Usage of drugs for treatment and recreational purposes has been common across the world. People from all walks of life have used some or the other form of drugs regardless of their race, age or economic background. But, where drugs have helped some people being a good source for recreation or medical treatment; some others have found themselves trapped in the vicious cycle of drug abuse and faced the negative effects of it. Drug abuse can take a serious toll on your overall happiness, health, and lifestyle. In fact,
In a National Survey conducted by United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, for the year 2000-2001(report published in 2004), it was estimated that about 732 lakh persons in India were users of alcohol and drugs. Of this 87 lakh used Cannabis, 20 lakh used opiates and 625 lakh were users of Alcohol.[Source]
How does harmless dosage of drug transform into a life-threatening drug abuse?
Drugs may enter your life for different reasons. Some people consume it for recreational purposes with the intent of serving to their curiosity, enjoying their time, trying it once because their peers are doing so or to find some relief from stress, depression or anxiety. But people forget that even the drugs quoted to be legal can lead to addiction. Normal prescription medicines like sleeping pills, tranquilizers, and painkillers can also lead to a serious drug addiction phase.
According to the statistics, prescription painkillers rank next to marijuana in the list of drugs leading to most drug abuse in the United States. Moreover, the number of deaths recorded from gun crimes and traffic accidents combined is much less than the number of people losing their lives to an overdose of the opioid painkillers.
Of course, any kinds of drug use; be it prescription or illegal doesn’t immediately and automatically lead to drug abuse or addiction or there isn’t any specific point where drug use switches from normal to an alarming level. But, drug abuse and drug addiction are more dependent on how it affects your body and what the consequences of that drug dosage are. People wrongly consider that a certain type of drug or a certain amount is to be called as a culprit. If using a certain drug causes issues in your life –at home, at the workplace, at school or in your social relationships then, you are likely to be trapped in the cage of drug abuse or addiction.
Admitting that you have an issue is the first milestone leading towards rehabilitation. It takes a lot of inner strength and courage to recognize that you’re at fault. But, making excuses or hiding away from the situation will be furthermore detrimental.
Who all are prone to drug addiction?
- If your family has a history of drug abuse or drug addiction then you should be careful with yourself.
- Traumatic experiences including emotional and psychological abuse or neglect make you prone to being negatively affected by drug use.
- People with anxiety, depression and other mental disorders should also remain cautious.
- People who get involved in drug use from an early age.
- The method of administration you use also affects how the drug acts on your body. If you smoke or inject the drugs; it increases the potential of the drug addiction.
Are there any clear signs of drug abuse?
Yes, there are-
1. Loss of Interest, Complacency, and Apathy
Paying no heed to your daily responsibilities like skipping work, flunking classes, neglecting your family or children. Using drugs even in situations that require most of your attention (e.g.- driving, plucking-in dirty needles). Relationship problems including regular fights with your partner and family members, and friends, even your colleagues, and superiors.
2. Physical Signs
When an individual uses drugs, there are various noticeable physical signs like a puffy face, dilated pupils, Blood Shot (red) eyes, itching, sniffling, injection marks, unusual skin color.
3. Drastic Change in Physical Appearance
Contrasting to the subtle signs of drug use, a person consistently abusing drugs and alcohol can undergo alterations to their physical appearances like rapid weight gain or loss, change in their eating habits. If you notice a rapid change in the physical appearance and even the clothes they wear, chances are they may be struggling.
4. If You Find Drug Paraphernalia On Them
Certain drugs require articles to compliment use like syringes, Cigarette wrapping papers, pipes, burnt spoons, lighters, razor blades, bongs (glass or pottery made items used for smoking marijuana), and cutting surfaces (like mirrors or glass) are all common types of paraphernalia that can be discovered. Apart from these, certain items like eye clearing wash is also an indirect indicator. Wondering why? Well, there are certain drugs that can cause dilated pupils and bloodshot eyes. People use the eye clearing wash to fix this issue. Though most people use eye wash, using it in an inordinate quantity could be an indicator.
5. Reclusive and Private Behavior
Does the person spend a lot of time in his/her room? Do they lock their room on leaving and entering, that looks unusual? Do they seem bottled up when you ask them questions? These are indicators that they may be hiding something, possibly substance abuse.
6. Rapid Mood Swings
Under the influence of drug abuse, someone who is usually calm and collected can be ultra-hyper and out of control or even someone who is usually upbeat and pleasant can be miserably depressed. Also, erratic mood swings from one end of the spectrum to the other can also be caused by drug abuse or a mental health issue.
7. Change in Sleep Habits
If the person is keeping off hours, oversleeping or staying up late, these could be the possible indicators. Erratic sleep habits are an indicator or potential of chemical dependence.
What should one do if drug abuse or drug addiction is recognized?
In case you observe any of the symptoms in yourself or in someone you know, the first step you should take is to get a professional help. Call out for the loved ones, parents, spouse or siblings. Overcoming drug issues needs support from the people they trust.
Recovery is well within your reach if you step up and ask for people’s help and support. Taking just one more drug dose is easy, running away from your fears is cowardice, but, fighting against your problems and holding the hands who offer you help is where real courage lies.
If you are looking for a good de-addiction specialist near you, visit the Midland Healthcare & Research Center. Midland has the best Physiatrist and de-addiction specialist in Lucknow who can help you deal with all your drug abuses or mental health issues. Book an appointment now!