It’s easy to think of drug addiction as a switch that flips in someone’s brain the first time they try a drug. While the effects of the drug do indeed impact your brain near instantly, addiction forms over time and requires repeated use or abuse of the drug in question.

As more cities and states experiment with the decriminalization of various drugs, it’s important to understand that both legal and illicit drugs all hold the power to turn a recreational activity into an addiction.

Addiction Starts at First Use

Imagine, as many suffering from drug abuse do, that addiction is a wall being put up in our brain. The wall separates the elements of drug us and the rest of our normal, everyday lives and as it gets built up higher, the harder it becomes to be present in both spaces at the same time.

Each time a user decides to partake in their drug of choice, another brick is added to the top of the wall. At the bottom lies the very first brick, often laid decades ago, that paved the way to the current looming wall of addiction.

It’s important to note that single use doesn’t always mean a wall will be built as not everyone’s brain has the same dispositions and tendencies. The areas of our brain involved in addiction can be impacted by genetics, environment and development.

Hereditary Addiction

A family with a history of drug use can often find that the chain of addiction goes rather far up the family tree. These addiction-heavy genes passed down can make even the most upstanding person more susceptible to addiction in the event of a traumatic situation or injury that drives them to seek relief from the physical or psychological pain.

Environmental Factors

One of the more common ways children and young adults are introduced to drug use is through television and music videos where the people portrayed as being the most successful are typically found consuming or talking about copious amounts of drugs.

Societal pressure is difficult for an individual to process at any age, with children also having the possibility of living in a home where drug use happens around them or family members come home intoxicated.

Early Drug Use Impacts Brain Development

Addiction can develop much more rapidly in individuals that used drugs during child and young adulthood as these stages of brain development or crucial. The regions of the brain responsible for decision-making, self-control and risk assessment can be stunted in growth and never fully develop. As such, addictive tendencies aren’t seen to be as worrisome as they are and drug use snowballs quickly into addiction.

Beat Addiction Before It Grows Any More

While addiction can start developing after the first use, it’s never too late to stop the cycle and be free of the control drug use has taken. Live Free Recover Programs focus on proven treatment methods that center around understanding addiction and using that knowledge to remove that part of your life.

If anyone you know suffers from drug addiction or abuse in our New Hampshire communities, we encourage you to contact us today for a private consultation or to complete the first steps of the journey to recovery with an online admission form.