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Alcohol and drug addiction also known as substance abuse is a patterned use of substance (drugs or alcohol) in which the user consumes the substance in amounts or with methods that are neither approved nor supervised by medical professionals.
Psychological factors behind alcohol and drug addiction Alcohol and drug addiction also known as substance abuse is a patterned use of substance (drugs or alcohol) in which the user consumes the substance in amounts or with methods that are neither approved nor supervised by medical professionals. Alcohol along with other drugs has the potential to harm the users and tempts them into overindulgence. In United States, about 50% of deaths (from accidents, homicides, suicides) in people under the age group of 15-24 are occurring due to alcohol or drug abuse. The consumption of alcohol and drug is also contributing to physical and sexual aggression such as assault or rape. Some teenagers are also resorting to regular use of drugs or alcohol to compensate for anxiety, depression or lack of positive social skills. Currently, thousands of alcohol and drug rehab centers are offering different programs in the United States to help those people who have social or personal problems with drugs or alcohol. However, the success rate of these programs is quite lower considering the investment made. The superficial view being adopted by the alcohol and drug rehab centers that social or philosophical factors are causing the addictive behavior and that by changing an addict’s belief system or his/her social support structure could end his/her addictive behavior is the one of the reason as to why the success rate is low. Moreover, superficial views from governmental and religious orientations that maintain that addiction is the result of bad personal choices, weak character and anti-social or irreligious behavior is also adding to some of the myths doing rounds about alcohol and drug addiction. Addiction in real sense is giving up the conscious control over activities. Addiction is impulsive, unconscious behavior and addicts are people who have lost control of their lives as well as their substance use and abuse. These people may have umpteen times tried to stop using these substances for their own personal, social and financial reasons and may indeed have got success in stopping for shorter or for longer periods but are not able to maintain a true abstinence over an extended period of time. It can be concluded that addiction is a progressive disease. The scientific and medical advancements made in recent decades have helped in improving understanding about the true psychological basis of addiction. Research and technology had increased awareness of addiction process work with the discovery of neurotransmitters and hormones that strongly affect the feelings and inclinations of the addicts. The new aspects of the endocrine and nervous system function are playing the key role in an increased understanding and awareness about addiction. Therefore, it can be concluded that to ensure more success in the treatment of drug addicts and alcoholics, health care experts must educate clients and counselors about the real basis of addiction and help them to take an active role in helping themselves towards the awareness about their addiction so that they can be redirected in positive ways.
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