Life invokes a variety of situations and circumstances that can lead one to the path of substance abuse. Some of the reasons that can push people toward drugs are curiosity, peer pressure, need to improve athletic performance, self-medication, urge for a high or escape the daily grind. Although many people use drugs and escape the route to addiction, for some it is not so easy to stay away forever. The initial decision to take drugs might be voluntary, but with continued use, one’s ability to exercise self-control can become impaired and often affect brain areas related to decision making, behavior control, memory, learning and judgment.
Addiction, a chronic brain disease, is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and using behavior. Long-term and repeated use can give rise to habit-forming behavior and cause changes in the structure and function of the brain. Similar to other diseases, drug addiction can disrupt one’s life and can have serious consequences, when left untreated.
Getting rid of one’s drug habit may not be that easy. Owing to the addictive nature of the drugs and their ability to give way to uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, one should not opt for self-medication. In such a situation, it is imperative for one to get professional help at a certified drug addiction treatment center.
Warning signs of drug addiction
At the start of the habit, one often believes that over time, it would get easier to control the use of drugs. But little does the person know that gradually, drugs take over one’s life and their use becomes necessary to function normally. When left unchecked, drug use soon develops into addiction, disrupt one’s life and can even be fatal. Signs of drug addiction may vary from drug to drug or person to person and often blend with normal behaviors, making them less noticeable. Continued drug use can give rise to drug tolerance among the users along with unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, making it difficult to quit drugs and stay sober.
Some of the common signs of drug addiction are:
- Nausea and drowsiness
- Extreme mood swings
- Anxiety and depression
- Chills, sweat and tremors
- Slurred speech and memory issues
- Hallucinations, delusions or paranoia
- Drug cravings and withdrawal symptoms
In addition, drug addiction is also characterized by a desire to continue taking drugs despite being aware of their negative consequences, and ability to worsen chronic health issues and cause problems in personal and professional life.
Drug rehabs are important
Drug use often fosters euphoric sensations, temporary sense of accomplishment and overall sense of satisfaction. However, identifying an addiction and seeking treatment is often the biggest and the first step in addiction recovery.
A comprehensive treatment for drug addiction involves a combination of medication, detoxification and counseling sessions. In addition to detoxification and therapies, overcoming one’s addiction to drugs involves uncovering hidden reasons behind drug use and making necessary changes in the lifestyle. While medication helps one control withdrawal symptoms, detox program helps flush out traces of drugs from the system and prepares the body for further treatment. After a successful detoxification, a patient might be referred to a long-term residential treatment center to control any future drug cravings and to maintain continual sobriety.