Drug abuse is exceedingly rampant in the UK. It is, however, not just the abuse of illicit drugs like cocaine and marijuana. It also involves the misuse of prescription drugs and alcohol, which are legally available.
According to studies in the UK, Britain has the highest addiction rate for opioids and abuse of drugs, like cocaine and ecstasy, in Europe.
This article will walk you through drug abuse, its symptoms, and ways of overcoming it.
Drug abuse is the consumption of drugs not prescribed by a doctor, usually in quantities or manners harmful to the individual taking them. Drug abuse often leads to addiction. When a person is addicted to a drug, they experience a compulsion to get and use the drug despite the disadvantageous side effects. When an addicted person stops taking a drug, however, it results in negative side effects called withdrawals.
Drug addiction can be very disadvantageous, not just for the person addicted but also to those around that person.
Symptoms of drug abuse
1. Withdrawal symptoms
When one stops taking a drug, unpleasant physical conditions that make one want more of the drug usually arises. A lot of people go back to drug abuse to ease the symptoms associated with stopping the drug.
Abuse of a drug over extended periods can make said drug less effective in taking care of a condition. The body has adapted to the drug and therefore requires larger quantities of the drug to work.
Some people abusing drugs may withdraw from their friends and families to hide their use of drugs. This happens when salt drug use is considered a stigma.
4. Unhealthy relationships
People using drugs usually hang out and around others who use the same drugs. This encourages the use of the drug and thereby makes it difficult to stop the abuse.
5. Being irresponsible
People abusing a drug may forget their responsibilities or just choose to use drugs instead of doing what they are obligated to do.
6. Trouble with finance
A large amount of money can be spent on drugs to sustain abuse and misuse. Some may even resort to taking loans when they run out of money, further worsening their financial condition.
7. Poor hygiene
It is possible to become so entrenched in drug abuse that one starts neglecting hygiene and stops taking care of their body.
8. Unnecessary risk-taking
Some drugs dull awareness, and the abuser of such drugs may begin to do things without full knowledge of their surroundings.
Causes of drug abuse
There are many different reasons why people may abuse drugs. Some of them are:
Some people, based on their genes, are more prone to addictions. A person may be exposed to physical and environmental risks and develop an addiction while another person exposed to those same risks develops no addiction.
Some genes have been pinpointed to cause a higher chance of addiction. However, the exact roles are still unclear as they have not been proven to be directly related to addiction.
Some believe that since they’ve received a doctor’s prescription, they can use the drug anyhow without repercussions.
3. Peer pressure
Many people get into drug abuse and addiction simply because they want to ‘fit in,’ look cool or impress their friends. They take drugs they will usually not take and end up developing an addiction.
Some people turn to drugs like alcohol and marijuana to try to get their minds of depressing situations.
Drugs that heighten the senses, like ecstasy and meth, invite some adventurous people to experiment. They end up getting hooked on these drugs due to the higher addictive nature of these drugs.
Some people just buy and use drugs when they feel certain symptoms without consulting their healthcare practitioners.
Treatment for drug abuse
Drug abuse and addiction cannot be dealt with instantaneously. Abuse and addiction have many effects that need to be dealt with as one goes down the road of treatment. It is almost impossible to stop addiction by oneself, and the individual receiving treatment will need a lot of support to prevent relapses.
Treatment for drug abuse usually entails the following.
Seeking the help of a therapist can allow one to understand changes to one’s behaviour as a result of thoughts and feelings.
2. Medicinal treatment
Some addicts can be provided with replacement drugs to help them continue with other treatments without withdrawal symptoms.
Joining support groups like narcotics anonymous and alcohol anonymous can be advantageous when dealing with drug abuse.
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