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Drug Addictions- Symptoms, Effects & Myths Related To It

Drug Addictions
Drug addiction is the dependence on a medication or an illegal drug. When a person is addicted, he may not realize the harm that the drug is causing to his health. Usually people start using the drugs casually or as prescribed by their doctors but later on it turns into an addiction. Drug addictions cause intense cravings for the drug. A drug addict may wish to quit, but mostly people find it difficult to give it up on their own. This addiction causes long-term and serious consequences, including the problems with mental and physical health, employment, relationships and the law. People who have drug addiction may need assistance from their friends, family support groups, doctors or a treatment program for overcoming the drug addiction and staying drug-free.

Common Symptoms And Signs Of Drug Addiction

  • Mood swings; feel grumpy and irritable then suddenly feel bright and happy
  • Sudden change in the behavior
  • Withdrawal from the family members
  • Careless attitude about personal grooming
  • Glassy or red eyes
  • Changed sleeping pattern; sleeping during the day and staying up at nights
  • Lack of interest in sports, hobbies, and favorite activities
  • Runny nose

Peripheral Effects Of Drug Abuse

Long-term abuse of drugs has some peripheral health effects as well which do not really result from the drugs directly. They can include:
  • Malnutrition
  • Increased Stress
  • Depression
  • Insomnia

Drug Addiction And Brain

Addiction is considered to be a complex disorder that is characterized by the compulsive drug use. Every drug produces different effects but all the abused substances have one thing that is common: repeated use of the drug alters the way an individual’s brain functions and looks.
  • Taking recreational drugs cause surge in the levels of dopamine, which triggers the feeling of pleasure in the brain. The brain remembers such feelings and then wants them repeated.
  • Changes in the brain interfere with the ability of the addict to exercise good judgment, feel normal, think clearly and control his behavior without the drugs.
  • If a person becomes addicted, the addicting substance becomes equally significant as the other survival behaviors, like drinking and eating.
  • The urge and craving to use the drug becomes so strong that the mind finds several ways to rationalize or deny the addiction. An individual may underestimate the huge quantity of drugs that he is taking, how it impacts his life, and the control he has over the drug use.
  • Whether the person is addicted to heroin, inhalants, speed, Vicodin, or Xanax, the uncontrollable craving grows significantly more as compared to anything else, including friends, career, happiness, health and even his own family.

Myths About Drug Addiction And Abuse

  • Overcoming the addiction is just a matter of willpower. An addict can quit the consumption of drugs if he really wants to.
  • There is nothing that can be done; addiction is a helpless disease.
  • A drug addict needs to hit the rock bottom before he gets better.
  • An addict cannot be forced into treatment; he has to want help.
  • The treatment did not work before, there is no point in trying again.
All these myths should not be believed as they are not true. An addicted person and his family members and friends should never give up on the treatment of drug addictions and also consult an addiction counselor for timely and effective help.