Drug Addiction and Mental Illness

Most of us are familiar with Britney Spears, teen-pop sensation of the late 90s. Most of us are also aware of her dramatic actions of shaving her head, flashing the paparazzi, and bad parenting. What a lot of us don’t already know is that Spears had been abusing cocaine and ecstasy; two highly addictive drugs. Consequently, she built up tolerance to the drug and became a drug addict. She was sent to rehab and now is being accused of addiction to marijuana and/or morphine.

Drug addiction is a mental illness. When an individual uses a drug and continues to use it, their body builds up a tolerance to the drug. These people seek out their first “high” and desire more of the substance to get them there. This is what leads to the addiction. Because these individuals, like Spears, take the substance consistently, their body becomes dependent on the drug. During rehab, it is hard for an addict to adjust. Over a certain period of time (during withdrawal), these people going through rehab may have to take other pharmaceutical drugs to help reregulate their physiology. However, the addict’s psychological desire for the drug is completely controlled by the individual. These compulsions, or obsessions, to the drug is the mental disorder.

The internal conflict with this mental disorder is that addicts feel like they “need” to take the drug. Their body is insulted by the drug(s) and it is harmful to their physiology, however, psychologically, these individuals love the dopamine and serotonin being released and want to continue that good-feeling. It’s a conflict between their physiology and psychological desire.    


About mollyhalter

I am currently an Accounting major at Park University. However, after this semester, I am most likely going to double-major in Psychology and Criminal Justice. I am very interested in forensic psychology which is why the topic of my blog is "Internal Conflict: Mental Disorders."
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