Anyone Can Become Addicted to Drugs


[Male voice over speaking] A lot of us have an idea in our heads about what a person addicted to drugs looks like. But the truth is, anyone can become addicted to drugs. Addiction is when you feel a strong urge to keep taking a drug, even if it is causing harm. To stop, ask for help. Drug addiction doesn’t depend on your income, your job, your age, race or color. Addiction is a disease of the brain–and it can happen to anyone. You probably already know that you can become addicted to tobacco, alcohol and illegal drugs. But even prescription drugs can be addictive when not taken as directed or when you take medication not prescribed for you. There are scientists who study drug abuse. Their research has taught us a lot about what makes you more likely to become addicted to drugs. Things like having family members who have had a drug problem, starting drugs at a young age, having mental health problems–like depression, or hanging around other people who use drugs. All put you at risk. But you do not become addicted if you don’t take drugs. If you or someone you love has a problem, get help. And if you do become addicted, you can be treated and you can recover. Find drug treatment near you. Call 1-800-662-HELP. Want to learn more? Find easy-to-read drug facts at www.easyread.drugabuse.gov

4 thoughts on “Anyone Can Become Addicted to Drugs

  1. 1:16: "But you do not become addicted if you don't take drugs."

    This is simply wrong, and this "common sense" but false belief is harming millions of people with chronic pain who are being forced to reduce or stop using pain medication that has enabled them to function for years or decades. There are many people who are addicted to compulsive behavior without ingesting anything. The cause of many overdose deaths today is the criminalization and demonization of drugs like opioids. All of our "battles" against fake crises do more harm than good.

    Parents should continue teaching children to use caution when ingesting anything, but government leaders should be forced to stop using moral panic issues marketed by cult groups that profit from fear mongering (PROP, Fed Up, Shatterproof, etc.). These leaders are self-serving egomaniacs, and the cult groups are usually started by parents of overdose victims who are deflecting their own guilt by destroying the lives of injured veterans, disabled, intractable pain, elderly, and many others who benefit from using pain medication. Millions of chronic pain patients are now being treated like criminals – which is every bit as wrong as treating heroin addicts like criminals.

    Demonizing a substance is logically pointless, and when a drug class benefits so many people it's bigoted and harmful. We're using authoritarian collectivism (policy and brainwashing) to make reliably manufactured opioids more and more inaccessible to people who want them and need them, which is forcing more people toward illicit heroin often laced with illicit fentanyl analogues 50 times more potent than expected.

    Meanwhile, pain patients are choosing to either try the black market, rot and suffer in pain, or kill themselves. Perverse authors of the marketing of false information and fear teach their cult followers to label overdose deaths and suicides caused by criminalization and demonization as "opioid" caused. We need to stop wasting tax dollars on organizations that promote the cultist demonization of modern medicine and Prohibition policy destroying lives, and instead promote individual freedom of choice and responsibility – and limited government.

  2. This is complete bs. It's not a 'disease of the brain' and it's a gross oversimplification to say 'anyone can become addicted to drugs'. There is a subset of the population whose neurology predisposes them to addiction, at present there are solid information involving the balance of specific neurotransmitters, while work on transcranial magnetic brain stimulation in Italy has been successful in eradicating serious cocaine addiction, targeting specific areas of the brain.

    While it's flat out stupid to play with drugs for recreational euphoria, as you're unlikely to know in advance if you're one of that subset–this generalization is being made as part of a much greater demonization of opioids through serious misinformation, as our current head of drug policy in the US, Alex Azar, is also president of Lilly–and his loyalties lie with Lilly, which pays likely millions more than the taxpayers he's supposed to represent while in office.

    While at Lilly, Azar invested nearly 2 billion, with a little help from Pfizer–the largest Big Pharma in the world–and a drug called Tanezumab. This is a prototype drug, first in its class of nerve growth factor inhibitors, with potential to spawn lots of other similar drugs, worth megabucks. The only problem is that it caused such significant joint damage that the previous FDAs wouldn't pass it.

    No problem, when Trump brought in Azar, he also appointed Gottlieb to the FDA. Gottlieb altered the research and fast-tracked Tanezumab. The only hurdle left? Per Jeffrey Katz of Harvard, the only competition to Tanezumab (with a likely $200-1000 per weekly v. monthly injection) was 'cheap generic oral opioids'.

    Voila! In comes Kolodny, a skilled liar with plenty of financial self-interest in his well-known anti-opioid position to provide the Opioid Guidelines for the CDC. Kolodny and his fellow members of PROP have zip compassion for those veterans with injuries that were certain death in prior times or those with incredibly painful disease, etc. ) One of them, Jane Ballantyne, said that no one should take pain medication, 'they need to learn to suck it up'. This now extends to our aging dogs, as even veterinarians have been forced to forego pain treatment in today's Pharma-owned world, in which drugs aren't okay unless they're patented and horrifically expensive.)

    When I say 'liar' Kolodny repeatedly–on national media–substituted the numbers of 'deaths due to poisoning due to drugs by all causes' which includes cocaine, meth, medication errors by staff and patients–and a Johns Hopkins study listed medical error as the third leading cause of death in the US–prescription errors, deaths from over the counter meds–in actuality, deaths from OTC NSAIDS rivaled those from prescription opioids when Trump assumed office–for the numbers of deaths due to opioids themselves. He used a large number of deaths that resulted when states mandated that their Medicaid patients, formerly stable on other opioids, switch to the cheaper methadone, resulting in fatal overdoses as methadone has a substantial half-life, accumulating insidiously in the body without overt signs until too late to allege that there was an alarming escalation indicating an opioid epidemic. Kolodny was well aware of the source of these deaths as the data was compiled by his fellow board member on PROP, Gary Franklin.

    Anyway, Kolodny is the CMO of Phoenix House, an 11-state drug rehab corporation now receiving its own millions of taxpayer monies allotted by Trump to fight this greatly exaggerated 'epidemic', in the process not alleviating addiction but simply transferring it to more expensive patented substances like Suboxone, meaning the pharma industry now receives considerably more money than cheap generic opioids provided from tax-funded insurance benefits. In the few instances where patients can actually receive help for pain, they have to pay through the nose for specialist co-pays every seven days, for the most part, for lifelong injuries and conditions.

    Another indication of a 'trumped up epidemic': the deaths from tobacco-related sources were 13x those of the combined numbers of prescription and street opioids, but no scrutiny on that industry–other than oppose its competition from Juul? The deaths from alcohol equaled those of the combined numbers from prescription and street opioids, but nothing said of alcohol?

    The deaths have now doubled from this massive misinformation program, as both abusers and pain patients have been forced into tainted street heroin, and, of course, the administration used these deaths to support a growing 'epidemic'.

    Re the misinformation: In the most respected text on the treatment of pain and anesthetic use, Wall and Melzack's 'Textbook of Pain', there was a study of 12,000 post-op patients treated with strong opioids. This was a group screened for not having prior abuse issues. Of that group, only four developed any dependence and only one a serious dependence–and physiological dependence is not equivalent to addiction.

    The brain reacts differently to opioids when pain is present vs. when they're taken to achieve euphoria–which is a significant difference. This has been substantiated by solid research. And, one difference is that respiratory depression is rare when these are taken for pain.

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