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If you are addicted to any kind of substance, the withdrawal syndrome is a set of biological reactions that occur when the substance is not consumed over a long period of time. The symptoms of this syndrome are very varied and can appear in the form of tremors, physical weakness, inability to concentrate, insomnia, hallucinations, and even death, depending on the type of substance that is consumed. If you find yourself in this state, it is best to search Google for “substance abuse treatment near me.”
Addicted individuals also develop tolerance towards the substance they consume. Tolerance is an adaptation of the body itself to a specific substance that reduces the response to this substance each time it is consumed. This means that to achieve the same psychoactive effect that was obtained in the first contact with this substance, an addict must consume a greater amount of it.
Biological Disease Or Not?
Addiction is a biological disease that is closely related to the reward circuitry of the central nervous system. Normally, the human brain is able to detect whether a behavior is “healthy” or “benign” and rewards it through this system, promoting it. Drug use activates this reward system and the body, in response, reinforces this behavior. However, if your body considers drug use as something beneficial, why don’t all people who have ever used drugs become addicts?
Like all mental illnesses, being addicted or not to a type of substance is related both to social (environmental) factors and to biological and psychological factors. Some environmental factors that are related to substance abuse and addiction are exposure to high levels of stress, social context, or family situation in childhood. However, there are also genetic aspects of addiction.
Addiction is an extremely complex disease and, as such, we must not ignore the effect of other factors such as brain development or individual behavior, as well as their interactions with the environment and the genome of said individual. We currently know that an individual’s genome contributes almost 50% to the development of these disorders. Knowing, therefore, the genes related to substance addiction can help us better understand the biological mechanisms that lead a person to become addicted. Most of the genes related to substance abuse and addiction have been described in animal models and are related to the metabolism of these substances, the reward system, or the withdrawal syndrome.
Addiction is a mental illness, as are depression, anxiety disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder, and, as such, it must be treated by mental health professionals. If you or any of your loved ones find yourself in this situation, it is recommended that you consult a “substance abuse treatment near me,” choosing a good professional who can help you.