All There Is To Know About the Problems Associated With Drug Addiction
November 8, 2018
Who is an addict? Anyone can be an addict as long as he or she is exposed to an environment that makes him or her turn to the frequent use of illicit drugs. However, most people who become addicts are predisposed to develop an addiction when introduced to a conducive environment. This means that you need to examine your family history to make sure that you do not fall within this category. Being in this category means that you are more likely to become addicted to drugs easier and faster in comparison to other people who are not predisposed.
This applied to both substance abuse and alcohol-dependent people. Most people exclude alcohol when classifying drugs. Alcohol is a depressant drug. This means that it slows down the normal functions o the central nervous system when it is consumed. This is why when a person is drunk, he or she has altered their vision, movements, hearing, emotions, and perceptions. This read will help you understand all the problems associated with drug addiction in the following main categories, namely:
- Physical and health problems
- Relationship problems
- Social problems
The problems will cover a wide array of drugs. It is a general outlook on how drug addiction influences various aspects of life. The drugs mostly referred to in this read include alcohol, synthetic hallucinogens, khat, amphetamines, anabolic steroids, antidepressants, barbiturates, and benzodiazepines.
Problems Associated With Drugs
- Physical and health problems
The following are some of the possible physical and health problems that the addict is likely to develop.
- Endocrine and digestive glands – Excessive consumption of alcohol affects the digestive enzyme activation for the enzymes that are produced by the pancreas. It makes its activation abnormal. When the enzymes build up it could lead to a pancreas inflammation that is known as pancreatitis. If this is not attended to immediately, it could become a long-term body condition and can lead to very serious health complications.
- Damage caused by inflammation – The liver breaks down and eliminates the unwanted substances from the body. This list of unwanted substances includes alcohol. Constant consumption of alcohol affects this process. In addition to this, it increases the chance of developing a chronic liver disease or inflammation. This inflammation scars the tissue of the liver causing a disease known as liver cirrhosis. This destroys the liver and makes it impossible for it to carry out its function of purifying the body from harmful substances. Liver failure is a serious disease that can lead to death since it leads to the buildup of waste and toxins in the body. Women are at a higher risk of developing liver-related issues due to excessive consumption of alcohol. This is because their bodies absorb alcohol more than the male body. In addition to this, the female body requires more time to process the alcohol.
- Abnormal levels of sugar– The pancreas has the power to regulate the use of insulin in the body and how it responds to glucose. When both your liver and pancreas are functioning abnormally, you are at a high risk of developing hypoglycemia or low blood pressure. When the pancreas is damaged, there is a risk of it producing abnormal insulin levels that could make use of the sugar. This could increase the sugar levels in the blood. There is a possibility that you might also develop diabetes. Thus, people who have a history of either of the two diseases need to steer clear from alcohol.
- The central nervous system– Alcohol affects the central nervous system more than it does any other body system. This is evident through slurring of speech, hindrance from coordination of the body parts, tingling and numbness sensations among other things. In fact, it makes it harder for the brain to create and keep memories for the long-term. It also clouds the brain’s ability to make rational decisions. As time goes by, the frontal lobe of the brain has the potential of becoming severely damaged. This part of the brain is responsible for judgment, short-term memory, and emotional control, among other things.
- Mothers who drink when pregnant influence the lives of their newborns and put them at risk of developing fetal alcohol syndrome. This syndrome is carried on into their adulthood.
- Synthetic hallucinogens
The health effects of using this drug include gastrointestinal issue, Facial stiffness, Blurred vision, Tremors, Headaches, Seizures and convulsions. Additionally, the person is susceptible to Respiratory distress, Cardiac issues such as heart rate and increased blood pressure, Hallucinations, Impaired decision-making, Motor impairment, Dis orientations, confusion and Death caused by the secondary and primary effects.
Expect the following effects when using it: An increased heart rate, breathing rate, and blood pressure, Insomnia, loss of energy, and lack of concentration, Psychosis, paranoia, and manic behavior, Anxiety, Aggressiveness, Appetite suppression, increased arousal and mental alertness, Feelings of well-being and a state of elation and euphoria
A person is likely to experience the following effects when using this drug: decreased appetite, death, collapse, strokes, heart failure, high fever, seizures, loss of coordination, tremors, chest pain, irregular heartbeat, dizziness, blurred vision, headaches, sweating, jaw clamping, dilated pupils, increased blood pressure, and an increased heart rate and breathing rate.
Health effects you are likely to experience when consuming this drug include Cysts, Yellow eyes and skin, Acne, Liver disease, Greasy hair, Greasy skin, Shrunken testicles in men, Liver cancer, Breast growth in men, Erectile dysfunction in men, Decreased breast size in women, Heart disease and heart attack, Internal bleeding. Additionally, Irregular periods in women, a Deep voice in women, Facial hair growth in women, Hair thinning, Premature ageing of bones, Male pattern baldness, and Diseases that are associated with the transmission of needles such as Hepatitis B&C and HIV/AIDS are also some of the likely effects.
The side effects of using this drug include mild agitation, mild lethargy, dry mouth, suicidal thinking, profound lethargy, agitation, stomach upset, rashes, mood swings, sexual side effects and nausea. Expectant and lactating mothers who indulge in the consumption of this drug put both the mother and the baby(s) life in danger.
The effects of using this drug include breathing disorders, sexual dysfunction, slowed reflexes, dizziness, vision problems, chronic tiredness, drowsiness, lack of inhibition, mild euphoria, irritability, impaired judgment, dilated pupils, and lack of coordination, disorientation, fatigue, sluggishness, shallow breathing, and slurred speech.
These effects are noticeable within the first twenty-four hours but can go on for weeks and months depending on your dependency level. They include:
- Sleep issues
- Anxiety and unnecessary tension
- Hand tremors
- Panic attacks
- Weight loss and appetite issues
- A headache
- Muscular pain
- Concentration and focus issues
- Heart palpitations
- Sweating and shaking
- Panic attacks
Take note that as you visit a rehabilitation center to help you or your loved one with a drug addiction, make sure that you are aware of the withdrawal symptoms to prepare yourself mentally and psychologically for the treatment.
- Relationship problems
- The person becomes a loner. They stop being reachable and avoid making plans with their close friends and family. Most of the time, this happens because they know that their close friends and family would be able to tell that they are not okay. They are trying to cover up their new habit.
- Using drugs heightens and changes our personalities. This is why most introverts and conservative people become more outspoken and active when they are under the influence. For occasional users, this is just fun and games. However, for avid ones, they can sometimes turn out to become more militant and mean. This makes them directly approach relationship issues in an agitating manner. This is a clear warning sign of drug addiction. This is because the person is allowing their substance abuse get in the way of their relationships and friendships and they keep doing it even though they are aware that they keep hurting their loved ones.
- Social problems
- Hangovers also give rise to other issues such as missing classes, examinations, and work. They also contribute to less productivity in both the workplace and the classroom.
- It increases their chance of causing accidents. This makes them more likely to feel like they can do anything outrageous things such as flying. Since it affects their coordination and sight, they are more likely to jump into oncoming traffic or cause motor vehicle collisions. They are likely to cause burns, falls, and even drowning.
- Development of drug abuse traits: A child who has grown up seeing their parent or both their parents engaging in substance and alcohol abuse tends to view this as normal. They end up indulging in it at their adolescents and this affects their health, development, and school life. Children who engage in drug abuse at a tender age tend to portray traits such as lack of consistency in poor grades, trouble reading and comprehending schoolwork, dropping out, and even poor concentration. Most of these children tend to influence others through peer pressure to take part in drug abuse. Some of these children suffer from sexual and physical abuse and this makes them perceive this type of abuse as normal. This makes them susceptible to commit them when they get older, for example, gender-based violence in their marriages, defiling rape, and molestation. All these are effects of young children indulging in drug intake at a young age.
- It increases violence such as homicide, intimate partner violence, and even sexual assault. This is because drugs mess up a person’s judgment and make them more open and able to tackle private issues that they would not do in their sober state, directly. This makes them likely to attack and severely harm human beings who aggrieve them in this state.
- It increases the chances of having risky sexual encounters with children. Since drugs impair judgment, it is very possible for it to increase the promiscuity of a person. This fast tracks the spread of diseases such as STIs and HIV/AIDS.
- Depression: This is common with substance abuse parents who only have one child. When the parent (s) is drinking, the child will feel very isolated and lonely. To make it worse, if the parent (s) abuses the child, this child is at a very high risk of developing severe depression, which has the possibility of leading to suicide. However, this does not mean that families with many children may not experience this. For a child who is very close to their parents, he or she is bound to pull away from the rest of the family when this parent is drunk. This stems from their feelings of no one understanding their pain and thoughts, which makes them retreat and keep their thoughts to themselves. Take note that these thoughts are negative.
Are you addicted to a substance? Is your loved one addicted to a substance? Chances are that you or your loved one is in denial. You need to know how to approach the situation. The following are some of the modes you could opt to use.
- You can start out by calling an intervention that is filled with people who the person considers his or her close friends. Then proceed to explain to the person that all the people in attendance are worried and concerned about the health of this person.
- Alternatively, you could seek the aid of the internet and get a drug self-assessment platform. The person can then take the test themselves to help them come to the realization that they are addicts.
- Seek the help of a professional. The professional might decide to take up the case of helping your loved one. Alternatively, this specialist might suggest the approach and professional that you might want to apply or consult. The professional might help your affected loved one know and learn about anonymous substance abuse groups. This will help the addict come to terms with their current situation. Such mutual help groups promote accountability and support from other people who have recovered and others who are in the process of recovering.
- You could seek the aid of a doctor or medical practitioner to help you diagnose drug addiction. The doctor will make sure that within a minimum period of a year the person has exhibited at least three of the known drug traits.
- Detoxification is another option. It entails the person completely stopping their substance abuse for their body to adjust to their new lifestyle of no drugs. Take note that during this time the person experiences severe withdrawal symptoms. This is supplemented by ongoing treatment.
Additionally, you could incorporate an addiction treatment plan into your detoxification plan. A good example of an addiction treatment plan is a medication-assisted treatment. This treatment involves the use of buprenorphine and methadone to help the addicted person cope with the side effects and helps them reduce their urge of indulging in the drugs.
The Treatment Plan for a Standard Rehabilitation Center
Before your loved one checks into a rehabilitation center, it is important that they be mentally and psychologically prepared for what they might experience during the program. Most rehabilitation centers have varying treatment plans, but this read will provide a standard treatment plan that most rehabilitation centers follow. This will provide some insight. Take note that it is not conclusive and definite. You might miss some steps or have more.
- Physical examination or assessment: At the beginning of the rehab process, you will meet a physician. You will spend some time with him or her to examine your addiction status and map out a detoxification plan. This plan will vary depending on the drugs you were using during the addiction phase. Therefore, it is mandatory that you are very honest at this stage. Giving the wrong information will not help you get through your rehabilitation efficiently. You might also be asked to identify the recent drugs that you ingested. This could be prescribed or not. Thus, you might want to acquaint yourself with the names of those drugs. At this stage, you will be given various legal documents such as consent forms to fill. This stage takes a few hours, but it could spread out through a couple of days.
- Psychological examination/evaluation/assessment: A psychiatrist who has experience and expertise on addiction will examine various issues such as bipolar, depression, anxiety, or any other psychological or emotional issues. The first examination you do will not be conclusive. This is because you are still under the influence of drugs and at the peak of your addiction. This may taint the results significantly. A good example is some people exhibit schizophrenic properties when they are under the influence and after they are done with their rehabilitation, these symptoms end.
- Detoxification: This is the part of the program that addicts hate most. However, if you check in to a high-end rehabilitation center it might be extremely comfortable for you. Withdrawal symptoms are inevitable. They will use medication like valium and suboxone to ease your pain. Since they do not want to create a dependency to this drug, they will only use it when necessary and for a short period. The aim of using them is to make sure that the addict is completely free from mood-altering drugs. The potential side effects include decreased appetite, amnesia, blackouts, and feelings of paranoia, aggressive behavior, panic attacks, tremors, blurred vision, gastrointestinal issues, headaches, seizures, convulsions, respiratory issues, high blood pressure, motor impairment, and even dilated pupils. A doctor will definitely be on standby to help you get through all these side effects. The side effects you experience are dependent on the drugs you used. Thus, make sure you inquire so that you do not go into shock ones the side effects start showing. Mental preparation goes a long way when it comes to this form of treatment.
- Therapy: The most effective form of therapy is done in a group setting. This does not single out individual therapy. It is still effective. Additionally, some people prefer to have individual counseling because of their status or other personal reservations. By talking and connecting with other people who feel the same way you do, you develop techniques that help you stay free from drug consumption.
- Fitness: Drugs make the body system deteriorate. It derails all health aspects making it hard to get through the addiction. Thus, through fitness, you can uplift your mind, soul and body. This is essential for their healing process. Exercise helps the addict get through the withdrawal symptoms since it helps the body produce endorphins that make the body feel good. You might need the help of a trainer to get through this stage. The rehabilitation center could provide one unless you have reservations about a specific one and want to hire your own personal trainer.
- Good nutrition: Dieting goes hand-in-hand with fitness. In order to recover, you have to feel good and eat right. If you eat too much-processed carbohydrates, you will feel sleepy and sluggish. On the other hand, too much sugar will affect your moods. Thus, you will need to consult your nutritionist to plan your balanced diet and help you get in better shape.
- Alternative treatments: Many rehabilitation centers offer numerous alternative treatments. These treatments have been shown to help ease the withdrawal symptoms and make the addicts’ rehabilitation life more comfortable. These include acupuncture, equine therapy, yoga, massage, and meditation among others.
- Planning for aftercare: What is your plan after you leave the rehabilitation center? How are you planning to stay on track with the treatment? How will you plan your home regimen to keep up with the treatment? What will you do if you get the urge to use drugs? All these questions are catered for under this part of the treatment. The plan caters for all the strategies that you need o address to remedy any situation you phase and the various relationships you are likely to phase when you get back home.
- Discharge from treatment: Your treatment is complete and you are at about thirty days free from drug or alcohol use. This day could be terrifying, joyous, or exciting. Follow the aftercare plan and all the tips and advice that you have received from the specialists. If you stay away from the triggers, you will have a better chance of long-term recovery.