Substance Abuse And How Do I Really Know?
Substance abuse affects people from all walks of life across the country. An individual may resort to alcohol and substance abuse due to many reasons – social settings and prescribed drugs are two of the most common instances in this regard. Addiction may develop before the user may even realize it. When a person develops a full-blown substance use disorder (SUD), it cannot be stopped using drugs. You need professional treatment to manage such a condition. Substance abuse can wreak havoc in your body and mind and even result in death when not treated early on. That’s why you need to know the common signs and symptoms of substance abuse to treat the condition effectively.
Substance use disorder or drug addiction is a disease of the brain that affects a person’s behavior. Such an individual is unable to control the use of prescribed and illegal drugs. When one is addicted to alcohol or drugs, he or she will continue to use the substance despite the harm caused by the drug. The addiction usually starts with the experimental use of a recreational drug in a social situation.
Some people become addicted to alcohol and illegal drugs while others become addicted to prescribed medications. How fast one becomes addicted may vary depending on the type of drug. Opioid painkillers cause addiction more quickly than others. With time, the individual may require a higher dose of the drug to feel high. The addict may find it difficult to go without the drug and may need it just to feel good. Trying to stop using the drug can result in intense cravings and make the person feel physically ill – known as withdrawal symptoms. Such an individual may need assistance from the family to undergo an organized treatment plan to overcome the addiction and stay drug-free.
There are many signs and symptoms to know if someone is addicted to recreational or prescribed drugs. Here are some of the most common symptoms of substance abuse:
- A feeling that you need to take the drug on a regular basis to feel better – daily or even several times a day
- Maintaining a steady supply of drugs
- May require more of the same drug to get the same effect over time
- Intense urges to have the drug
- Spending money on drugs even when one cannot afford it
- Taking the drug for longer periods of time than prescribed
- Taking larger amounts of prescribed drugs
- Neglecting work and social responsibilities
- Continuing to use the drug even when the habit is causing problems in the person’s life
- Stealing and doing other things that you normally wouldn’t do just to get the drug
- Participating in risky endeavors when under the influence of the drug
- Failing to stop using the drug – no matter how hard one tries to do it
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when trying to stop using the drug
Opioids are painkillers made from opium or synthetically. Opioid class of drugs includes morphine, methadone, codeine, oxycodone, and heroin. Opioid addiction has reached an alarming rate across the country. If you or a member of your family is addicted to painkillers or other prescribed drugs, you need long-term treatment to overcome the condition. Narcotic use and dependence include many symptoms such as:
- Sedation, drowsiness, and agitation
- Reduced sense of pain
- Constricted pupils
- Slurred speech
- Problems in focusing
- Memory lapses
- Runny nose
- Lack of awareness of the surroundings
- Coordination issues
When the use of drugs – illegal or prescribed – becomes out of control, one needs professional help to overcome the problem. The sooner you seek medical assistance, the better your chances of recovery. Overcoming drug addiction is a long-term process that requires behavioral therapy and medications. You need to see a mental health professional or choose an effective drug rehab program to overcome the condition.
Sometimes, emergency medical assistance may be needed if you or someone in your family has taken a drug and:
- Has breathing problems
- Has convulsions or seizures
- Has changes in consciousness
- Has any sign of chest pain or heart attack
The aforementioned article provides information on substance abuse and how to know if someone is struggling from addiction.