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Drug Addiction

Overview

  • Drug addiction is a disease that affects your brain and thus your behavior.

  • It also leads to an inability to control your use of medication or drugs.

  • You can become addicted to illegal drugs like heroin and meth, or legal drugs like alcohol, anti-anxiety medications, or even painkillers.

Over time, you might need higher and higher doses of drugs to get the same high.

  • Once you become addicted to the drug, you might have difficulty avoiding it.

  • Attempts to stop using drugs may result in intense cravings, or withdrawal symptoms.


Symptoms and behavior when using drugs

Each patient may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms include:

  • Wanting to use the drug frequently

  • Avoiding work and social responsibilities

  • Being overly spontaneous

  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when off the drug


Possible indications of drug addiction

  • Problems at work or school – quitting work or school, a drop in grades or performance, a sudden change in interest in school and work.

  • Physical health issues – weight loss or gain, red eyes, a lack of energy or motivation.

  • Changes in behavior – a drastic change in behavior or relationships with family and friends

  • Money issues – sudden and possibly frequent requests for money without proper reasons.


Examples of drugs or medications


Opioids


  • Opioids are narcotics, or painkilling drugs derived from opium or similar synthesized chemicals.

  • Some drugs in this class consist of heroin, morphine, codeine, methadone, and oxycodone.


Inhalants

  • Glue, paint thinners, correction fluid, felt tip marker fluid, gasoline, cleaning fluids, and household aerosol products are some of the most commonly inhalant drugs.

  • Because of the toxicity of these substances, users may suffer from brain damage or eventually death.


Hallucinogens

  • The most common hallucinogens are lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and phencyclidine (PCP).


When to see a doctor

  • You can’t stop using drugs

  • Your drug use leads to unsafe behavior

  • You are experiencing withdrawal symptoms


Intervention and treatment

  • Interventions should be carefully planned, and they can be carried out by family and friends in consultation with a doctor or professional.

  • During the intervention, these individuals gather to have a conversation with the individual to invite them to undergo treatment.


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