In this article, I will attempt to answer the question of what is the psychology of a drug addict? Why do people use drugs, or is it different for everyone? What does it take for someone to change their mind, and stop using drugs and alcohol? Are there things that most people don't know about the subject?
What is the psychology of a drug addict? That's a bit like asking what is the psychology of a human being, but there are certain things which may be common among different people taking the same drug.
Is there a difference in the psychology of two people taking the same drug? Is there a difference in the psychology of two people taking different drugs?
You're actually talking about half of the population of the world, if you classify alcohol and cigarettes as drugs, and call drug addiction anyone who takes a substance regularly, or everyday.
Let's take a look at one drug, because I assume that most people would probably have this one in mind when searching for this question.
Heroin is a pain killer, in the same sort of family as other opiates like morphine and codeine. There are many reasons why someone might take a substance like this, but more often than not, it's because they're in some sort of pain.
It may have started as a headache, or a back ache, or they might have chronic pain such as a broken neck from a car accident. They may have a psychological pain that they're trying to kill, or it could even be low self-esteem.
Whatever it is, the user builds up an immunity to the drug, and needs more and more of it to get the same sort of pain-killing effect, or euphoric high.
It's an incredibly addictive drug, and when they don't have it for a day, or even a few hours, terrible withdrawl effects start to happen. Some of these include cramping, nausea, diarrhea, etc, but most of all, it's a feeling of painful cold.
It's not a matter of being strong enough to face the withdrawls, they could actually die from coming off the substance too quickly. So, you have a situation with a hardcore drug addict where they need the drug so badly, (and often the money), that they may literally die if they don't get it.
The Psychology Of A Drug Addict
Now when somebody is literally going to die, and they don't want to die, it doesn't really make sense to tell them to quit cold turkey, and in fact it doesn't really make sense to tell them anything, except maybe trying to convince them to go into a treatment program.
There are a lot of similarities between this sort of hard drug addiction and the psychology of a smoker. Even though the person won't die if they stop smoking, and are likely to die earlier than they would if they kept smoking, the chemical receptors in the brain don't really see it that way.
People tell me I should quit smoking, and I agree with them, but I've only actually tried to give up smoking twice. Once for about two weeks, and once for about three months, over the last fifteen years.
You have to want to give up something pretty badly to be able to do it long-term, when it has a physical and psychological hold on you. There has to be a certain amount of pain associated with taking the substance, which outweighs the pain of not taking it.
Some people say you have to hit rock-bottom before you give up, and for a smoker, that usually comes much too late, in a hospital bed, after having already gotten cancer.
What is the psychology of a drug addict? Perhaps if you're talking about the harder, less socially acceptable drugs, it's someone who wants to feel good, or kill pain, more than they want to live a life in the real world, although there are many very successful drug addicts in the real world.