Drug or substance abuse is a growing problem worldwide. LiveMD talks about the serious topic of drug abuse and what you can do to help someone who is suffering from this disease.
What is Addiction?
Often people will try a drug or a substance out of curiosity or peer pressure not realizing that addiction will occur. Many drugs have addictive qualities, meaning that once they are consumed, your body likes the way that they make it feel, causing your brain to crave even more of the substance. Often, your body will become dependent on the drug and will not be able to function without it. Long-term drug use can lead to memory loss, the inability to function normally in society, mood swings and permanent brain damage. Taking too much of a drug at any one time could lead to an overdose and death. Drug addiction is a serious disease that can have very serious consequences.
How Does Addiction Start?
Drug addiction may occur for many different reasons. Sometimes, a person may try drugs to fit in socially or out of curiosity of how it will make them feel, not realizing that the substance will cause dependency. People with a history of drug use in their family or those who have undergone traumatic events like abuse or neglect are at a higher risk for using drugs and becoming addicted.
Signs That Someone May be Using Drugs
Many people who are abusing drugs, either prescription or illegal street drugs, may not show any signs of abuse at all. Especially in the early stages of addiction, many people are in denial about being dependent on a substance and will try very hard to hide this addiction from their family, friends and employers. Some common signs to look for are:
- Bloodshot eyes or changes in the size of the pupils
- Changes in appetite
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Slurred speech or problems with coordination
- Neglecting responsibilities (work, family or school)
- Sudden changes in friends
- Avoiding family or close friends
- Being secretive about their behaviour
- Financial problems – the need to borrow or steal money
How to Help Someone With an Addiction
Drug addiction is a disease, just like any other disease, and someone with an addiction overcome it without the assistance and support of their loved ones. It is also important to remember that the person with the addiction must want to quit and want to make the positive changes required to change their life. Without this desire then change will not happen. Offering your support and encouragement is often the most crucial assistance that can be given to an addict, showing them that they are surrounded by people who care and giving them a reason to change their behaviour.
There is also medical assistance that can be of great help to someone suffering from an addiction. Medications can help to reduce the cravings of a drug and therapy programs can offer the support and the counselling needed to end an addiction.
It is important to remember that overcoming an addiction can be a long process with many bumps on the road to a full recovery. Determination and perseverance are required but the end result will most definitely be worth it.
If you or a loved one are suffering from the effects of drug abuse or addiction, LiveMD can give you the help that you need. Visit www.mylivemd.com today and speak with one of our trained healthcare professionals, it will be the first and most important step on your road to a better, healthier, drug-free life.
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