooked to the drugs. As such, family members need to intervene the moment a member starts using drugs constantly, even though it may come across as an innocent past time at first.