Drug and alcohol abuse continue to be major issues in this country and while ongoing efforts to combat addiction and fight the war on drugs, there continues to be a major problem and instead of slowing down, it remains strong and in some circumstances it continues to grow. One of the changing circumstances that is frequently associated with drug abuse is the nature of the drugs that are being abused. While certain illegal street drugs are actually showing a decrease in use and abuse, prescription medications are becoming more common on the abuse charts.

Regardless of the type of drug being abused, there are certain aspects of addiction development that remain typical. There should actually be an exception made here as drugs like crystal meth and heroin are much different than pain medicine addiction potential. The use of these two illicit drugs almost always ends up in addiction and the process is much quicker than a behavior oriented addiction development.

The actual addiction development for most drugs is a combination of use and behavior intention. What frequently begins as experimentation or social use can escalate into a problem, especially when there are certain personality or life circumstance traits involved. When a person with certain emotional issues, such as those caused by previous traumatic events, experiments with drugs they frequently find that the substance helps to alleviate pain. This can lead to self medication, which in turn can turn into problem use and addiction. There are other aspects of addictive behaviors and not all trauma survivors become addicts, nor are all addicts trauma survivors. Sometimes the use simply becomes so regular and a daily aspect of the user’s life that they become addicted without realizing the extent of their use. If you have a concern about drug addiction for yourself or someone you care about, you should contact a professional and not try and make a diagnosis yourself, though you can recognize warning signs.