Understanding Drug Addiction

Why do People Use Drugs?

There are many different reason why someone might start to take drugs.  For some it might just be curiosity to see what it’s like, or to comply with peer pressure from friends. 

At first you might enjoy the way they make you feel, as they can make you feel intoxicated, high or euphoric.  Or they might reduce your feelings of stress or anxiety or make you feel numb and subdue unwanted thoughts or feelings when you they use them, so you decide to carry on taking them.  People with mental health issues can often take drugs as a way to help them cope with their unwanted emotions or symptoms.

The Effect Taking Drugs Can Have On Our Bodies

Whilst initially everything seems fine and you feel in control, you might start to notice that you need to take larger doses to maintain the effect they have on you.  Repeated use can cause changes in how your brain functions, and you will start to feel an overwhelming craving to take more as the feelings of euphoria will wear off quicker, because the more you use them, the more likely you are to build up a tolerance to them.

This is how you become addicted to drugs, it’s a vicious circle, you have to use more to have the same effect and because you become tolerant to them, your highs become shorter, and then you start to suffer from withdrawal symptoms, which can be mental as well as physical.  It’s also important to know that long term drug use can lead to other addictive behaviours like using alcohol or gambling.

Symptoms of Drug Use

Symptoms will vary dependant on the type of substance you use, how long you have been taking it and how much you have been using, but can include:

·      Feelings of confusion, agitation, anxiety or paranoia

·      Changes to your eating habits or sleep patterns

·      Unnecessary risk taking

·      Neglecting your studies, work, or commitments

·      Mood swings or changes to your personality or behaviours

·      Changes to your appearance or personal hygiene

·      Blood shot eyes or change to the size of the pupils

·      A change in your social activities or behaviours

·      Money problems or getting into trouble with the law

Symptoms of Withdrawal

Again these can vary dependant on the circumstances above but can include:

·      Nausea and vomiting

·      Sweating

·      Panic attacks

·      Headaches

·      Palpitations

·      Shaking, shivering or chills

·      Feeling restless, irritable or agitated

·      Insomnia

·      Feeling anxious, depressed or paranoid

·      Intense craving to use drugs

Associated Conditions or Risks

Drug addiction can lead to financial difficulties and put strain on relationships with family and friends, as well as leading to other addictive behaviours.  It can also cause physical and mental health issues as well as making existing conditions worse.

Professional Help

If you’re struggling with substance use you should contact your doctor who can help you with any physical or mental health issues you may be dealing with.

They can also recommend that you seek therapy to help you with your addictions.  Therapies like CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) can help you understand your thoughts feelings and behaviours associated with your substance use.  Written by Jan, Jeana and Wendy at Barnsley Hypnosis and Counselling (UK). For more free Information click above link.

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