Drug Addiction

Drug Addiction

 addiction

Drug addiction and abuse have become more commonplace in today’s society, with more drugs easily accessible and available. Drug addiction now affects people from all classes of society and from all walks of life.

This article hopes to make you fully aware of the dangers and risks associated with drug abuse. As a leading authority on first-class addiction treatment in the UK, we have helped thousands of patients and their families to overcome this self-destructive and deadly illness.

If you have a drug problem, get free advice today on 02072052845

What is drug addiction?

Symptoms

Drug addiction symptoms or behaviours include, among others:

  1. Compulsive drug-seeking and taking
  2. Continuation of use despite negative consequences
  3. Progression of  use in either frequency, amounts or route of administration
  4. Long-lasting changes to the brain that affects the individual’s behaviour even once drug-taking has been ceased
  5. Relapse – Even when the individual affected has no plausible reason to return to drug use, and they are often compelled to do so.

When a person suffering from substance abuse relapses, this is a sign that their treatment needs to be reviewed and adjusted to prevent further relapse. Quite often it is the case that for a recovering person to stay clean, they must continue to access treatment and support and continue in their personal development (3)

Signs and symptoms of recent drug use can include:

  • Increased blood pressure and heart rate
  • Red eyes
  • A sense of euphoria or feeling “high”
  • A heightened sense of visual, auditory and taste perception
  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering
  • Dry mouth
  • Lack of  coordination
  • Slowed reaction time
  • Anxiety or paranoid thinking
  • Exaggerated cravings

Long-term (chronic) use is often associated with:

  • Decreased mental awareness
  • Poor performance at school or at work
  • Reduced number of interests and friends

Drug tolerance and dependence

Drug tolerance occurs through repeated exposure to a certain drug or drugs over a prolonged period. The person taking the drugs no longer gains the desired benefits and effects that they used to. Consequently, they have to either increase the amount of the drug that they take or change the route of administration, i.e. from smoking to injecting.

Tolerance is also progressive, and as the body and brain adjust to a new level of the substance, the individual will once again hit a plateau. This plateau can only be overcome by taking yet more drugs. In many cases of chronic addiction, this becomes a daily cycle of ensuring the body has enough of the substance to avoid acute drug withdrawal.

Drug dependence comes after drug tolerance. At some point, the brain and body require the drug just to function, let alone get high. Missing a dose or taking any less of the drug than the brain has become accustomed to results in drug withdrawal symptoms developing. These symptoms are only relieved by taking more of the drug that the person has become addicted to.

The only recommended way of breaking the relentless cycle of drug tolerance and dependence is to undergo a full medical drug detox.

The topmost addictive drugs

Certain drugs cause an individual to become addicted more easily than others. These drugs have powerful effects while working and cause withdrawal and strong drug cravings during the comedown period.

Certain drugs and this includes prescription drugs, are well known for their addictive properties. These highly addictive drugs can cause an individual to become ‘hooked’ or drug dependent within a matter of only a few weeks, in some cases, less.

At Rehab Guide, we are able to provide expert, comprehensive help for treatment for a wide range of drug addictions. Please click on the links below:

Who is at risk of drug addiction?

Science and research have shown that some individuals are more vulnerable to developing drug addiction than others. Although in reality, it can affect anyone.

Known risk factors that can cause drug addiction include:

  • Mental health illness  Those that suffer from depression, PTSD, OCD, generalised anxiety disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and other mental health illnesses are more prone to ‘self-medicating’ using prescription drugs, legal drugs and illicit drugs
  • Environment  Those that have been raised in a dysfunctional family environment or exposed to alcohol and drugs from an early age are more likely to follow in the steps of their main caregivers
  • Teenagers – Teens that experiment with alcohol and drugs are more likely to develop an addiction as their brain is still maturing and developing. This makes their brain more vulnerable to chemical change
  • Genetics – Those that have a history of drug abuse, alcoholism and/or mental health illness in their family are genetically more predisposed to drug addiction and alcoholism (5)

addiction

A deadly disease, the facts and statistics

Opiates such as heroin and morphine are still the most common cause of drug misuse deaths, but deaths relating to cocaine use have doubled in England and Wales since 2015, with 637 deaths being recorded in 2018 (6)

In Scotland, the number of drug-related deaths continued to rise by a further 27% on the previous year. Scotland recorded 1187 deaths from drug poisoning in 2018. Once again, the highest number recorded for the country since records first began (7)

Greater Glasgow and Clyde suffered the highest rates of death by drugs per 1,000 population, with 0.23 being recorded. This was closely followed by Tayside, Ayrshire and Arran (7)

We provide confidential, free drug treatment assessments conducted by our telephone experts.

addiction

Contact us on 02072052845. We are waiting to take your call.

Addiction is not a curable condition, but it is treatable, and once treated recovery can then be maintained. Accessing the correct addiction treatment in the first instance can save a lot of pain, money and heartache.

We provide professional inpatient detox, inpatient rehab, daycare and outpatient programmes all of the highest quality. We can also signpost you to your local drug and alcohol services where appropriate.

 

 

References and sources:

 

  1. Goldstein RZ, Volkow ND. Dysfunction of the prefrontal cortex in addiction: neuroimaging findings and clinical implications. Nat Rev Neurosci. 2011;12(11):652-669. doi:10.1038/nrn3119
  2. Addiction, as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5, 2013).
  3. NIDA / JAMA, 284:1689-1695, 2000
  4. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Mental and Substance Use Disorders. https://www.samhsa.gov/disorders. Published June 20, 2014. Accessed June 4, 2018.
  5. Kowalchuk A, Reed BC. Substance use disorders. In: Rakel RE, Rakel DP, eds. Textbook of Family Medicine. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 50. drugabuse.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/preface
  6. Office for National Statistics England and Wales https://www.ons.gov.uk/
  7. NRScotland – PDF 2018 Drug related deaths

 

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