Drug addiction arises when you become physically or psychologically dependent on illicit substances. Examples of these illicit substances include prescription drugs, cocaine, heroin, alcohol and methadone.
These drugs are highly addictive and should thus be avoided. Many of these drugs are illegal due to the damage they inflict upon users and society.
People turn to drugs for a variety of reasons. These reasons will be explored throughout this website. When drug addiction arises, the affected individual will typically require addiction treatment to address this problem.
Addiction treatment helps to eliminate drug addiction whilst also offering to rehabilitate individuals who are wise enough to seek out these treatments in the first place.
What is drug addiction?
Drug addiction is characterised by a physical and psychological dependency on an illicit substance. When a drug addiction arises, you are simply unable to stop using your drug of choice due to the onset of physical and/or psychological withdrawal symptoms when you attempt to ‘stay sober’. These withdrawal symptoms will also be accompanied by powerful cravings to take drugs you are addicted to.
Many people assume drug addiction is a lifestyle choice. This belief is inaccurate and disputed by the wider medical community. For more than two decades, the medical community has widely accepted the notion that drug addiction is in fact a disease.
Specifically, drug addiction is categories as a ‘disease of the mind’. Thus, drug addiction is a bona fide ‘medical disorder’ not unlike cancer and HIV.
Due to this fact, if you are affected by drug addiction, you are urged to seek out professional assistance in helping you overcome this medical disorder. By far the best form of addiction treatment takes place at a residential treatment clinic.
Here, you will benefit from a medically assisted detox programme. You will then benefit from a robust and dynamic therapeutic programme that utilises both psychotherapeutic treatment and modern cognitive therapy.
What are the tell-tale signs of drug addiction?
The signs of drug addiction depend upon the type of drug you are addicted to. For instance, the signs of heroin addiction vastly differ from the signs of cocaine addiction.
Notwithstanding this fact, there are common signs that apply to all drug addiction, no matter which particular drug you happen to be addicted to.
Some of these common characteristics applying to all types of drug addiction include:
- You hide illicit substances from your loved ones
- You often lie about your drug use and the extent of your drug use
- Your behaviour is erratic or even violent
- Your moods frequently shift from one extreme to another
- You frequently experience physical sickness
- Your drug use has negatively affected your career or education
- You have dropped important hobbies so you can spend this time ‘getting high’
- Your drug use has led to rapid weight loss
- Your sleep has been affected by your drug use
The above information may concern you that your drug use could be negatively impacting your health and future prospects. This concern is unfortunately well-founded.
What trails make a person likely to develop a drug addiction?
There are many factors that increase the chances of you developing a drug addiction. Many of these factors must arise simultaneously for a drug addiction to arise.
Generally, it’s accepted that there is no single factor that gives rise to a drug addiction. Instead, these factors work in tandem in increasing the odds of you suffering from an addiction to drugs.
One well-established factor that increases the risks of developing an addiction to drugs is your heredity disposition. This is also known as your ‘genetic disposition’ towards developing an addiction to drugs.
One sign that may suggest a strong genetic disposition towards developing a drug addiction is when close family members also develop an addiction to drugs.
Perhaps some of your family members continue to struggle with drug addiction, or perhaps one or more family members have died due to a drug overdose.
If this is the case, your genetic disposition may be a powerful contributory factor that gave rise to your drug addiction in the first place.
Another well-established factor giving rise to drug addiction is the environment in which you were raised. For instance, perhaps your parents allowed you to take drugs from an early age, or perhaps drugs were easy to access in the neighbourhood in which you were raised.
These cultural and environmental factors clearly increase the risks of developing a drug addiction, particularly in your teenage years when you are generally most impressionable and vulnerable to peer pressure.
Dual diagnosis and drug addiction
Another risk factor linked to drug addiction that deserves particular emphasis is the existence of a dual diagnosis. A dual diagnosis explains the situation when you are affected by both a drug addiction and a mental health issue.
Below, we list some of the more common mental health issues that are thought to cause or aggravate drug addiction:
- Anxiety disorder
- Clinical depression
- Personality disorders
- Mood disorders
Many people suffering from dual diagnosis will begin to suffer from mental health problems before drug addiction arises. This means mental health problems are usually a precursor to drug addiction. It’s common for those affected by mental health problems to attempt to ‘self-medicate’ using illicit substances. A typical example of this is when a person who suffers from anxiety attempts to self-medicate using alcohol.
Alternatively, mental health problems may develop after a person becomes addicted to drugs. Drug use affects the chemical make-up of the brain, and so drug addiction is capable of leading to a variety of mental health problems.
Drug addiction treatment
Due to the onset of overpowering withdrawal symptoms when you attempt to detox from your drug of choice, it’s best to seek out the services of a drug rehab clinic.
Here, you will detox in a safe and controlled manner. This reduces the risk of experiencing a range of deadly withdrawal symptoms. You will also benefit from a range of therapies that seek to treat dual diagnosed mental health problems.
At Rehab Clinics Group, we treat all types of drug addiction. This includes addiction to alcohol, heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine, amphetamines, crystal method, prescription medications, methadone and cannabis. To learn more about our offerings, contact us today on 03301 596 494.