As dosage is increased, the brain struggles to keep up and rebalance itself, which can lead to drug dependence. Drug withdrawal symptoms are often the opposite of a drug’s effects, and they occur when levels of the brain’s neurotransmitters are disrupted by regular drug abuse. Those using mind-altering drugs are then likely to put themselves into potentially dangerous situations and therefore be at risk for accidents, injuries, or other actions that may have adverse consequences (like potentially dangerous sexual interactions, for instance). Fortunately, addiction is a treatable disease, and NIDA reports that there are more than 14,000 specialty drug treatment facilities in the United States that offer a variety of amenities and a range of care options to foster and enhance recovery.
What do I do if I'm addicted to drugs?
Step by Step Guides to Finding Treatment for Drug Use Disorders (PDF) – Guides for adults, teens, or those helping someone addicted to drugs. For more information on finding an effective path to recovery, check out Overcoming Addiction, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School. Your best chance of recovery is by getting combined mental health and addiction treatment from the same treatment provider or team. Due to such significant alterations in the brain, addiction is considered a chronic, or long-term, disease.
With overdose always a risk, addiction is not a condition you can ignore, and it’s not a condition you can control without help.