Common Specialities
{{speciality.keyWord}}
Common Issues
{{issue.keyWord}}
Common Treatments
{{treatment.keyWord}}

Overview

Change Language

Drug Abuse - Treatment, Symptoms and Causes

What is Drug Abuse? Causes of Drug Abuse. What is the symptoms of Drug Abuse? Treatment of Drug Abuse. Prevention to avoid Drug Abuse. Withdrawal symptoms of Drug Abuse.

What is Drug Abuse?

The persistent use of addictive substances as a habit by an individual, following a specific pattern of use is called drug abuse. Prolonged, repetitive and compulsive use can make the user tolerant to the effects of the substance of abuse. Use of such substances becomes ingrained in the system of the abuser, and withdrawal results into a set of specific symptoms, encouraging one towards a relapse. This vicious cycle of use and withdrawal leads to a condition called drug addiction.

While the widespread notion is that drug abuse and resultant addiction is a behavioural disorder, this truly is a misconception. The effects of drug use are more pervasive. Constant use of drugs alters the neural functioning of brain cells. Among the mechanisms that are observed as the effects of drug abuse on the brain are 'imitation of natural chemical messengers' and 'reward circuit over-stimulation’, making substance abuse a brain disorder.

With medical advancements of the last few years, the previous underestimation of drug abuse has been reduced, diagnosing and treating it like a brain disorder, instead of a mere behavioural deflection. Among the primary steps to identification and corresponding cure of drug abuse is a strong understanding that treatment is beyond one’s willpower. In most cases treatment is an appropriate combination of medical assistance and counseling. This may be variable for different cases.

Causes of Drug Abuse.

p>Using drugs is a common practice among teenagers and young adults. But the stage where the individual cannot bear abstinence from such substances leads to drug abuse. The most prominent causes are:

  • Genetics: It has been observed that several drug abusers and addicts have a family history of the same. While no direct relation has been established between drug abuse and genetics, it can be inferred that family members of drug abusers have a higher predisposition to abuse.

  • Co-occurring conditions: Mental illness, profound stress, verbal, physical or sexual abuse are among the top causes of drug abuse. The victims of such ailments/abuse need a channel to went out frustration, or respite from anxiety they face. Thus, they turn towards drugs as a distraction.

  • Environmental causes: Environmental causes mainly comprise of peer pressure or bullying. Adolescents abusing drugs may be vouching for attention of ignorant parents.

What is the symptoms of Drug Abuse?

Physiological signs: As an individual’s abuse habit strengthens, they increase their drug dosage, as they face higher tolerance towards smaller quantities. This enables overdose, giving out clear physical symptoms. These include bloodshot or glazed eyes, pupil constriction or dilation, abnormal or unprecedented weight alterations, wounds or bruises, afflicted at the site of drug entrance. Apart from these, organ failure can also be observed.

Behavioural changes: Sudden changes in behaviour, towards family and friends can be observed. The victim shows negative behavioural modifications especially when unable to use their usual drug. A shift in one’s priorities, lowering of inhibitions towards previously restricted activities are indications.

Treatment of Drug Abuse.

Several treatment plans can be followed for victims of drug abuse. Usually, the course of action is decided based on case specific factors such as substances involved, frequency of abuse, the patient's condition at the time of admission to program etc.

The most important aspects of treatment are consistency and intensity. Generally, the course of treatment is a combination of medical assistance and counseling or other behaviour therapies. Treatment must be continuously reviewed to check the patient's progress and modified as required. Treatment for any previously encountered or currently faced mental illness must be included.

The patient is particularly vulnerable during treatment course. Due to characteristic withdrawal symptoms of each drug, a relapse is highly likely. Therefore, close and careful monitoring of the patient is of utmost importance.

Prevention to avoid Drug Abuse.

The first step towards prevention involves proper awareness about the multiple aspects of drug abuse. It has been previously established that drug abuse, and subsequent addiction is essentially a brain disorder. This puts young abusers, mostly teenagers and adolescents at a greater risk. The most effective prevention tactics are informative discussions about the effects and consequences of drug abuse. For most children, this will eliminate the fascination, and therefore the possibility of abuse for leisure. Preventing drug abuse at an early age shall be most advantageous. Excessively stressful conditions can lead to drug abuse in adults, which can be avoided by repetitive guidance and mental support from well-wishers.                

Withdrawal symptoms of Drug Abuse.

The common symptoms of drug abuse withdrawal are restlessness, muscle cramps and full-body ache, fatigue, profuse lacrimation, anxiety, insomnia, runny nose etc. Apart from these, each drug has its categorical withdrawal symptoms. Here are a few:

Heroine: Symptoms begin to exhibit within 12 hours of last dosage, peaking between 24-48 hours. The symptoms of withdrawal and common flu are similar.

Cocaine: Depression and restlessness are commonly observed symptoms. Withdrawal begins within hours of last dose, peaks within a few days, and can persistent from 7-10 days, up to a few months, depending upon the intensity of abuse.

Prescription Opiates: Withdrawal usually spans for 5-10 days, beginning within 8-12 hours and peak is observed in 12-48 hours.

Popular Questions & Answers

Sir, How can I stop using brown sugar becoz I'm addicted to it and I want to get rid of it, Is there any medicine to control my addiction I totally don't want to use it anymore but becoz of withdrawal my will power gets weaker and I can't sleep or work (bone pain). Will you please suggest me a good medicine to get rid of it.

DHMS (Diploma in Homeopathic Medicine and Surgery)
Homeopath, Hyderabad
lybrate-user, homoeopathy offers very good treatment for your problem and without side effects or addiction. Please take homoeopathic medicine arsenic album 200 daily in the morning and evening (5 to 6 pills-- 2or 3 drops if it dilution-- each tim...

Hi, Please suggest what happens if we take 30 tablet thyronorm 75 mcg tablets at same time? Does it may lead to death or not?

C.S.C, D.C.H, M.B.B.S
General Physician, Alappuzha
Ingested thyroxine, which is itself probably of modest physiologic significance, is rapidly partially converted to triiodothyronine (t3), the active form of thyroid hormone. Both thyroxine and triiodothyronine levels in serum rise within 1-2 hours...

I am taking clonidine for Opioid withdrawal for last 3 years and has become addicted to it. So I need alternate medicine to quit it. I feel high bp and body pain after quitting clonidine for 4-5 hours. Please suggest me any medicine.

MD - Homeopathy, BHMS
Homeopath, Vadodara
Hello lybrate-user. It is because of hormonal imbalance. You can can consult me at Lybrate for homoeopathic treatment. Till then take chamomilla 30.

I am addicted to spasm proxyvn and now I want to leave but I am not able to leave it if I don't eat for 1 day my body parts stops working what should I do now?

Masters Of Science In Dietetics And Food Service Management Msc. (DFSM), Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE), Advanced Clinical Nutrition Program, Post Graduate Diploma In Clinical Nutrition And Dietetics PGD, Bachelors Degree In Applied Nutrition Bhsc
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Mumbai
Hello, You are addicted to opiods, consult a doctor and ask for anti- addictive effective tablets Stop taking as it has various side effects. Reduce the dosage, start taking help of AA/ NA
1 person found this helpful

I'm suffering from hair massive hair loss. I'm a change smoker and also smoke weed on regular basis. What should I do?

MBBS, MD - Dermatology , Venereology & Leprosy, DNB - Dermatology & Venereology
Dermatologist, Delhi
Hair loss in males can be genetic or due to stress or certain vitamin deficiency needs a proper investigation to rule out underlying cause and treat accordingly.

Popular Health Tips

How Rehabilitation Psychology Can Help To Overcome Drug Abuse?

PHD Psychology
Psychologist, Chennai
How Rehabilitation Psychology Can Help To Overcome Drug Abuse?
Drug abuse or addiction is not a sign of weakness or a character flaw, but it takes a lot more than willpower to overcome the problem. Abuse of illegal or certain prescribed drugs can trigger alterations in the brain alterations that may lead to s...
2578 people found this helpful

नशा मुक्ति के उपाय - Nasha Mukti Ke Upay!

Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Ayurveda, Lakhimpur Kheri
नशा मुक्ति के उपाय - Nasha Mukti Ke Upay!
नशा मुक्ति की पहल लगातार वैश्विक स्तर पर किया जाता रहा है. देखा जाए तो नशा करने वाले लोगों की संख्या भी विश्व स्तर पर बहुत ज्यादा है. ऐसे लोग समाज में कई बार खतरा बन जाते हैं. इसलिए नशा को छुड़ाना आवश्यक है. ऐसे लोग नशे के सेवन से पहले असामान्य रहत...
1 person found this helpful

Addiction -How Can Acupuncture Help In Getting Rid Of It?

MD - Acupuncture, Diploma In Accupuncture, Advanced Diploma In Accupuncture
Acupuncturist, Delhi
Addiction -How Can Acupuncture Help In Getting Rid Of It?
Recently the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) published a journal claiming that addiction is a complex disease rather than a voluntary condition. The journal also mentioned that for decades, the approach towards recovery from addiction has ...
5407 people found this helpful

How To Cure Addiction?

MA - Psychology, PG Diploma in Counselling & Psychotherapy, Certified NLP Master Practitioner, Certified Advanced Life Coach, Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist, Certified Psychometric Tool Analyst, Certified Wellness Coach, Certified Leadership Coach, Certified Naturopath
Psychologist, Meerut
How To Cure Addiction?
What is addiction? A disease involving continued use of a substance despite serious substance-related problems, such as loss of control over use, health problems, or negative social consequences. Signs of addiction- Loss of control over substance ...
12 people found this helpful

Addiction: Correct Approach For Permanent Results!

MA Clinical Psychology, Bachelor of Arts (Psychology), Diploma in Hypnotherapy, Diploma in Naturopathy & Yogic Science (DNYS), Certificate in Naturopathy & Yoga
Psychologist, Nagpur
Addiction: Correct Approach For Permanent Results!
Are you tired of getting rid of your addiction? Is quitting the addiction very difficult? Then read this till the last. Addiction Addiction is a condition in which a person engages in the use of a substance or in a behaviour even after having harm...
2576 people found this helpful
Content Details
Written By
Diploma in Diabetology,CCRH (certificate in reproductive health),MBBS,F.F.M(family medicine)
General Physician
Play video
Things To Know About Lifestyle Diseases
Hello, I am Dr. M Wali, greetings to all the viewers of lybrate.com. Lybrate is doing for the benefit of Drs and mankind. Medical work is under watch, what the doctors are doing for the patients. India is one of the best countries as far as doctor...
Play video
How To Get Rid Of Addiction?
Main Dr Manish Kansal hoon aur main ek Psychiatrist hoon, Delhi me practise karta hoon. Delhi aur Greater Noida me mere Hospital hain. Aur aaj hum baat karna chahenge Nashe ke bare me. Jese ki aap sabko pata hai ki aaj kal nasha bohot zada badh ga...
Having issues? Consult a doctor for medical advice