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Understanding Drug Use and Addiction DrugFacts

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Many people can’t understand how others become dependent on drugs. People may believe that drug addicts lack moral principles and willpower or that they can stop using drugs by choosing to. 

Drug addiction is a complicated disease. Quitting requires more than just good intentions and a strong will. Even for those who wish to terminate, drugs can alter the brain to make it difficult to stop using them. Researchers have discovered more about drug addiction than ever before and can provide treatments that help people get clean and live productive lives.

What is drug addiction?

Addiction is a long-term condition that involves compulsive or compulsive use of drugs. Although most people decide to use drugs at first, brain changes can affect self-control and inhibit an addict’s ability to resist the urge to use drugs. This is why drug addiction can become a “relapsing disease.” People who have recovered from drug abuse disorders are more likely to return to drugs even after years without using them.

Relapses are common, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that treatment is ineffective. Like other chronic conditions, treatment should continue and be modified based on the patient’s response. Therefore, it is essential to review treatment plans often and adjust them to meet the patient’s changing requirements.

What happens to the brain after someone takes drugs?

The brain’s reward circuit is affected by most drugs. For example, these drugs can cause euphoria and flood it with dopamine. A functioning reward system encourages people to do the necessary things to prosper, such as eating well and spending time with their loved ones. Conversely, dopamine surges in the reward circuit encourage people to continue engaging in unhealthy but pleasurable behaviors such as taking drugs.

The brain adapts to drugs by decreasing the ability of reward circuit cells to respond to them. This reduces the feeling of high a person gets from the drug, a phenomenon known as tolerance. To achieve the same high, they might use more of the drug. This brain adaptation often leads to the person being less able or unable to enjoy other pleasures, such as food and sex.

Long-term use can also cause changes in brain circuits and chemical systems, which may affect functions such as:

  • Learning
  • Judgment
  • decision-making
  • stress
  • Memory
  • Behavior

Many people continue to use drugs despite knowing the dangers. This is addiction.

Why are some people addicted to drugs and others aren’t?

Many factors can influence whether a person will become dependent on drugs. The risk of addiction is affected by a combination of many factors. A person’s risk factors are more likely to lead them to addiction. Take, for example:

  • Biology. About half of an individual’s chance of addiction is determined by the genes they are born with. Risk factors for addiction and drug use include gender, race, and other mental disorders.
  • Environment. The environment a person lives in includes many influences. These include family, friends, economic status, and overall quality of life. In addition, peer pressure, sexual and physical abuse, early exposure, parental guidance, and stress can all significantly impact a person’s chances of developing a drug addiction.
  • Development. To increase the risk of addiction, genetic and environmental factors play a critical role in shaping a person’s story. While drug addiction can occur at any age, it is more common for those who start using drugs earlier than others. Teens are particularly vulnerable to this. Teens may be more prone to dangerous behaviors such as drug use because their brains are still developing.

Is it possible to cure or prevent drug addiction?

Treatment for drug addiction is not a cure for many chronic diseases like diabetes, asthma, heart disease, and heart disease. But addiction can be treated and managed. Relapses can occur for many years for people who have been addicted. 

Research has shown that patients who combine addiction treatment with behavioral therapy have the best chance of success. Treatment can be tailored to the individual’s drug use and co-occurring mental, supervised detox, and social issues for continued recovery.

The good news is that addiction and drug use can be prevented. NIDA-funded research has shown that prevention programs involving families, schools, and communities effectively prevent or decrease drug abuse and addiction. Even though personal and cultural factors can influence drug use, young people tend to reduce their drug intake when they see it as dangerous. 

Education and outreach are crucial in helping people to understand the potential risks of drug abuse. Education and prevention of drug abuse and addiction are crucially important for parents, teachers, and health care professionals.

Important Points

  • Drug addiction is a chronic condition that includes drug addiction, compulsive drug use, and the need to seek out new drugs despite the dangers.
  • Over time, the brain changes caused by substance abuse can affect a person’s ability to control their impulses and make it difficult to resist the urge to use drugs. Drug addiction can also be a relapsing condition.
  • Relapse refers to the return to drug abuse after a failed attempt to stop it. Relapse is a sign that you need more or a different type of treatment.
  • Dopamine is a chemical messenger that floods the brain with drugs. As a result, dopamine surges in the reward circuit can reinforce unhealthily but pleasurable activities. Unfortunately, this causes people to continue repeating the same behavior over and over again.
  • The brain adapts to excess dopamine over time. This reduces the feeling of high compared to when they first took the drug. This is known as tolerance. To get the same dopamine high, they might consume more drugs.
  • Many factors can influence whether someone will become addicted to drugs. The risk of addiction is influenced by a combination of environmental, genetic, and developmental factors. A person’s risk factors are more likely to lead them to addiction.
  • It is possible to treat substance use disorder and manage it successfully.
  • The good news is that addiction and drug use can be prevented. Therefore, education and prevention of drug abuse and addiction are crucially important for parents, teachers, and health care professionals.

Hathaway Recovery is a luxury drug rehab center in California offering healing recovery from all substances. We are a leading provider of high-quality clinical and nursing treatment programs for our clients who require the very best psychological and dependency treatment services. Hathaway Recovery is a safe space for individuals who are serious about their recovery to discover the root cause of their addiction and find new skills for a productive life.


  • Excellent treatment center. Hathaway put on the road to recovery, I been sober 2 years today! Thank you Dena and staff members!

    Mike M.
  • Hathaway has saved my family. Before we found Hathaway my daughter was suffering with addiction however once we came to this facility the staff took her in and she felt comfortable and by a couple months she was ready to come back home fully recovered. Thank you Hathaway Recovery for saving her and thank you for the wonderful staff.

    Gabby H.
  • First I’ll start by saying that, this facility is absolutely beautiful! A couple years ago my husband Tony attended Hathaway Recovery in Claremont Ca. While Tony was in residential he received every care needed for a successful recovery. Also, he was able to enjoy the home gym at the beautiful Hathaway home, it’s basketball court, pool and etc. which made his stay even more pleasant. I am forever grateful for the man Tony has become ever since his completion. He has two years clean under his belt and many more to come because of the amazing facility. Thanks again Hathaway Recovery and Staff, Keep Continuing Changing Lives, God Bless Diane and Tony

    Diane K.
  • I came to Hathaway Recovery on court orders stemming from charges due to not taking medications for my mental health. I was fearful of what my future held and what that would look like. I have never been to a dual diagnosis treatment program before, and I didn’t know what to expect. I really didn’t think I had a substance abuse problem but after about 3-4 weeks of group therapy and the counselors here at this facility, I finally realized substance abuse influenced me to not be able to take care of my mental health. With the help of Hathaway Recovery’s team, I was able to build a strong foundation for my recovery that is vital to me and my family. The clinical staff, therapist, case managers, and counselors included, were honest, caring, and really helped me gain the knowledge I needed to build this recovery program and lifestyle. I am forever grateful for the treatment at Hathaway Recovery.

    Transition A.
  • My brother has been addicted for years. All our family gave up on him. Recently, he completed an inpatient residential program at Hathaway Recovery. This place is blessed and so helpful. It’s very luxurious, you feel like you are on vacation at a beautiful resort. Hathaway Recovery staff is very helpful, understanding and supportive. They all helped him to recover and to become a human again and enjoy his life. This place also supports family members and teaches them how to deal with aftercare to prevent relapse. Hathaway Recovery is the place for those who are struggling with addiction. Thank you for everything!

    Beauty D.
  • As a Trauma Informed Therapist I was contracted by Dina , the Owner to provide additional Trauma Informed Counseling. She indicated that she was seeking additional clinical services because her client population were enthusiastic about their recovery and she wanted to provide quality care. Working with Hathaway has been magical. This program does not separate addiction and mental health trauma into separate treatments, This program blends together the understanding that addicts have childhood trauma and have habitually used drugs or alcohol to dull their inner pain., Hathaway Recovery provides highly individual services for each client, including bilingual counseling. This is a program that I am proud to be a part of. Susan Pennington, LCSW – Trauma Informed Counseling Services.

    Susan P.
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    Jimmie R.
  • After searching many rehabs and after spending so much money to useless facilities we finally found Hathaway . From the bottom of my heart I would like to thank all the staff and all the residents that made my sons recovery easier from beginning to end.

    Gayane A.
  • Hathaway truly saved my life. I am so grateful to have had an opportunity to go there. I came in at absolute rock bottom, 9 rehabs later and countless sober livings. I can tell you that this treatment center is different then every other one I’ve ever been to.

    Justin J.
  • After running into some trouble with the law, a substance abuse counselor suggested that I check myself into Hathaway Recovery. Hathaway Recovery helped me get my life back together one step at a time. Through discipline, routine, and structure, I can honestly say that this treatment center has helped me tremendously! The staff are very helpful and caring to each person’s needs, and helped me to realize the beauty of living a sober life.

    Josh M.
  • Hathaway Recovery stuff saw potential In me when I couldn’t. They showed me a new way of life, a better life. Coming to Hathaway recovery is the best decision I’ve ever made. I’m beyond grateful for everything the program has done for me!

    Gilberto F.
  • Finally, Hathaway is a Treatment Center that offers a holistic approach to addiction. This center offers a safe place, community and a network to grow with throughout your recovery process. They make you feel that you are NOT alone. The leadership has been in your shoes!!! Hathaway Recovery is more than just a temporary fix, it is a foundation, a movement, a family to be a part of.

    Anthony P.
  • One of the best places I have been too! They really know how to treat you and very professional!

    Ashley A.
  • Hathaway Recovery and their staff have been nothing but supportive and understanding throughout our family member’s journey. I truly appreciate all the staff and their hard work. The communication has been great and has provided us a really positive experience. I would highly recommend this facility to anyone looking for a rehabilitation center for themselves or a loved one. Thank you Hathaway Recovery!

    Lilit H.
  • Hathaway Recovery is a very solid, very friendly place. My boyfriend decided to go here and has spent a significant amount of time at the recovery house. They are very good at bringing clients to meetings and on fun outings occasionally! Hathaway is committed to their clients’ recovery and their sobriety and to helping them in any way possible. They go above and beyond for the clients and I definitely would recommend considering Hathaway for your sobriety/recovery.

  • Hathaway is a warm caring treatment oriented environment to receive help from various addictions and behavioral problematic issues. The location itself is serene and safe.. I enjoyed the both staff/professional’s and patient’s… It has many services available, a very unique place… I recommend anyone to come and receive long-term treatment here at Hathaway…

  • Hathaway Recovery is a very solid, very friendly place. My boyfriend decided to go here and has spent a significant amount of time at the recovery house. They are very good at bringing clients to meetings and on fun outings occasionally! Hathaway is committed to their clients’ recovery and their sobriety and to helping them in any way possible. They go above and beyond for the clients and I definitely would recommend considering Hathaway for your sobriety/recovery.

  • “There was no longer any doubt in my mind that I was in the right place for my drug abuse treatment, “Of all the rehabs I could have chosen, I am glad I picked The Hathaway Recovery Support hope respect and care is what i was offered thanks for everything Hathaway recovery you are the best

  • Hathaway Recovery is an awesome place the whole staff has been so helpful they are very professional and very nice Hathaway recovery is a great place to get your addiction treated my brother is doing very well there and we are so glad they were very understanding and willing to help him.

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  • When your loved one is sick and needs help you look for the best and I found the best for my son thank you for everything you did for him.


    Hathaway Recovery is an exclusive addiction rehab treatment center in California offering healing recovery from all substances. We’re proud to provide a great combination for drug, alcohol, psychiatric and psychological recovery treatment backed by experts in the addiction treatment field. Our drug and alcohol rehab is built on the cornerstone of care and compassion and accommodates clients and their families from all backgrounds to educate, inform, and create change around substance use disorder. In a secluded mountain hill luxury resort, our facility offers a therapeutic environment and array of clinical modalities to help individuals and their families. Our staff are also multilingual to address the needs of clients from anywhere in the world.

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