Addiction to Psychoactive Drugs
Addiction to psychoactive drugs such as tobacco and alcohol results from a complex interplay of both biological and psychological factors. Addiction to these drugs is because of continued exposure to the addictive stimuli. Research indicates that addiction to psychoactive drugs is more common in people with mental disorders or those with genetic vulnerability to dependence on certain drugs. Biological theories of addiction emphasize the role of genetics and biological forces of nature in the development of addiction. On the other hand, psychological theories of addiction emphasize mental disorders, learning unhealthy behaviors in response to the environment, and people’s thoughts and belief systems as the main factors that lead to addiction to psychoactive drugs. In other words, psychological disorders such as personality disorders are seen to be significant causes of addiction. However, as stated earlier, there seems to be a constant interplay between the biological and psychological factors that may become risk factors leading to addiction to these psychoactive drugs.
Drug addiction is a serious social problem and causes several problems in the society. Thus, the society’s prerogative is to treat people who are suffering from drug addiction. There are various treatment methods that can be used one of which is drug therapy. This mode of treatment relies on substituting the addictive drug with a less addictive substance that has fewer side effects than the real drug. For instance, methadone and naltrexone are used as substitutes for people who are addicted to opioids such as heroin (NIDA,2009).
There are several advantages of using drug therapy to treat drug addictions. For starters, the medications have proven to be very useful when it comes suppressing withdrawal symptoms when the patient is being weaned off the drug. Medication also helps in preventing relapses in the patients, re-establish normal brain function, and diminish the cravings that come hand in hand with addiction to the psychoactive drugs. It should be noted that drug therapy has to be conducted alongside behavioral therapy for the treatment process to be effective.
National Institute on Drug Abuse (2009). Drug Facts: Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction. Retrieved on 4/1/2016 from http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/treatment-approaches-drug-addiction