Discover Everything About Drug Abuse And Cravings
November 16, 2018
Regardless of your social-economic status, you are likely to face various challenges like everybody else in the world. It could be the loss of a job, loved one or even love. In such scenarios, you may end up so stressed to the point that all you want is to escape the pain with whatever means available.
Since you’re thinking is not reasonable, you will realize that the best way to escape the stress and pain is by getting numb for just a few hours, then return back to normal. So you will begin to look for anything that could influence your body to change into a certain state where you feel extremely good and careless about life’s troubles.
For many people, getting such numbness the easiest, safest way where you will have no issue with the law is through alcohol. This approach mostly works where it is the only substance at your disposal that you can take to escape reality.
However, what if you are in a position whereby you can get access to other stronger substances like cocaine? Or, what if you have access to prescriptions drug that cause one to go into some transition state for even an hour?
Well, if you are in any of these positions as well as others, you are likely to consume whatever you can reach since you are desperate. Unfortunately, this path that you have chosen could be the death of your inner self and lead you down a destructive path.
Due to this approach to life’s issues, drug abuse has become a public health problem that is quite serious since it affects every victim’s family and community in various ways. Therefore, as you indulge in it, you need to know that you will not only destroy yourself but also cause harm and hurt upon those nearest to you.
According to various statistics, 8% of Americans suffer from drug abuse effects at least once in their lives. Researchers also believe that this drug abuse problem affects persons below 30 years and is continually increasing as time goes by. As a result, there are about one hundred and ninety million drug users in the entire world who also suffer from millions of injuries and illnesses.
Since alcohol and drugs contain chemicals, drug abuse is all about introducing these toxins into your body, so that they may affect your brain’s functionality and thus cause pleasurable effects. Some drugs are meant to do so to your body due to health reasons and thus are prescribed by a physician. In this case, getting into drug abuse is not entirely your fault. However, if you indulge for recreational purposes, whatever befalls is entirely on you.
Since now you have a temporary escape route that makes you feel so good, you tend to be careless about your life choices. As you begin introducing drugs into your system, you get to a point where you cannot wait to do it all over again. With time, it becomes a bad habit that is unstoppable because your body builds up a tolerance that ends up making your body dependent on drugs even without you realizing it.
Long term abuse of drugs will directly lead you into drug addiction if you do not come to terms with the risks of consuming toxins. As an addict, life does not get easier but instead brings up other problems. Since consuming drugs is a routine to escape issues using drugs, you will definitely fall deeper into addiction.
Wreaking havoc on your mind and body continues.
Commonly abused drugs
Normally, anything that can cause euphoric effects can be abused. This includes inhalants such as household cleaners. This may be a bit rare, but it does happen. Most of the drug abusers in this category result to these whenever they are not able to access the drugs that they actually desire.
Therefore, there exists various drugs that are common among drug abuser. Due to their reactions, they fall into three categories; stimulants, hallucinogens and depressants.
- Depressants– these are drugs that cause some type of depression upon the brain’s faculties, resulting in some type of euphoric effects. They may include heroin and barbiturates like sleeping pills
- Stimulants– these are drugs that stimulant the brain to work extra harder than it is used to. As a result, they cause you to have bursts of activity that are increased and rise of alertness. However, they later cause some negative effects just after consumption. They include amphetamines and cocaine.
- Hallucinogens- just like the name suggests, these drugs cause hallucinations whereby you experience dissociation from yourself. They include ecstasy, LSD and mescaline.
From these categories, other drugs include;
- Opioids and opium from poppy plants
- Prescription drugs
- Methamphetamine , among others.
Administration Of Abused Drugs
The administration of the above abused drugs can take place in various forms depending on the effects that you want and timing. You can consume those that come in pill form orally, whereby you can swallow as a whole or chew first then swallow.
These pills can as well be crashed, heated in some water and consumed intravenously through injection. You may also snort some drugs so that they can easily reach your blood vessels through the nose. Others like marijuana can be smoked or cooked together with other food stuff like cookies and tea.
Drug Abuse Causes
As mentioned earlier, drug abuse can result from stress after loss, maybe of a loved one, a job and so on. However, stress is not the only cause for abusing drugs since everybody’d life is different. Other causes of drug abuse are controllable and also uncontrollable, depending on that present situation, age and amount of knowledge regarding drugs generally.
Other causes are such as;
- Peer pressure and curiosity among young adults and school children in the effort of having life experiences. Unfortunately, this may spiral into a drug habit that is uncontrollable, thus causing bad performance in school and in various responsibilities, as well as addiction.
- If you suffer from chronic pain, your doctor is likely to prescribe prescription drugs so that they can relief your pain and allow you to live a normal life. Unfortunately since they are psychoactive, your body may develop some tolerance and hence require some higher doses in the process, they become addictive and result in drug abuse.
- In the same prescription drug agenda, their availability can result you to abuse them in recreational use even after the doctor advises you against using them. With this tendency, you will become an abuser and an addict.
- You can also indulge in drug abuse for recreational purposes, since you may have a liking for fun activities. Most of the times, this tendency involves consuming drugs like alcohol during celebrations.
- If you are in a career that requires creativity or long working hours, you may as well find yourself abusing drugs since they increase you alertness and therefore can work for longer hours as you pursue perfection.
Drug Abuse Signs And Symptoms
As a regular drug abuser, you may notice some changes in your physical appearance, behavior and psychological health. No matter how hard you try to hide these alterations, you can never be good at it completely. Therefore, there will be some noticeable changes that include the following:
Physical warning signs
- Sniffling or a runny nose
- Deterioration in personal grooming habits and physical appearance
- Changes in sleep patterns and appetite
- Impaired coordination, tremors and slurred speech
- Sudden weight gain or loss
- Unusual breath, clothing or body odors.
- Bloodshot eyes
- Unusual larger or smaller pupils
Behavioral warning signs
- Engagement in suspicious or secretive behaviors
- Usage of drugs under risky conditions like while driving, sharing of needles or utilizing them while dirty and engaging in unprotected sex.
- Sudden change in hobbies, friends and hangout areas
- Difficulties in relationships, both personal and work
- Frequent issues related to legal problems due to illegal activities, accidents, fights and driving under the influence
- Unexplained financial problems or need for money. If you do not receive the expected help, you may end up stealing
- Neglecting responsibilities at school, work and home such as your children
Psychological warning signs
- Unexplained change in attitude and personality
- Lack of motivation as you appear exhausted
- Sudden mood swings
- Angry outbursts or increased irritability
- Appearing paranoid, fearful or anxious for no reason
- Periods of unusual instability, increased energy and nervousness
Warning Signs According To Drugs
If you are a concerned relative, friend or family members you may notice the above signs in a person that you love. However, it may be difficult to help if you hardly know the exact drug being abused. Due to the difference in the toxins found in the various drugs, that person is prone to display certain signs depending on the drug.
The following are signs according to the drug that can help you figure out the substance and the best approach to the problem:
- Depressants like Valium, Xanar cause poor judgment, sleepiness, difficulties in concentration, drunk-like appearance, clumsiness, slurred speech, contracted pupils
- Inhalants like vapors, glues and aerosols cause poor muscle control, watery eyes, changes in appetite, impaired thought, memory and vision, anxiety, irritability, drowsiness, rashes around the nose or secretions, headaches and nausea, a lot of aerosols or cans in the trash, appearance of intoxication.
- Hallucinogens like LSP/PCP cause confusion, mood swings, dilated pupils, aggression, slurred speech, hallucinations, detachment from people, paranoia as well as other irrational and bizarre behavior, absorption with objects or self.
- Heroin causes needle marks, sweating, vomiting, sniffling, loss of appetite, contracted pupils, twitching, non-response of pupils to light, unusual sleeping times, coughing.
- Marijuana causes: loss of interest, weight gain or loss, loud taking, glass red eyes, loss of motivation and inappropriate laughter followed by sleepiness
- Stimulants like cocaine, amphetamines and meth cause: dry nose and mouth, euphoria, dilated pupils, anxiety, weight loss, hyperactivity, irritability, depression after excessive talking, long periods without sleeping or eating, excessive sleeping at odd times.
Recognition Of A Loved One’s Drug Abuse Problem
As soon as you verify that your loved one actually has a drug abuse problem and get to point out the substance itself, there are a few things that you can do to try help them change. They include the following:
Talking to a drug abuser about their problem is a great way to let them know that you actually care. It shows the will to offer help and support especially when the person wishes to quit drug abuse. Therefore, speak up about the behavior that you have noted before they reach the addiction stage, which far much worse. While doing so, do not be judgmental and expect denial and excuses.
Take care of yourself
Yes you may have so much love and care about a drug abuser. However, you should watch yourself around them due to the signs that they show. For instance, do not enter a car that they are driving, especially when under the influence. They could cause an accident that could claim your life.
Avoid blaming yourself
Everybody has the liberty to make right or wrong decisions regarding their life. So despite showing support and love, do not force them to change especially after speaking out. Any drug abuser should take responsibility for their actions and you should know that you have nothing to do with them.
- You should also take note of the following actions:
- Avoid confrontations with a drug abuser when they are high
- You should not throw away or hide the drugs
- Do not feel responsible for a drug abuser’s behavior
- Do not attempt to preach, threaten, or bribe a drug abuser so that they can quit the behavior
- You should never copy the drug abuse behavior
- You should not shield a drug abuser from their irresponsible behavior, or cover up or make excuses
- Avoid making emotional appeals since they could make a drug abuser all the more guilty, which increases the compulsion to use drugs.
- Avoid taking over their responsibilities since it leaves them with no sense of importance
Choosing The Wiser Path
As a drug abuser, a time will come whereby you will notice that abusing drugs is derailing your personal growth, achievements and constantly leads you to failure. If you still have some self love, are clever enough, ambitious and still hungry for success, you will opt to quit this bad habit so that you can change.
However, if you lack the majority of these aspects, you are likely to ignore the above signs of drug abuse and continue taking whatever substance that you are used to. For now, let us assume that you have chosen the wiser path.
Quitting Drug Abuse
As a drug abuser, you have probably gotten to a point when you enjoy being high and are used to it, thus almost developing an addiction. Nevertheless, it is never too late to quit consuming drugs. Since you are not yet addicted, you can manage to quit at anytime that you wish. You simply need to make that decision.
As you plan on quitting and abstaining from drugs, you should know that there will be a milestone that could make you fail or succeed in this path towards a better you. Since the drugs manipulate your brain’s functionality, you will get cravings that will make you want to indulge even in the smallest amount.
You can refer to cravings as the urges to consume something that you are used to, since it seems to be influencing the reward, control and motivation centers of your brain. The intensity of these cravings is dependent on how far you are into drug abuse.
If you are just a beginner, you can easily ignore cravings when you decide to abstain from drugs since they could even take several weeks to start. If you are a moderate abuser, your will to completely quit abusing drugs will be your drive whenever cravings begin in probably a week. However, if your abuse is about to turn into addiction, the cravings might be more intense and will take a lot of effort to not give in.
The Craving Cycle
Cravings take place in a certain type of pattern which is often referred to as a cycle that continually progresses from one stage to another worse one. The following is the craving cycle.
There are so many triggers that can remind you of the drug abuse behavior. It can be a friend that you abuse with, smell, familiar surrounding or event. These triggers connect your emotions or thoughts with the bad habit, and thus put the craving cycle in motion.
If you are a mild drug abuser, you can easily ignore the thought of indulging again since you are not really used to the drug. However, if you are moderate or worse of a drug abuser, you will not manage to shake off these triggers and hence cravings will sort of control you.
As soon as the craving cycle begins, obsessive thinking starts. This period entails thinking quite much about the familiar ways that you so want to quit. As you toss them left and right in your mind, the thoughts get deeper and the urge to indulge again gets stronger.
As a moderate drug abuser, escaping the cravings means incorporating various efforts thus avoiding falling into the drug pit again. The higher your will to quit drug, the more you will indulge in these efforts just to push the cravings away.
If you are close to addiction, these efforts might fail miserably
Drug abuse leads you into addiction with time and without your knowledge. So if you are very close to addiction, the illegal drugs cravings will be stronger as though you are already addicted. Your emotions will nag you to indulge, as you tend to get stressed thus making it harder to ignore the feeling.
Tips to resist cravings
With focus and determination, you can resist the cravings and thus avoid indulging in drugs again. It may not be easy, but if well incorporated, these tips can pull you from this trans that can either return you to the right path or watch you fall.
The following are useful tips on how to resist the drug abuse cravings:
Self-talk is all about helping yourself reason properly. Therefore, you can easily stop a craving simply by reminding yourself about why you chose to quit drug abuse in the first place.
Most of the times, cravings will visit when your mind is idle. So, get yourself a new hobby that you can indulge in to distract yourself from focusing on the cravings.
Self care involves being vigorous in regular exercising, and healthy eating, thus promote emotional health and physical well being. With time, you become disinterested in going back into drug abuse despite the occurrence of cravings.
Know your triggers
As soon as you learn your triggers, you will know how to avoid them. You can either un-friend that person that could indulge you, avoid areas that give you memories or stay away from events that involve drug abuse.
There are those kinds of people that have no business in drugs. Reach out to these individuals whenever cravings start, especially those that support you in quitting the drug abuse habit. Talk about your feelings and let them guide you through avoiding relapse.
Remember the consequences
You definitely know that going back to drugs will mean proceeding with the destruction path. Therefore, remind yourself what that path looks like and where it leads. Consider your goals too in relation to these consequences.
In conclusion, drug abuse is like a pit that you can crawl out from on time. However, the cravings that occur could lead you right back if you are not very careful with why you are quitting.