Drug addiction or substance use disorder is a medical condition that arises out of drug abuse or through drug dependence. It adversely affects a person’s brain and behavior, making their lives dysfunctional and chaotic. Drug abuse treatment or rehabilitation is required in such cases to return to normal lifestyles again.
Usuall, drug addiction begins with the use of a drug recreationally in social situations. However, in many cases, addiction might even originate through dependence on prescribed medications like opioid painkillers. Commonly abused drugs include alcohol, cocaine, opioids, benzodiazepines, cannabis, barbiturates, etc.
To identify the need for drug abuse treatment, you should know the symptoms of drug addiction. The following signs can help you decide if you should seek help for yourself or a dear one:
- Drug Abuse
No matter how it began but if you can’t keep your hands off a drug, you need help. It includes legal drugs like alcohol or opioid painkillers, as well as illegal ones. In such situations, the user keeps on increasing the doses and frequency of drug use.
Thoughts of anything other than drugs get blocked easily and tolerance levels keep on building. More drugs are required to achieve similar effects, which were possible with lower doses before. These circumstances call for immediate external help from friends, family, and medical professionals.
- Lack of focus on primary tasks
Drug addiction causes the victim to lose focus on important areas of life. Teenagers and adults frequently start missing their school and work respectively. They show a sudden drop of interest and performance levels in activities related to these areas. These problems can even cause mental health problems like stress, anxiety, and depression.
- Financial Chaos
Drug addiction causes financial problems as well. The victim feels the need to maintain a certain minimum supply of the drug. The drug abuse keeps on exacerbating and a person might even exhaust all their savings.
Victims might compulsively get into the habit of borrowing from others and even into stealing. If someone around you is also acting in such a manner, they might require help.
- Social Problems
Drug addicts tend to cut back on social or recreational activities. The problems in their life cause them to act in a sudden anti-social manner. Young victims might start ignoring their parents and become secretive. Most victims start neglecting their grooming and appearance as well.
Adults usually stop answering calls and refrain from social events. They might also cause harm to others or act inappropriately in a social gathering. An example of such behavior could be indulgence in domestic violence and sexual misconduct.
- Physical health problems
Drug addiction causes significant physical health problems and drastic physical changes. The affected individual experiences lack of energy and motivation. They might also have bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, tremors, and lack of sleep.
Drug addiction might make changes to the weight of a person as well, as it might suddenly increase or decrease. In addition to this, the victim might regularly indulge in reckless and injury-causing activities, for example, indulging in fights with strangers and driving under drug influence.
Motor ability gets adversely affected in most cases as well. The person is not able to perform basic physical tasks and is also unable to concentrate on anything properly.
- Inability to stop
During drug addiction, a person is either willing or unwilling to stop drug abuse. But at this stage, the person is unable to do so. This is because of withdrawal symptoms that occur when you stop taking the drugs.
An addict might approach someone for help when they recognize the need to overcome this problem. In other cases, the victim might not be willing to stop substance abuse despite several advice or warnings.
Both of these scenarios require getting professional help for the drug-addicted victims. Victims require substance abuse treatment from professionals and support from dear ones at this stage.
The Way Forward:
If you relate to these symptoms at a personal level or with someone close, these are signs of alarm. The situation requires urgent action and it should not be taken lightly. Drug addiction is a serious problem, which can destroy lives and thus, requires external help or intervention. If you experience these symptoms, go to a doctor as soon as possible. Ask someone around you to help you through the situation.
If, on the other hand, you notice these symptoms in someone else, advise them to get professional help. If possible, help them out in the process. Substance abuse treatment and other methods of rehabilitation are more commonly available now than ever.
Early identification of symptoms and getting help sooner can significantly increase the chances of long-term recovery. During and after rehabilitation, the love and support from family and friends are crucial to return to normal life and stay drug-free.