Drug Addiction and Abuse

Drug dependence is probably one of the most common terms most people know whenever mental illness discussion is on the table. It’s only strange that we often think it’s all about the utilisation of hard drugs like cocaine, heroin, cannabis sativa, and many others bearing similar characteristics which are never the true. 


Drug dependence is only an ailment suffered among those who fully indulge into uncontrollable utilization of given illicit/intoxicating stuff. These would comprise entirely the illegal as well as legal medications utilized in hospitals for cure procedures. The condition, therefore, captures all the physical as well as psychological aspects of an individual making them entirely dependent on the substance.

These people will always show signs hallucinations, paranoia, involuntary shaking of the body parts, change of behaviour and chills and sweating among many more. The first cause of this ailment remains apparent. However, it is relating to some aspects among them being high-stress levels, severe injury or trauma, mental sickness, the historical background of obsession and early exposure to abuse of substances.

Better news relating to drug dependence is that it’s very much curable. Once you have been diagnosed with the ailment, a health specialist will assist you towards having the best and appropriate medicine plus follow-ups. Both hospital medicines and therapies work effectively towards finishing up the obsession.

Drug Addiction: Definition

In simplest terms, it describes a situation whereby ones both psychological as well as physical aspects are captured/ obsessed towards utilization of a particular drug. 

drug addiction definition

The strength of dependence is very compulsive and can influence the victim to perform specific illegal actions such as killing to get the drug. Full addition comes along with severe withdrawal signs which if not well managed can cause significant health defects.

Hence, the best way to go on with this is to have early diagnosis followed by close monitoring of your rehabilitation progress by a specialist.

Subjective Indicators of Drug Dependence

How does one realize of their obsession with the particular chemical element? Here are common illness indicators plus phenomena one may utilize as their checklist.

Note that individual drug dependence types do come with their specific indicators sometimes. 

  • Eagerness towards utilization the substance every time – one feel like using it all day long 
  • Intensively thinking of the drug whenever faced with some problems in life – they perceive it as a blockage.
  • Dishing lots of money towards drugs they can barely afford
  • Showing laziness in handling duties and responsibilities 
  • Joining groups of persons well known for substance abuse and excessive utilization
  • Change of behaviours from morally right to those that are life risk due to drug influence
  • They experience withdrawal phenomenon indicators 

The above-listed symptoms may sometimes last long enough especially when the victim does not seek early recovery procedures.

Indicators of Drug Misuse

These are changes addicts will notice about themselves;

  • They feel like the typical drug dosage is not enough anymore, and they would prefer an addition. 
  • They experience some strange effects such as dizziness, shaking of the body, sweat, headaches or hunger whenever the drug wears out from their system. Some may become confused/ feel seizure. 
  • Generally feels weak.
  • Since lots of attention is customarily directed towards drugs, most of these people stoop liking whatever they used to find interest in
  • Lots of them grow lazy in handling some usually duties like cooking and cleaning the house.
  • Involving oneself in some uncivilized behaviours like stealing to earn money for the drugs.
  • These people tend to sleep excessively or abnormally short period in comparison to their first sleeping habits. Some may also divert to eating too much or too little. 
  • One’s look and appearance entirely change. The addicts may develop bloodshot eyes, a bloody nose which comes regularly, tremors or shakes, bad breath and in some cases losing or gaining of weight.
  • Addicts are likely to acquire a new group of friends mainly addicts and like visiting new places where they can get their drugs or spend time in with friends using the drugs.
  • Most of them try to seek a solution from varied health experts.
  • These persons may chip in others cabinets to find out if they could be having the something to compensate their cravings.
  • Most alcohol drinkers in this category will take their doctor’s prescribed medications with alcohol which leads to further addiction.

From other addicts or abusers, you will see the following

  • Shakes, trembles, or inaudible speech
  • Develops bloodshot eyes and adapts regular bloody noses
  • Alterations in their everyday routine
  • They will have difficulty keeping tidy of themselves
  • May face financial problems
  • Acquisition of new friends and visits to new places

Addiction can be very traumatizing at times. These addicts based on the temporary feeling they usually get from the usage of the drug, most of them think all is good with them but no. It is an important one to seek proper health care once the above-discussed signs and symptoms occur.

Is Drug Addiction a Disease?

Yes, it is. According to many health researchers definition, drug addiction refers to complicated ailment affecting the brain and which compels the patient to use the specific substance in excess and often despite the harsh consequences. 

drug addiction disease

The disease disrupts the brain’s regions responsible for inventiveness, motivation, wisdom, decision making, and recollection. Apart from those, it harms various body systems together with family setups, relationships, workplaces, schools, and even neighbourhoods.

Like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, addiction is triggered by a blend of behavioural, biological, and environmental factors. Genetic risks aspects account for the most significant proportion leading to one’s addiction – about s half of the probability. 

The penalties of not treating addiction frequently include disorders associated with both the physical as well as mental health – requires prompt treatment.  Ignorance of it may only lead to a severe condition which sometimes may be life-threatening or disabling.

Why do People Get Addicted to Drugs

Ordinarily, please come to people when their elementary wants are satisfied – and these may include sex, hunger, and thirst. What happens behind this pleasure is that any of it releases given amounts of chemical to the brain. Therefore, the substance which releases higher levels seems to us as the most pleasurable activity or content.   

drug addiction and abuse

If the particular chemical is released into the brain for quite a long time, the consequences of it result. These are now the alterations which change certain aspects of the mind regarding memory, reward and also motivation.

Once this stage is reached, persons involved will tend to feel abnormal until they have a certain amount of the substance. Otherwise, they may experience craving desire which may be uncontrollable. It is here that they ignore all the negative consequences relating to the drug’s use and instead focus on getting it.

Furthermore, it is at this juncture that the addict begins to transform their behavioural characteristics as well as their associations. They would most likely spend time with other addicts and also lots of money in buying the drugs. The result of it is that they may lose old friends and care towards their families, jobs and even relationships.

Recovering from this situation is never a walk in the park. The already occurred changes may last for quite some time before eventually fading out once the addict has stopped using the drug. The risk with this situation is that relapse is always easy as the victim remains vulnerable to both the physical as well as environmental triggers.  

What Makes Drugs Addictive

As per scientific studies, addictive drugs always cause an activation effect on the ‘reward system’ of the brain. This situation is influenced by the release of higher levels of dopamine chemical to sensitive sections of the brain after satisfying experiences, for instance after good food, sex or use of particular drugs

Studies further indicate that artificially made drugs that cause or influences the release of high levels of dopamine are very addictive and causes the victims to desire more. However, it is within some people’s genes that they can easily get addicted to even little exposure.

How to Help Someone with a Drug Addiction

A drug addict can either be your friend, family member, workmate or a relative. Sometimes and often many times, we tend to refuse or accept the addictive condition of the people close to us. 

help with a drug addiction

It is until they have severe conditions consequence from their situation that we now take helping steps – little did we realize that early diagnosis and treatment is very recommendable and helpful.

Below are key ways you can go about helping addict persons close to you.

Step 1: Form Trust

Establishing trust may sometimes be very difficult especially with a person or people you had an earlier disagreement with mistrust issues. However, if you show seriousness and great desire to help then the trust will slowly build up – the person you are promoting will see it through your relentless efforts. 

At this step, you should avoid the following as they may interrupt the entire trust. 

  • Lecturing, nagging, and criticizing the addicted person.
  • Shouting at them, calling them names or exaggerating issues – do not associate your stresses with this. 
  • Secretly involving yourself in the addictive behaviours – they will never take you seriously. 

While doing this, take note of the following

  • If you do not do it right, then there is an excellent chance that you may introduce them to further addiction.
  • Some of the addicts are in the situation because of stressful conditions they are facing. If therefore you will be adding them more stress then they can have their condition worsen.
  • Trust should be mutual. They should not trust you in you can’t trust them
  • Many addicted persons only convert when they are faced with severe consequences, and therefore you should not die in it trying to save them – they will soon realize what you are doing. 

Step 2: Seek Initial Personal Help

Often it is hard to stay strictly with an addict especially if they are very close family members. The initial thing to do therefore is accepting your stressful situation and seeking help on your own.

Step 3: Interconnect

In many cases, people felt pissed off and irritated when people close to them behave in some awkward manner under the addiction influence, and as such, they tend to leave them alone to see for themselves the need to change. However, this is never recommended. Sometimes if you have one on one conversation with them, they may consider switching. 

Step 4: Recovery Process

Treatment options for this condition may vary depending on the health state of an individual as well as the drugs they are using. 

As they undergo the treatment, it is important you remember the following points;

  • Be generally honest with them. 
  • Leave out criticism, humiliation or blame during the counselling period. Just be real about every bit of the condition. 
  • Try to give them a listening ear as they explain the main reason behind their obsession. Sometimes it could be you.  
  • Always show them that you are ready and willing to change if that is what makes them go into drugs. Do not urge them.

In case their treatment is private, just the doctor and them, then,

  • Give them the kind of privacy they would wish. Do not go around gossiping about it.
  • Do not force them to say anything about their treatments. If they wish they will tell you.

Lots of other effective ways of helping drug addicts exist, however, it is worth remembering that change does not occur overnight. 

Drug Addiction: Treatment

Drug dependence is a significant complaint yet controllable through lots of practical ways. Here are the most common among them;

  • Counselling on behaviour
  • Medication
  • Evaluation and constant curative measures of co-occurring mental health complications such as nervousness and despair
  • Regular follow-ups on the addicts to ensure they do not relapse
drug addiction treatment

With strict adherence to either or a combination of the corrective procedures mentioned above options, an addict can realize full reclamation and make a full turn against substance misuse. Keeping into concern doctor’s or therapist’s instructions will help you a lot not to slide back into the mess. 

Forms of Drug Treatment

Detoxificants medications are the most frequently prescribed medications towards the controlling of substance dependence. The dosage, though, hinges on the health structure of somebody. They assist in the management process of pulling out, co-occurring ailments, plus other related cravings. 

For additional or quick effectiveness of these medications, supplementing curative methods like therapies can be employed as well.

Drug Rehab

The term describes the process of recovering substance addicts through verified training and medications.

It involves special services of an addict specialist to make proper evaluation and diagnosis of the addictive substances and come up with best prescriptions.

Drug Rehabilitation: Definition

It explains a well-distinguished process involving medical, psychotherapeutic curative process or both for conditions of dependence on psychoactive elements like alcohol, pharmacy drugs, and others from the street like the marijuana, heroin, cocaine, or amphetamines.

Drug Rehabilitation Goals

The ultimate objective of any drug rehab package is towards the liberation of addicts from chains of dependence. 

This entire program will entail employment of therapies well managed by therapists in conjunction with a health specialist to help in examining general body health and make best prescriptions. 

What Happens During Drug Rehabilitation 

Drug rehabilitation program involves;

  • Psychotherapy treatments and
  • Medication mainly detoxifiers
  • Behaviour counselling
  • Constant assessment of once progress

Once you have been diagnosed with the condition, doctors will guide you with the treatment mentioned above procedures to assist you to recover effectively within the very minimal time frame.

What Happens After Drug Rehabilitation

How long you take in the rehabilitation process is a subject on how fast your body is responding to the recovery process.


However, once you are discharged whatever follows is constant follow-ups. Instructions and counselling can be given to your closest family on how to handle you and help you not to fall back in addiction.

Also, it will be required of you to seek help in case you still do not feel quite well or anything relating to the addiction crops up.

Drug Treatment Centres

A variety of drug treatment centres exists that effectively deliver. Main ones are hospitals where one finds relevant medicines and others being rehab centres where the persons undergo psychotherapeutic therapeutic procedures.

Depending on your addictive substance, special help towards your recovery will be provided. In case of rehabilitation centres, one can either be an inpatient or outpatient. However, it will depend on the sick’s personal decision or state of their current health state.  

One can either make a personal decision to visit these places or be taken if need be. All the controlling measures in this organizations are usually lawful and well approved by world health institutions like the WHO.


Drug obsession is one critical complaint which affects the general lifestyle of an individual. If you have people to take care of, you will barely give them any of your time. All your money plus attention will be shifted towards the addictive element. This state can cause one to lose focus on their life then instead be such ‘useless’ person people would talk about.

The dependence occurs out of consumption of many kinds of stuff not only alcohol or other street drugs as many would think but prescribed medication as well. Most of them are however stimulants. They tend to increase chemical substances in one’s brain thus inflicting element of dependency.

Drug reliance occurs in a variety of forms depending on that affecting you. Likewise, controlling options differ similarly. Doctor’s will have contrary prescriptions and several therapeutic training useful for the reclamation course. 

Control on this can happen on health facilities such as the hospitals or rehab centres whereby a patient can either be an inpatient or outpatient. The mode ones choose works effectively in bringing your sober life back.


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