Addiction can start for a variety of reasons; from experimental use to dependency prescription use to wanting to be high. Hard drugs are scary and with high potential for abuse, severe addiction or death. Drug dependency involves all the symptoms of drug abuse with an added element of physical dependence.
Withdrawal effect: As the drugs wear off, you experience withdrawal symptoms such as any or more than one of these: anxiety, shakiness, jumpiness, trembling, sweating, nausea and vomiting, depression, loss of appetite, insomnia, headaches, fever, hallucination seizures etc. Using drugs to avoid or stop any of these symptoms is a sign of addiction. In severe cases of withdrawal could be life threatening.
Tolerance: This means needing more drugs overtime to feel or have the same effect as before. Needing increased dosage in terms of prescription drugs. If the more you take the more you want, then you are an addict.
Desire to stop but can’t: Unsuccessfully wanting to quit or cut down and not being able to no matter how much you try, shows you are an addict.
Loss of control: Using more and more drugs than you need to and for longer than intended, despite promising yourself not to any more, makes you an addict.
Neglect of important activities: Spending less and less time on things that are of great value to you, because of your usage of drugs.
It steals your time, energy and focus: Much time is spent thinking, doing and recovering from drugs. Not interested in getting involved in anything outside drugs or drug related
Continuity despite damaging consequences: Continued use even in the face of the problem it is generating for you.
How to help yourself or a friend overcome drug or alcohol abuse
- Avoid places, people and situations that trigger the urge to use by:
- Accepting you are a user and need help
- Determine to make a change
- Setting measurable goals for quitting. E.g. limits on drug usage or quitting date and stick to it
- Keeping away from bars and clubs
- Keeping away from friends or acquaintances that indulge and lure you in again
- Making your status known when seeking medical treating or attending meetings or seminars where alcohol is served
- Halting high risk situations
Like my mother would say: “Your life is in your hands; tread wisely and be the master of all!”