For example, stressors such as physical or sexual abuse, or witnessing violence, may contribute to someone’s risk for addiction. In addition, poverty is often linked to stress, and to chaotic lifestyles, which may increase the risk for drug abuse.
The risk factors that contribute to addiction are biological or environmental, or many different combinations of both types of factors. Addiction is defined as a chronic and relapsing, yet treatable, brain disease characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite negative or harmful consequences. Drug addiction is considered a brain disease because drugs change the structure of the brain, as well as how the brain works.
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In contrast, involvement in social networks that are supportive, and where disapproval of drug use is the norm, can protect against drug use. These groups might be sports teams, religious groups, or community groups.
Patients may be unwilling to share sensitive information in an open and honest way if they are fearful of being overheard by others. Ideally, health history interviews are conducted in private examination rooms, however this may not always be possible. The nurse should carefully consider whether the presence of the patient’s family or significant others is appropriate during the interview. Social and other stressors.Stress, and particularly early exposure to stress, is linked to early drug use and later drug problems.
- But there are also cultural factors that influence drug use, and societal factors that impact the consequences of drug use.
- Research shows that the earlier a person begins to use drugs, the greater the risk for addiction later in life.
- For example, while overall drug use by African-Americans and Hispanics is lower compared to white Americans, the consequences—such as trouble with the law or risk for disease such as HIV/AIDS—disproportionately affect minorities.
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Drug addiction is a complex disease that has serious, harmful effects on a person’s health and on his or her social relationships. The answer is not so simple—no single factor determines whether a person will become addicted to drugs. Drug addiction is defined as a treatable brain disease that makes it difficult to resist drug use.
It is similar to other diseases, such as heart disease, in that it disrupts the normal, healthy functioning of the organ . Like other diseases, drug addiction can have serious harmful consequences, but it is also preventable and treatable. A few major studies have now shown that the people who drink the most coffee have the lowest risk of dying from several common diseases. The same studies also report a 29–52% lower risk of dying from cancer or heart, kidney, or hormone-related diseases . For example, many studies link a plant-rich diet to a lower risk of premature death, as well as a reduced risk of cancer, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, depression, and brain deterioration .
According to the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, nearly 80% of all chronic diseases are preventable by readily available means—lifestyle modification as medicine. Privacy is crucial in facilitating a patient’s ease in discussing personal information.