Posts Tagged Drug Addiction
It could really be a difficult challenge for people to accept that the people they love are using drugs. It does not matter whether it is your child, your spouse, a sibling, or a very close friend of yours—once you find out that they are into drugs, this will probably make you feel that you were not able to do your job to give them adequate support and guidance.
Self-blaming does not result to a positive outcome. What you need to do is try your very best to help them put their attention to new things.
Here is a rundown of the things that you can do in case a person you care about is apparently into drugs:
Address the problem
In any kind of problem, you need to confront the issue and accept that it happened. When you do not put in the effort to talk things out with the person using drugs, you are allowing the person to stay in the dark moment of his or her life.
However, it is also expected that this step will be very difficult because there is no single approach that can be effective for all. As a result, you really have to think about the right approach that you will use so that the intervention will be easier or more comfortable for both parties.
It is also important to remember that communication is a two-way street, so make sure that you give them your full attention when they start speaking. Listen attentively and just let them talk about the things they wish to share.
It may also be probably helpful to ask about their future plans and offer your time and assistance. This way, they will have hope that they can achieve their plans, especially if there are ways for them to get over their addiction.
A very large percentage of drug addicts rely on illegal drugs because they are depressed, or because they are suffering from other mental illnesses. In this case, you may ask the person concerned if it is alright for them to visit a specialist who can help him/her in the process. Assure him/her that they are not alone in this.
Be someone’s companion in the process
Some addicts resort to drug abuse because they feel that nobody cares for them. Some addicts consider the temporary happiness that drugs can give them as an escape from the painful past or the troubled present.
One strategy that may work to help recovering addicts forget about their dark moments is through hobbies and new activities. If the person concerned is a family member, you may want to ask for the person’s close friend to help you in determining what possible activities may work best.
Once you have confronted and talked to the person, you may now exert your best effort to become the best companion there is. You have the power to distract the person from bad habits, by being that person who opens doors for new adventures for them to engage in.
You may ask the person if any of these sound exciting for him/her: traveling, art lessons, foreign language classes, or sports. Any new activity or a forgotten hobby may probably sound exciting, especially if he/she does it with your company.
The main idea is that you have to make the person feel that you are available. Time is the key.
Encourage the person to ‘sweat out’ the addiction
While cooking and baking may sound like a good choice to deflect a person’s attention from doing drugs, sweating out the urge of using drugs is also a very reliable strategy.
Breaking sweat triggers the body to produce higher levels of happy hormones such as serotonin, oxytocin, and dopamine. These hormones make someone feel happier and contented, and therefore prevent a person from thinking negative thoughts. Music therapy, when partnered with regular exercise, is a good way to deal with almost any type of addiction.
Once a person you love has acknowledge that he/she needs therapy before any type of intervention from experts, it may probably be a good idea to go put exercise as part of the daily routine.
Getting support from family members
There is no greater rock to rely on than family. Problems and struggles are easier when you go through them with family.
Once you find out that a family member of yours is doing drugs, it would be best to privately discuss the problem with the person first. Afterwards, the both of you may consult other family members on what possible solutions can be done. You have to assure the person that he/she is loved no matter what, and that the family is not going to judge the bad decisions he/she made.
Dealing with a close friend’s drug addiction is another story. If you are the first one to find out, you have to respect the person’s decision if he/she wants to discuss it with his/her family. Although it is a given that the family should know, all you can do from here is to advice your friend to ask from his/her family’s help whenever he/she is ready.
Once your friend agrees, try your best to offer your full support in the next steps he/she plans to take. After all, you are essentially your friend’s family too!
Getting support from self-help groups
Some recovering drug addicts attend self-help groups to make them understand their situation better through varying perspectives. You probably have an idea how the drill works in self-help groups: people who share similar circumstance are brought together to discuss how they successfully went through the challenges.
Encouraging a loved one of yours who is into drugs to attend self-help groups will probably help the person in the long run. Perspectives from members of these groups will give the person a better understanding of his/her situation using other lenses.
Discuss treatment options with the person
If the person acknowledges that he/she cannot get over drug addiction without the help of a specialist, you need to be ready to offer other treatment options.
However, make sure that the decision is an outcome of the person’s thorough self-assessment so that the process will be easier. The treatment will be more worth it for the person because it is his/her own decision, and he/she is aware that it is a need to make his/her life better.
Help the person set attainable and meaningful goals
A vital part of the process of helping someone going through drug addiction is making him/her feel that the plans he/she sets are important. While these goals are personally set by the recovering addict, you need to make the person feel that he/she is not alone in the scheme of things.
If, for instance, the person sets a timeline of his/her plans after getting treatment or therapy, you have to ask help from others on how you can all put in efforts to make the treatment plans work.
The abovementioned strategies may be helpful for people to get away from their drug addiction. However, there is also a need to know the root causes why people use drugs in the first place. Knowing the reasons behind drug addiction can also make things easier for people to accept their loved one’s drug addiction. As said earlier, self-blaming is never part of the solution.
Read on the following common reasons why people resort to using drugs:
1. Stress reliever
The body has a natural response to stress, but the way we go through different sources of stress will always vary for every person.
We need to be aware that people have different outlets to relieve stress: some sleep for longer hours, some eat in huge amounts, some go spend large amount of money for shopping, and others do strenuous activities such as sports. However, some people use illegal drugs to relieve their stress, claiming that using drugs is the only thing that gives them a different kind of high.
More often than not, they consider the bad habit as their stress reliever because they become less sensitive of the daily pressures of life caused by work, family conflicts, and failed relationships.
Because of the temporary high that drugs provide, users will rely on them believing that the feeling kills the stress they are going through, even just for a while.
2. Peer pressure
Some drug addiction cases are results of peer pressure and the longing to fit and feel wanted in a group. If the person is in close contact with those who are also into drugs, there is a big chance that the person will be invited and forced to use drugs too.
Peer pressure does not only happen at a young age. In fact, it knows no age, although teenagers are most vulnerable to it.
If a family member of yours is doing drugs as a result of apparent peer pressure, then it would be best to advice the person to limit interactions with these bad influences. If you are a parent of a teenager doing drugs with his/her friends, it may be best to talk to your child and make him/her feel that you understand what peer pressure does to a person. It is a wake-up call for you to spend more time with your family, especially your child who’s undergoing identity crisis.
Boredom is a scary and tricky state that brings about a lot of possibilities. Sadly, one possibility is doing drugs. People using drugs out of boredom have probably very few options on where to dedicate their spare time.
Having said that, it is very important to offer your time to deflect attention by sharing hobbies and interests with people recovering from drug addiction. It does not have to be a grand activity. You may simply download movies and watch it with them, go to the park and have a small picnic with family and common friends, or visit museums that offer free admission.
Most Commonly Abused Substances
One of the reasons why people use drugs is because they find it too available and that it can be easily and readily accessed anytime. Here is a list of commonly used drugs that are considered popular compared to others:
- Cannabis / marijuana
- LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide)
- Psychedelic Mushrooms
Early intervention is key to addressing drug addiction, and it’s important that you give your time and attention to your loved one who may be addicted to drugs. On a final note, your mindset to help them should not be disciplinary in nature. Rather, it must come from love and concern for the recovering addict.
Doctors who evaluated actress Lindsay Lohan during her stay at the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital of UCLA at Westwood are in the opinion that the actress was misdiagnosed for bipolar disorder and drug addiction, according to a feature on the New York Daily News.
Ms. Lohan has stopped taking her medications, which included Dilaudid, Ambien, Adderall, Zoloft, Trazodone and Nexium, according to the report. She did not, however, show any unfavorable reactions, despite having to stop taking her medications. She also did not exhibit withdrawal symptoms to the absence of alcohol.
Another misdiagnosis for Ms. Lohan is having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), which is the reason why she was taking Adderall; the doctors at UCLA say that she is not suffering from the condition. People such as Ms. Lohan, who apparently was taking Adderall unnecessarily, are reportedly susceptible to bizarre symptoms such as: “driving around until all hours of the morning … smoking heavily … tweeting … and texting all night long,” as shared by addiction specialist Dr. Joe Haraszti to gossip site TMZ.com.
We’ve heard about substance addiction so many times and we probably know someone who is addicted to marijuana, alcohol or other drugs. Addiction is a complex, chronic disorder characterized by the compulsive need to use a substance despite the harms it may cause. Here are some of the most common questions asked about addiction and the answers to them.
Is addiction a disease?
Yes. National Institute on Drug Abuse researches suggest that addiction or the compulsion to take drugs is linked to changes in specific neurons in the central nervous system. It can thus be considered as a brain disease.
What are the common signs of addiction?
As addiction has 2 components — physical and psychological — it manifests both physically and psychologically. Physical manifestations include shills, weird smell, vomiting, sweating, and weight loss. An addict may also show signs of aggression, anxiety, burnout, irritability, lack of energy, poor motivation, slow reaction time, denial, depression, and paranoia.
Can an addict quit using drugs if he has strong will power?
Most people suffering from an addiction to drugs cannot stop on their own, no matter how willing they say they are. It is important to seek help from organizations offering structured rehabilitation programs.
Can someone use drugs without being addicted to it?
It depends how strong the effects of drugs are. Many people are able to enjoy alcohol without suffering from alcohol addiction. Addiction happens when a person’s drug use becomes a central part of his or her life. This can be seen on the amount of time and money he or she spends on drugs, and on what he or she is willing to give up for it, such as relationships, jobs or school.
Did you ever stop to wonder what people are actually capable of when they’re high? Well, they do a lot of crazy things since being high is somehow a kind of release — from inhibitions and proper thinking. This mental state can make one believe that anything and everything is possible, even if they’re not. There are serious detrimental side-effects to this condition, which makes it quite unpleasant to experience.
Take the lead characters of Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle, a film about two friends who decided to go to White Castle after smoking cannabis. Of course, the trip did not prove to be as easy as they initially thought and they went quite a long way before reaching the restaurant.
Behavior during drug use is a central theme in the movie, as shown by its seemingly ridiculous premise. For neophytes in this genre, it may take a while to get used to since the shock factor of the things that they do may prove to be too extreme for some. But when placed vis-à-vis the real behavior of drug users, Harold and Kumar are rather manageable since drug abusers can resort to violence and lots of crazier things in order to acquire drugs.
While the movie itself is comical in nature, it also makes you think: do you want others to see yourself that way — the laughing stock of your group, to not be treated seriously by your peers and colleagues? I don’t think so. It’s probably one of the movies you can check to see how stupid one can be when on drugs.
The consequences of being addicted to drugs are many, and most, if not all of them, are adverse. So, what should you do when you find out that your friend or a member of your family is a drug addict, but wants out of the trap that he has fallen in? Can your actions, however small they are, make a difference in his life?
The answer is yes – your presence can make a big difference. Drug addicts often have no one to turn to regarding their problems, and this sense of isolation is one of the main motivations for prolonged drug use. Family and friends play a significant role in helping them get out of that rut and accept the reality of their situation. Remember that social connections can influence the individual’s perception of right and wrong, which can determine their decisions and actions later in life. By extension, the influence of these groups can help drug addicts change the way they see themselves. In this case, it’s to let them see that the drugs are in fact damaging their body, mind, and social lives.
The main thing you can do for your friend is to slowly convince and motivate him to undergo treatment, which becomes harder and harder as he becomes more and more dependent on the drug. In this case, social reinforcement becomes a vital component in motivating the soon-to-be patient. Also, involvement in a treatment program can help the individual come to grips with his situation, and can encourage him to go all the way through with the program.
Monitoring the individual’s actions is also important in order to avoid a relapse, which is the one thing that can waste the efforts done during treatment. It may take a very long time, but with your help, it is possible. And it also helps to believe that you can make that happen.
The social stigma attached to the label “drug addict” is a highly discriminatory one. However detestable an activity it is for the majority of people who choose to live their lives the right way, knowing how and why drug addiction persists within society is important in order to curb it and possibly eliminate it at its roots. There are definite reasons as to why drug addiction begins, and you will probably be surprised why it happens.
Those that most of us call “drug addicts” are stuck using drugs not only because they want it, but because their bodies start to become dependent on drugs. A large number, if not all drug addicts like to believe that they can stop drug use by their will alone, and these same people also choose not to undergo rehabilitation. But the likelihood of escaping the trap of drug usage is slim, especially if used in the long-term. There are mental changes associated with long-term drug use, and this can affect and alter the way people behave, leaving them unable to control some actions – including their strengthening craving for more drugs.
So why do some people choose to use drugs? The reasons for this phenomenon can actually be quite logical – most drug addicts choose to use drugs because of the strong desire to escape from the stresses of their daily lives. These include psychological stress from work, home, or in school. The desire to escape reality becomes one of the most fundamental reasons of prolonged drug addiction.
With this mindset to guide our line of thinking, understanding drug addiction becomes a lot less difficult. The labeling and stereotyping of drug addicts prevents us from looking at the reality of drug addicts – that they are persons trapped within the cycle of drug use. Analyzing the reasons for their habit is a pressing task, and should not be taken lightly.