When Does Drug Abuse Become Addiction
Drug addiction is a common problem that has caused a lot of suffering to millions of families all over the world. Why people continuously use drugs in the face of their negative side effects is something that's hard to understand. Because it is a complex disorder, addiction can be hard to stop.
Victims of drug abuse often find it very difficult to stop the uncontrollable urge to reuse because their brains are so altered by repeated use. These various drugs alter the ways that the brain operates and impacts a persons ability to control their behavior and think clearly. Altered brain functionality can result in cravings for drugs to become too intense to ignore.
The best way to determine if someone about whom you care is involved in drug abuse is to familiarize yourself with the drug addiction symptoms which will give that person away. Once you know what the signs of drug abuse are, you will be able to distinguish them from ordinary emotional ups and downs which everyone experiences from time to time.
One of the classic drug addiction symptoms is that a drug user often shows signs of severe fatigue at unusual times of the day. Drug users coming down from an amphetamine high, for example, may have literally gone for days without sleeping, and their bodies will simply give out. It may be a day before they awaken. A repetition of this pattern of being wide awake for an extended period and then sleeping for an extended period is a drug addiction symptom.
If someone who has been part of one circle of friends for a long time suddenly stops socializing with them and spends most of his or her time with another group, it may be to find someone who shares their substance abuse. Or, if someone drops all his or her friends and wants to be alone most of the time, it could be an attempt to hide a drug habit.
Following The Money
If you're a parent who suspects your child has been stealing from you, or have a friend who you know has been borrowing, or stealing, lots of money, or shoplifting high-end items and selling them, you may be witnessing one of the worst drug addiction symptoms.
Drug abuse is a very costly habit, and because of its addictive nature, it can rob the abusers of their self-control. Stealing, lying, and other behaviors which they would never have considered before becoming addicted are now all just tools of the trade. Understanding why they are happening is not the same as condoning them, and it may impress on you the power of an addiction and the urgency of getting the addict help as soon as possible.
Drug Specific Symptoms
Drug addiction symptoms will also vary according to the types of drugs tow which someone is addicted. The signs of amphetamine abuse include euphoria, rapid speech, a loss of appetite, and insomnia. Opiates like heroin or cocaine cause a decreased sensitivity to pain, sedation, confusion, and, of course, the telltale needle tracks if the user is mainlining.
Before you confront someone about drug abuse based on what you think are drug addiction symptoms, however, do everything you can to rule out other explanations; and have a strategy prepared for the actions you will take if your suspicions are confirmed.
It is important to understand that drug addiction symptoms can vary. Additionally, you should be aware that they are not definitive. Just because your child or friend changes friends, does not always mean he or she is an addict, but it is something to keep an eye on. As you see more of the symptoms, though, it can be more definitive and mean that it is time to confront or take other action. :