Increasing tolerance for a drug is one of the most reliable predictors of the onset of addiction. Once it becomes necessary to take more than the initial dose used to achieve the desired effects such as to minimize pain or experience euphoria, it is a strong indicator that tolerance levels are building. Growing tolerance levels simply means that the drugs being consumed has already begun to effect physical and psychological changes within the body. If treatment is received at this pivotal point, many tragic stories of drug addiction would never need to be told. Intercepting the addiction process saves not only the addict but the pain and suffering of their loved ones whose lives will inevitably, also be impacted by the consequences of this disease.
According to Munchie Morgan, who lost her younger sibling Sarah as a result of addiction, recalled in her drug addiction story… “the what if’s, would she’s, could I have’s the “should I have’s” – all started coming at me with a vengeance” she said. Preventing a tragic story like Sarah’s from happening is an important reason to stop the progression of addiction as soon as it begins. As such, seeking treatment for substance abuse as a preventative measure rather than as a last resort has the potential to thwart many drug related fatalities.
Experts explain that neural changes caused by building tolerance levels establish a “new normal” for the brain. According to scientists from the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), although the development of tolerance is not addiction, many drugs that produce tolerance also has the potential to be addictive. If allowed to continue, increasing drug tolerance can accelerate change that may cause permanent damage to the brain’s reward system making it necessary for users to take more drugs to obtain the same effects they used to get from less. As such, tolerance alters the nature of the drug-using experience. Users often go from liking drugs to “needing” them simply to feel normal and stave off withdrawal systems.
Drug addiction stories are therefore born out of the increasing misuse of mind altering chemical substances that eventually requires a drug-induced boost to maintain the “new normal.” The danger of addiction lies in the subtle yet distinct transition from safe to dangerous use of drugs. Sadly, many individuals are ignorant of how short that leap can be. Many young adult wanting to experience everything that life has to offer also want to know what it feels like to use drugs. For many, it’s not long before they segue from recreational use to chronic abuse.
Helping a loved one stop addiction in its tracks often necessitate taking a difficult stance such as staging a drug intervention or asking the court system to intervene. For those who are still able to help themselves, it means being deliberate about asking for help by calling a drug treatment center or talking to someone who can provide the support needed to stop the abuse.
As addiction becomes pandemic in modern society, it is has also brought a shift in how people are reacting to the development of this condition. Hopefully, as the stigma of addiction diminishes and is recognized as a disease rather than a moral dilemma, more people will seek treatment quickly as opposed to waiting until the cycles of addiction has been fully established. And, while it is not unusual for people to be ambivalent about treatment at the beginning, the reality is that early intervention can save lives and make sobriety more sustainable in the long run.
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