Home > Common Addictions > Beating an Addiction to Illegal Drugs

Beating an Addiction to Illegal Drugs

By: Jo Johnson - Updated: 31 Jul 2016 | comments*Discuss
 
Addiction; Drug Classification; Heroin;

Substances that are deemed to be illegal are those classified as so by the law. They are divided into categories depending on their severity and consequential effects. Those commonly known are cannabis cocaine, heroin and ecstasy. To be caught in possession of them, cultivating them or selling them is against the law and may carry a stiff penalty. The penalties given out are dependant on the classification of the drug.

Some substances are legal for some and illegal to others; these include alcohol, solvents and tobacco if found amongst minors.

The use of otherwise perfectly legal and useful prescription drugs, without a valid prescription is also illegal.

How Does The Addiction Begin?

For many, peers hold a great deal of responsibility for a drug habit beginning, some users feel pressured into trying a substance and are co-erced into sampling them in an effort to fit in with their social group. This is true up to a degree, but a person always has the right to say no and only awareness, education and confidence can allow this to happen.

Many addicts begin their addiction by a change in personal or social arrangements. Life events such as death, injury, depression and unemployment have all been blamed for the start of the drug addiction cycle. Any event that carries emotional and psychological strain can contribute to a person experimenting with drugs.

Occasionally curiosity is the contributing factor, when a person simply wants to know what the effects of taking a drug are. With many experimenters, it takes just one try to become addicted.

Sometimes those who have been legitimately prescribed a drug can become addicted and when the GP decides that the prescription is no longer needed, the person discovers they have become dependent.

Beating The Addiction

Overcoming an addiction to illegal substances can only begin once the user has admitted they have a dependency and that they really do want to try and beat their habit.

A user must realise that the road to recovery is not easy and that some people find it extremely difficult to manage their symptoms of withdrawal. As with all addictions, motivation, willpower and determination are fundamental to achieving success.

It is very useful to find out what to expect when giving-up an illegal substance; this knowledge can come from online sources, books, leaflets, counsellors, healthcare professionals or recovered users.

Attending a support group will allow the addict to express their concerns, ask questions and find a network of people who are willing to help them and offer support, advice and guidance.

The first steps can be taken by writing a list of all the ‘right’ reasons for wanting to give up. This can be combined with a list that provides evidence of all the negative aspects of continuing with current behaviour.

Seek advice from your GP if you want to explore the option of drug replacement therapy; of course this isn’t always available with many drugs but medical research is developing constantly and there may well be a new product available. Your GP will be pleased that you are taking steps to overcome your addiction and may be able to offer further help and support using other methods.

Distance yourself from like-minded individuals who may be unsupportive and want you to continue using drugs.

Take every day individually and congratulate yourself for day that you have control over your habit and behaviour.

Keep a list of aims and ambitions that you want to achieve in life. This will help keep you motivated.

Make sure a highly nutritional diet is taken. During the initial period of withdrawal, nausea and vomiting along with sweats and shaking are likely to be experienced, after this has been managed, the body will need lots of nutritional intake to recover and provide energy for the long road ahead. Join a gym and build muscle tone, strength and energy; seeing others who are fit and healthy may well spur you on to achieve your goals.

Ask a close family member or trusted friend to help you through the initial period of withdrawal, this is usually very difficult and someone who is understanding and patient will be needed to help get you through the worst of it.

Beating an addiction to illegal substances may well be the one of the toughest but most rewarding experiences of your life. Be prepared for a rough ride, but don’t despair, YOU CAN DO IT!

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Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
I feel you Kev and hope you have managed to get the help and support you need
LRenee - 31-Jul-16 @ 3:01 PM
Kev - Your Question:
Hello I'm a heroin addict and desperate to turn my life around, I've been to my local turning point and their telling me I'm on a 4/5 week waiting list,Any one know how I can get help soonerThank you

Our Response:
I have included a link to Action on Addiction here which should be able to help further. Also, your GP should be able to advise what to do in the meantime and will prescribe you medication if you are trying to fight your addiction and do not wish to take hard drugs. I hope this helps.
BeatingAddictions - 26-Jan-16 @ 11:22 AM
Hello I'm a heroin addict and desperate to turn my life around, I've been to my local turning point and their telling me I'm on a 4/5 week waiting list, Any one know how I can get help sooner Thank you
Kev - 25-Jan-16 @ 2:03 PM
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