Risks Of Developing An Addiction Essay
The risk for addiction is greatest when an opioid produces a great deal of pleasure through the release of dopamine in the brain. If the release of dopamine is small or non-existent, there is little to no enticement to use more. In fact, the enticement is just the opposite—to use as little as possible because side effects, such as constipation, difficulty starting the urine stream, dizziness, and nausea are problematic. Here, the adverse side effects are a barrier to developing an addiction. These individuals, who represent the majority of users of painkillers, have a very low risk of developing an addiction to painkillers.
There is also evidence that genetics controls who releases more and who releases less dopamine when using an opioid (http://bit.ly/1AwBGLW). That is why the risk of developing an addiction to opioids depends so heavily on a person’s genetic makeup (Chapter 7).
Most addicts have a preferred drug of addiction, inferring that one class of drugs generates a greater “high” (more dopamine) than another class of drugs (http://bit.ly/1GIP9gU). One addict may prefer “downers,” such as opioids, alcohol or benzodiazepines, whereas another addict might prefer “uppers,” such as stimulant medications, cocaine, or methamphetamine.
Note: Methamphetamine and cocaine are dangerous drugs highly associated with medical complications, risk-taking, aggression, and violence…