An overdose happens when the person uses enough of a drug to produce uncomfortable feelings, life-threatening symptoms, or death. The chronic nature of addiction means that for some people relapse, or a return to drug use after an attempt to stop, can be part of the process, but newer treatments are designed to help with relapse prevention. Relapse rates for drug use are similar to rates for other chronic medical illnesses.

  • Further management involves monitoring and maintaining patient vital signs.
  • An addiction is a chronic dysfunction of the brain system that involves reward, motivation, and memory.
  • The nicotine in tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and vapes, is highly addictive.
  • So you might need to take more of the drug to get the same good feeling.

Last year, opioid overdose rates were down statewide by 2.6% from 2021, the first decline in four years, according to preliminary data from the federal agency. In April 2022, Tobin died at 29 of a fentanyl overdose while struggling through a relapse. And this is a safer option,” said Dr. Uma Dhanabalan, who specializes in cannabis medicine in Massachusetts.

Coping and support

They can lead to permanent health complications and serious consequences like bankruptcy. Consider how a social drinker can become intoxicated, get behind the wheel of a car, and quickly turn a pleasurable activity into a tragedy that affects many lives. Occasional drug use, such as misusing an opioid to get high, can have similarly disastrous effects, including impaired driving and overdose. Without treatment, addiction can cause serious health issues, even death. It can damage personal relationships, lead to financial difficulties and cause legal problems.

Healthcare providers may recommend cognitive and behavioral therapies alone or in combination with medications. Research shows that mental illness may contribute to SUD, and SUD can contribute to the development of mental illness. Over 20 million people in the United States have at least one SUD. Substance use/misuse refers to occasional episodes of substance use rather than chronic, habitual or patterned use. Although variable amongst the states, typical BAC levels that define alcohol intoxication 80 to 100 mg/dL (.08 to 0.1% BAC).

Mental Effects

Substance use disorder is a complex mental health and brain condition. Substances — such as alcohol, stimulants and opioids — affect your brain, including your decision-making ability. These changes make it hard to what is drug addiction stop taking the substance, even if you want to. If you or a loved one has substance use disorder, talk to a healthcare provider as soon as possible. A trained provider can help guide you to the treatment you need.

what is drug addiction