Motivation has always been an interesting topic to me, because of how differently motivated every single person on the planet is. I’ve also always been interested in what motivates some to start using drugs, and how they can then start to become addicted to them. My mother and best friend are addicted to heroin, so this topic hits close to home. They both started using because they lost someone very close to them, combined with past mental health issues. My mother has lost all close friends and family due to her addiction, and my best friend no longer has many friends at all from our town, because of his addiction. So why do people continue to use drugs, when they have lost so much because of that drug? The fact that these drugs affect our brain and “pleasure levels” is the only real answer to this question. My mother also used to be an alcoholic in her early twenties. In terms of heredity, I’ve noticed that my sister shows similar characteristics when drinking, like drinking heavily and often, blacking out without anyone realizing, and becoming belligerent. It is important to realize that being an addict is more than being “selfish” or “weak”. There are many other components that come into play, like heredity, our brain’s “pleasure system”, and our own personal motivators.
I found this video, and really enjoyed how Dr. Sanjay Gupta explains what drug addiction can do to the brain: