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Drug Addiction

Drug addiction or substance abuse is a state when the patient or the user loses the ability to control the intake of a substance or becomes dependent on the drug for regular functioning.

Alcohol, marijuana, recreational drugs, and prescription drugs can cause addiction. People get introduced to drugs at parties or through people who consume prescription medicines for specific conditions.

When a person is addicted to a certain drug, they continue using it despite the adverse effects it has on their bodies. In instances where they have no access to those drugs, they start exhibiting symptoms like paranoia, headache, stomach aches, fever, and irrational behaviour.

Depending on the nature of the substance in use, the addiction varies. What begins recreationally becomes a fundamental part of life. With time, the amount of substance used to get high also increases as the body gets used to certain quantities; this is called developing a tolerance.

Symptoms of drug addiction

The common symptoms of drug addiction include:

  • Feeling that you need to consume the drug every day or several times a day.
  • When the urge to consume comes, it blocks out all other thoughts that could be related to personal, professional life.
  • Having to consume increased dosages to get the same high.
  • Consuming drugs for longer periods than the original plan.
  • Always ensuring that you don’t run out of supply.
  • Consorting to the Beg-Borrow-Steal triage to score drugs
  • Avoiding your social and professional circles before the drug habit
  • Postponing or delaying work duties
  • Indulging in risky acts like driving under the influence
  • Experience agitation and anxiety when not using the drug
  • Feeling sick whenever you stop consuming the said drug.

Few physical symptoms of drug addiction include:

  • Dryness in the mouth
  • Red eyes
  • Elevated blood pressure and arrhythmia
  • Delayed response rate
  • Increased food cravings after drug consumption

Methods to treat drug addiction

Making a list: When the urge hits, it becomes difficult for the recovering patient to see past the urge and the need for an immediate high. In times like this, it is essential to remind yourself why you chose to quit drugs and reaffirm your mind on the negatives and positives of relapsing again.

Take the time to prepare a list of strong and honest motivating factors you could tell yourself when you’d experience an urge. This will help you ride past the urge way and avoid a relapse.

Take self-care seriously: Self-care in the form of meditation, yoga, a healthy diet, and regular exercise can help you in drug detoxification. These healthy routines will not only help you overcome an urge with relative ease but also help you make progress in the recommended drug rehabilitation programs.

Join a support group: Being part of a drug and alcohol treatment support group who are all undergoing treatment can be of immense support. Listening to the experiences of others and why they are struggling to remain free from drug addiction can help you understand the negative effects of drug addiction and think past the immediate urge to get high when the urge hits.

Being self-aware: As a recovering user, you are aware of your triggers, and you should ensure that you protect yourself from being present in the trigger zones that could cause you to relapse. Avoid being alone, going to pubs, or rave parties or similar settings that could make it difficult for you to control your urges.

Diagnosis of Drug Addiction

Medically diagnosing a drug addiction problem is complicated. However, the first and the most important step is for the user to understand that he/she has a problem and that they are willing to overcome that.

The symptoms and diagnosis of drug addiction are fairly synonymous, and the focus should be on creating a safe environment for the addict to reveal their problems to others and seek help.

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