Drug abuse is nothing but drug addiction. It is a chronic disease which leads the patients to reuse/return to use the drug extremely. But the immense or extreme use of drug results in changes in structure and function of brain and they lose their voluntary control/ Self control on their body and they cannot make their own decisions. Open Access eBooks is inviting researchers to submit their book chapter for the publication in volume 1 of an eBook DRUG ABUSE: ADDICTION AND RECOVERY.
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Drug addiction can be considered a chronic brain disease that affects neurotransmission between circuits of neurons that control behaviour, emotion and cognition; which is characterised by an excessive engagement in drug use, unsuccessful attempts in controlling drug intake, an increase in anxiety and emotional pain, and inaccurate beliefs about drug use. The neurobiological basis of drug addiction is supported by recent advances in neuroimaging procedures, such as Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and new findings on the neurobiology of addiction, that have made possible to gather important information around the neurological processes underlying the disruptions in emotional regulation and decision making presented in people with drug addiction.
Abstinence is the deprivation of previously abused substances that lead to addiction. The long-term and excessive use of a drug causes different biochemical and neurophysiological changes. After addiction is established, deprivation causes withdrawal, whose symptoms, duration and degree vary among substances. Common symptoms include anxiety, depression, tremors, impaired thinking, and changes in autonomic nervous system functioning (tachycardia, sweating, vomiting). The most widely used licit drugs of abuse are alcohol and nicotine, and although both are considered psychoactive substances, abstinence from each differs in both neurophysiological and behavioral terms. When substance use is deemed abusive and intervention is necessary, treatment includes medical care and medication to decrease symptoms, avoid complications, and prevent patient craving. A number of prescription drugs are available for the treatment of addiction and withdrawal from alcohol and nicotine. Although treatment for more severe cases may help significantly, most individuals abandon treatment and relapse. Thus, new approaches and experimental tests have been developed in order to expand knowledge about the systemic effects of abusive drugs and alternatives to rehabilitation treatments. In this respect, this chapter intends to review the state of the art in the study of addiction and abstinence from alcohol and nicotine, and propose alternatives for addiction and abstinence treatment.