Most people have heard using drugs like heroin or cocaine one time can lead to addiction. However, how true is this? While it’s possible for many people who try these drugs to become addicted to them, most people aren’t going to become addicted the first time they try a new drug. Instead, they’ll become addicted if they continue to take the drug over some time.
Defining Drug Addictions
The definition of drug addictions is important to understand when talking about how long it takes to become addicted. There are two different types of addiction: physical and psychological. Physical addiction means the body has adjusted to require the drug and the person may go through withdrawals if they stop taking the drugs. Psychological addiction is where a person’s thoughts and behaviors are centered on the drug and they want to use it even when they know they shouldn’t.
Most drugs work by altering the brain’s chemistry. This can cause someone to become psychologically addicted to the drug quickly, even if it takes much longer for them to become physically addicted to it. Those who suffer from mental health issues may become psychologically addicted to the drug faster, in some cases, even after the first time of trying it. Those people may want to consider getting treatment from somewhere like Honey Lake Clinic so they can get help for their mental health issues at the same time as their addiction issues.
How Drugs are Addictive
The human brain naturally makes dopamine to cause euphoria, a feeling of happiness. This often happens when someone is doing something they love, like social activities. When someone takes drugs, it floods the brain with dopamine, which gives the high feeling most people have when they try drugs for the first time. Trying a drug once will have this effect, but it’s not long-lasting. As someone continues to use drugs, the brain can adjust to the flood of dopamine by ceasing to produce it on its own. To get the feeling again, the person must use drugs again. This is a very basic overview of what happens, but basically, the brain learns to depend on the drug to function properly, instead of being able to function on its own, which creates a physical dependence on the drug.
How Long it Takes to Become Addicted
It takes time for drugs to alter how the brain works. Someone who tries a drug for the first time could become psychologically dependent on it, though they can always choose to avoid the drug in the future to avoid becoming physically dependent. The actual physical addiction takes much longer, though there have been studies done that show that a single dose can have an impact on the person and how their brain reacts to the drugs. Just trying a drug once can make the brain more susceptible to the drug, which means it is more responsive to the drug in the future, making it more likely someone will become addicted if they continue to use the drug.
While it’s not possible to become physically addicted to a drug on the first try, psychological addiction can begin there and can lead to physical addiction if someone continues to take the drug. If you feel like you are addicted to any drug, no matter how many times you’ve tried it, seek help from a treatment center today to start your recovery.