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How the physical need for the drug takes over

Our lives are made up of millions of decisions, some are relatively unimportant (what to wear today), whilst some can have a huge impact on an individual's well-being and the path of their life (e.g. whether to marry).

When it comes to drug misuse, we often do not consider the issue of decision making, however in the initial stages of drug use, it is down to the decision of the individual as to whether they will take the drug or not.  For some people when presented with the opportunity to try a drug, they will refuse, and whether it's because they know the health risks, are fearful of a criminal record, or just not that bothered about the experience, they make the decision not to put their lives at risk.  However for others, when opportunity knocks, they decide that despite the risks, taking the drug will be worth it, maybe for the 'high', or even for the accolades they may get from others.

But as an individual begins to use a drug on a regular basis, this element of decision is often removed from the equation, and it is the physical need for the drug that takes over, and although an individual may, at this point, not want to take the drug anymore, due to the physical impact it has on them, they feel they have to.

The cravings that many people experience are something that scientists have been working to understand, and try to address.  They recognise that whilst much of the craving is physical, there are also other factors, such as availability of drugs, and even self control, that can play a role.  There have been recent findings that show that certain areas of the brain are responsible for the cravings brought about by drug dependency, and the researchers hope that these findings may be able to help develop innovative new treatments to address the issue (Medical News Today, 2021). 

Unfortunately for those who do make the conscious decision to stop taking drugs, at present the best option is a drug detox followed by a residential rehab programme, and while such programmes can be physically demanding and mentally challenging, the outcome is usually overwhelmingly positive, and thus worth the effort for most.



Medical News Today.  (2021).  Drug addiction is likely a pathology of decision making.  Sourced from:

Published by on 08/02/2020.

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