How do people acquire the disease of addiction?
Often children or young adults are inadvertently exposed to addictive drugs, through other addicted individuals. Many people are exposed to prescription pain medications that, until recently, were not widely recognized for their addictive potential. Many begin using drugs as a way to cope with life stresses or mental health disorders without the intent of long term use. Some people are suffering so much that whether they are at risk of becoming addicted to a drug or not is not of concern because they cannot process such thoughts. Overlapping all of this, there are inherent differences, possibly largely genetically driven, in which people have different sensitivity to drugs and their addictive potential. Some people are hooked with even one exposure to an addictive drug.
Why do people affected by drug addiction have difficulty getting help?
Drug addiction is a mental health disorder that is inherently self-destructive and creates a lack of self-insight. The disease hijacks a person’s physical actions, cognition, behaviors, and emotions. Addiction takes over the mind and prioritizes getting more drugs above all else. While it may seem to family and friends that ethics and morals are lost, they are suppressed to varying degrees. People often choose drugs over food, sleep, shelter, family, friends, or any sense of integrity. Addicts are likely to shamelessly lie, steal, cheat from anyone. Family and friends are most susceptible, so these are most common victims. People affected with addiction will have lucid moments and are often horrified by their own actions which they cannot control. They may apologize and repent sincerely but the disease almost always takes over again and the behavior repeats.
What is Medication Assisted Therapy?
Medication Assisted Therapy (MAT) is the use of FDA-approved medications for the treatment of substance use disorders.