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Recognising drug addiction.

By: Jo Johnson - Updated: 19 Oct 2019 | comments*Discuss
Recognising Drug Addiction.

Recognising Drug Addiction.

Anyone who takes drugs, especially those that are classed as illegal or those that are used irresponsibly is taking the risk of becoming addicted to the substances as most contain chemicals that have an intense effect on the brain. Becoming addicted to drugs can occur extremely easily and very quickly leaving the addict suffering from the severe effects of the drugs, and strong withdrawal effects if they do not take the drug. In order to cease the addiction a lot of support, help and willpower is needed from both the addict and those around them.It should be noted however that drug addiction does not always refer to the type of drugs that are frequently read about in the newspapers and seen on the television as people can become easily addicted to prescription drugs that they have been offered for legitimate reasons.

The Physical Signs.

The physical signs of a drug addiction can be quite varied depending on the drug used, the amount taken and the environment in which it is taken in.The early signs of a drug addiction can include mixed moods, sleepiness or excessive or unusual tiredness during the day, agitation and paranoia. As the dependency develops the signs can change to being frequently distracted, depression, mixed mental states including psychosis and a decrease in the ability to co-ordinate or perform tasks that are normally easy to complete.The degree of effect is variable between users and also on the substance of choice.Other very obvious signs are needle marks on the arms (though these can appear on other area of the body once the veins in the arms have deteriorated and can not be used any longer) but this only occurs in those who have been injecting the drugs.People who are normally non-smokers are likely to suffer from breathlessness or coughing if they have been smoking drugs for long periods.

The Social Changes.

The changes that a drug addict can display can often be more noticeable than the health-related ones and many actually consider drugs to be as great a social problem as they are medically.One of the most noticeable changes is the change that can happen regarding financial situation. Although they are cheaper than they were a few decades ago, drugs are still an expensive commodity and most users struggle to keep up financial with their demand for their habit. People who once may have had enough money to pay for a social life, keep up with bills, go shopping or have holidays will often let these things lapse as their habit takes hold.With many addictions, especially those related to drink, drugs or gambling, the activity usually takes place at night so the user may find they are late for appointments or day to day activities in general.

Behavioural Changes.

As the drug addiction develops the person is likely to become isolated from their usual family and friends and may get quite agitated when approached about this. They will usually gain new friends that they do not mention very often or become quite obsessive about.It is common for drug addicts to find it difficult to hold down a job or maintain the level of respect from peers that they once had as their concentration deteriorates and their priorities change.

Drug addiction can change your life very quickly and exceptionally quickly so it is important to know what the signs are in order to prevent them from taking over your life or to try and offer help and support to a friend or relative. Many signs do not manifest until an addiction has developed already so early intervention is important to try and ensure a successful recovery.

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Hey I reaching out to you as well what can I say an addict. I’ve always done recreational drugs since I was a teen, taking pills etc but it was always for a laugh. I’ve travelled the world seen some amazing things. However with this being I’ve always been a person that can do something and leave it, in my group I’ve always been seen as the sensible one, life of the party but over this past year my life has taken a turn for the worst. I started taking G, and crystal meth. It’s sounds bad and it is, it’s crazy because again these are both drugs I’ve tried before but this time. I can’t stop. When I try to stop it’s like a voice is calling out to me that I need it.( I know there is no voice) I’m just trying to build a picture. Before I could cover it up no1 would notice until I’ve slipped up a few times where my house mates have found bottles and a measure next to me where I’ve passed out and not realised. I’ve been to the hospital via ambulance several times, with people and even worst I’ve woken up by myself in an ambulance. Where I’ve passed out on the side of a road managed to pull it together then a local supermarket has called for me. I’ve stopped breathing countless times, fitted endless amount of times but still I’m taking it. As bad as this sounds which is disgusting it’s the crystal meth which is my biggest weakness. I’m an active person. So I like to be awake alert etc so smoking this does all the above and then doing a shot levels me out so I’m not too hyper. It’s got to the point now where I’ve lost loads of weight (I’m lucky because I still look healthy), I like myself better when I’m high because I don’t think. My body is rejecting the drugs so bad that in one night i can have up to 3 episodes and then come back around. The joy I once had is gone, and I feel I’m losing myself all this rubbish, my friends and family miss miss the old me but i’m beginning to forget what the old me was like. Most recently I passed out and 4 bottles a measure and my pipe were found. And that is the biggest sign I need to stop. No1 looks at me normal now they all try to see whether I’m high, sometimes I’m not but I can feel then looking at me like I am, so to avoid the situation I just don’t come home which makes the think the latter. With all this said I still hold a full time job that pays well, I have amazing dream home and I look ‘normal’ whatever that is, but I don’t want this anymore. Can someone guide me in the right direction so I can get myself back fully. Thank you.
Pandalove1 - 19-Oct-19 @ 9:59 AM
Hi, My son is 22 and he has been involved in drugs (mainly cocaine) Since age18-19, with a period of around 18 months when he was totally fine, when he had a great girlfirend. I feel partly to blame for this as looking back I have enabled him with money a lot. Anyone reading this, if I could go back to the very start when he owed someone £300 for drugs, I wouldn’t have bailed him out. Paying their debts once leads to paying their debts more times than you can count. Don’t pay that first debt and let them sort it out themselves. This may be the lesson they need early on.He had a good job, car etc and had lost the lot. Having lost a lot recently he seems to be stepping up and I see a change. I have been hurt and let down by him so many times I really want to believe this might be different. However I don’t trust him at all. Does anyone got any stories of change for the better and everything has been ok? How can I support him without getting taken for a fool again. He seems to have me wrapped around his finger. How do you step back but still support? I would appreciate any advice and guidance.
Flen - 30-Oct-18 @ 10:19 PM
My son has been depressed for a period of time,just about two month ago he opened up to say that he ows money to a drug dealer??and me and his father payedhis debt as he promissed that he will stay away.This morning he text saying that he ows money again to same drug dealer!He said he thinks to smoke all the time..what can i do as his mother??
Seven - 21-Oct-18 @ 6:52 PM
Hi Everyone, I am reaching out in desperation. 5 days ago I learned that my brother who is 18 months older than me is addicted to Cocaine and Crack. He's been a recreational user of Cocaine for almost twenty years, however, since our Mum died tragically in June with whom he lived with he has began to use daily and progressed to crack. last weekend, he went on a huge drug and alcohol binge for 5 days which resulted in him after a psychotic episode while under the influence. He began to hear voices which resulted in him impaled on a 6ft fence. Luckily, a family friend contacted me to inform me of this. I made the decision to take him to live with me temporarily while he gets the support he needs but I feel out of my depth. I've taken him to his GP and he is knowing meeting with his key workers from our local Drug and Alcohol Community Support group, however, I want to make sure I am covering all basis. Is there anything you can advise or share with me to ensure I am offering him all the support he needs. thank you all.
Brotherhood - 19-Oct-18 @ 5:05 PM
My son is 14 years old and has quickly become addicted to smoking weed. He seeks the company of other kids who will smoke weed and admits that he doesn't want to stop it because it's the only time he is happy. Life when he's not smoking is miserable. The more I try to talk to him the more I seem to be hitting a wall. I must admit I don't know how to help him and any tips would be most welcome.
Misty - 16-Oct-18 @ 10:15 PM
My sisters partner has been addicted to speed for over 20 years. He uses it daily and without it he can not get out of bed. He has finally decided he’d like to give it up but does not want the family gp to know. He feels he needs a narcolepsy drug in order to be able to function without it. Where would he star in seeking advice and help?
Sister in law - 15-Oct-18 @ 8:14 PM
Hi, a very close friend has recently realised that he may have an addiction, although he isn't wholly admitting it. He still says, "cocaine isn't addictive" and things like that. He uses alcohol and drugs as a crutch during stressful times and to manage his own anxiety issues. He's also had several bereavements that he has never really dealt with and I'm convinced there are some other psychological issues that need to be tackled too. His actions whilst under the influence of drugs have caused serious damage to his relationships, in particular with his wife who has now left him. What's the best way to get someone in a situation like his to access the help and support of the services available? I really want him to realise that he won't be able to get through this on his own and that whilst me and his family will always be there for him, he needs professional help.
Worriedbod. - 12-Oct-18 @ 8:52 AM
@Jenny - unless she is a victim of domestic violence in the home then she can't force him out. If there is domestic violence then she can apply for an occupation order through the courts. The order will then say who can live in the family home. As your friend and her husband are married, then unless one person agrees to move out both have rights to stay in the home. It's a difficult one - and a situation that many couples face when splitting up :(
Chrissie - 4-Sep-18 @ 2:14 PM
Hi Chrissie, My friend has given her husband ultimatums but he disregards what she says. what can she do?
Jenny - 3-Sep-18 @ 4:02 PM
@Jenny - it sounds as though your friend needs to put her foot down and give him some ultimatums and not part with her money. If your friend asks him to leave if he won't get his act together, then she should get help from the state as a single parent. She can't let it continue she needs to tell him that he has to take responsibility for his actions.
Chrissie - 3-Sep-18 @ 9:45 AM
Hi, I've got a friend who's husband has been suffering from substance misuse for years among mental health problems. She has tried several times to persuade him to get help they have 3 children together who are all in their teens. My friend's husband keeps asking around for loans among working he is spending most of his money in substances makes up lies to get money from my friend. I know that he has a mental health problem but he leaves my friend with no money every time she gets her wages. This in not fair I know she would hate me if she found out I wrote this but I am very concerned that although her husband suffers mental health problems he might be also financially abusing her. Is their anything I can do to help or are there any services that can offer both my friend and her husband help I know he loves his family but this substance misuse has to stop.
Jenny - 1-Sep-18 @ 9:24 PM
jojo - Your Question:
Hi I have been addicted to Solpadine painkillers for 19 years I have tried to stop taking them many times over the years and have severe stomach pain I haven't told my doctor as I am ashamed. I take up to 20 tablets a day. I am a recovering alcoholic who has been sober 9 years. I am looking for advice on how to stop taking these.

Our Response:
I have included a Solpadine help page, link here which I hope will help. However, I do suggest you speak with your GP, there really isn't anything to be ashamed of and your GP will be able to offer you the best advice in order to help combat your addiction.
BeatingAddictions - 8-Sep-15 @ 12:31 PM
Hi I have been addicted to Solpadine painkillers for 19 years I have tried to stop taking them many times over the years and have severe stomach pain I haven't told my doctor as I am ashamed . I take up to 20 tablets a day . I am a recovering alcoholic who has been sober 9 years . I am looking for advice on how to stop taking these .
jojo - 7-Sep-15 @ 5:18 PM
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