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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Are you tired of getting rid of your addiction? Is quitting the addiction very difficult? Then read this till the last.
Addiction is a condition in which a person engages in the use of a substance or in a behaviour even after having harmful negative undesirable consequences. The addictive substance or behaviour is pleasurable and rewarding which reinforces and provided a compelling incentive to repeatedly persue the addiction. It gives short term gratification.
• Internet addiction
• Social Network addiction (Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram etc)
• Games (PUBG, Candy Crush, Clash of Clans etc)
• Relationships (Too much attached with Gf/Bf and giving a lot of time to them and energy to them)
• There are many more such addiction.
The available solutions for addiction and the reason why they do not work.
1. Sudden termination: Our mind and body both get habitual so sudden removal or termination is not accepted and thus people face the withdrawal symptoms.
2. Stopping it slowly: The cravings the urges are very powerful and once can not just quit addiction so easily as the causes and triggers are still there.
3. Medicines: Medicines are helpful but they only work on physiological aspect. They don't deal with the mental and emotional part the causes.
4. Diverting mind somewhere else, getting more busy and occupied, counseling, good influence from loved ones and many more. There are also many things which are suggested and being used but still they never work for most of the people.
What is the correct solution?
Addiction is a psychological problem and it is on mental and emotional level. It has root causes and triggers. Mind and body both get habitual of the pleasure and reward. And thus the solution is also psychological. There are patterns and habits in our mind which regulate our thoughts emotions and behaviour. Many times the addiction is minds defence and until and unless the purpose which is being served by the addiction is not resolved it is very difficult to get rid of it.
The causes and triggers are needed to be identified 1st and then treated and resolved. This is the reason why even after coming from a de-addiction center the person again becomes addicted.
For permanent results the person is required to take the correct approach which will give long lasting results.
Psychotherapy combined with NLP and many other approaches will give the best possible results in very less time as we are dealing with the root causes and once the leakage has be found and sealed then there is no chances of water coming out again.
While we all know substance abuse is a social issue and learning that a loved one is affected by the problem can be nearly heart-breaking. It is definitely not something that can be easily accepted. At the same time, the affected individual needs all your love and attention and more importantly support to get through the situation. It is important to not show anger or frustration at the person but to empathize and help them get out of the situation.
Read on to know some of the ways in which you can play an active role in supporting your loved one under such circumstances. This involves both of you coping with the situation at hand, as well as helping the person come out of the abuse.
Often, issues faced by dysfunctional families take a toll on a child’s mental health, and various factors can lead to a child's mental health problems. Physical and verbal abuse and parental divorce are among other causes of mental health problems in children. Family therapy is one of the proven effective psychiatric procedures that help a child cope with mental health issues, and helps to direct the child’s life.
The Role of Family Therapy
Family therapy is also known as family focus therapy or family systems therapy works with families, to help them in dealing with a wide range of family problems. One such problem is a child’s mental illness.
Children, pre-teens and teens are continually going through a developmental phase during their formative years. This is the time when they are most vulnerable to the adverse impacts of life. Sometimes parents are not equipped to deal with the suffering child properly. This is where family therapy can significantly benefit families and children. The psychological process can help children in dealing with major issues such as bad conduct, mood disorders, drug abuse, and eating disorders.
It can include individual sessions amidst a series of family meetings, and when required. At times, even the social networks around families can be included.
Mental Issues That Family Therapy Focuses
Family therapy offers possible treatment for a wide range of conditions including a long-term illness such as depression. It is based on two principles. A mental illness is made only worse by a dysfunctional family. Immediate family relationships are the strongest support system for a child. This is what makes them most important during long-term treatments.
Family therapy focuses on treating and molding the way families, and parents interact with the child facing mental issues. It helps in strengthening parent and child bond, and also helps instill faith and confidence in the child dealing with mental issues. All these measures combined to bring the child on the road to recovery.
How Does It Work?
Family therapy is not a time-bound process, so its effectiveness depends on the child and family. The therapy has its various forms and can be integrated with one another, as and when the psychiatrist thinks it is necessary. Among its multiple forms are teaching coping skills, psychoeducation, behavioral models, structural family therapy, systematic models, and solution-focused therapy.
Family therapy has proven most effective during the childhood and adolescent stages, where it has shown significant improvement among children suffering from anorexia, inattention, hyperactivity and severe long-term illnesses such as depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder, drug abuse and anxiety disorders among others. Family therapy can be very effective in wide range of psychiatric conditions.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Internet addiction disorder or IAD, more commonly called Problematic Internet use or PIU, refers to excessive internet use that interferes with your daily life. Too much internet use to chat with friends, watch porn, use social media or surf the net for information- all fall under the purview of internet addiction.
Internet addiction disorder is a recently recognised condition in which sufferers spend unhealthy amounts of time “online” to the extent that it impairs their life quality. The internet addicts may experience distress and withdrawal symptoms just like smokers do, if they are denied access to their computers or mobile phones. They suffer withdrawal symptoms like tremours, obsessive thoughts, and involuntary movements of the fingers like typing.
IAD and Your Health
Internet addiction can have two different types of repercussions- physical and mental. Physical problems associated with this disorder are-
The psychological and organic harm to the brain caused by internet addiction is still being probed but there is enough research to say conclusively that internet addiction disrupts nerve wiring in the brains of addicts. This addiction thus causes a level of brain damage normally seen in heavy substance abusers. The brains of people who use cocaine and cannabis or other narcotics also show similar effects. The brain thus gets damaged when you get hooked to a behaviour- be it obsessive internet use or drugs. IAD is as physically damaging to your brain like an addiction to drugs, scientists believe.
In particular, brain scans have shown that internet addiction causes significant damage to white matter in the brain. This disruption to white matter nerve fibres connecting vital parts of the brain involved in emotions, decision making, and self-control has long-lasting debilitating results. IAD also shrinks the brain’s gray and white matter fibers which result in changes in your brain functioning and the way you handle emotions.
This disruption in white matter fibers is caused by disrupted myelin, the fatty insulating sheath that coats nerve fibres and helps them to function.
The risk factors for IAD
Specific risk factors for IAD include:
IAD is treatable. All you have to do is seek help. Sometimes, trying to get rid of IAD by yourself doesn’t work. This is the right time to seek the help of a counselor. Behavioural therapies that chip at the root of the problem or the main cause of IAD help you in getting rid of it fast.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Is someone close to you into drugs? Are you concerned about him or her having a drug problem? There are several patterns of drug abuse, which help you to determine the extent of drug abuse a person is undergoing. It is important for you to recognize your dear ones’ drug use patterns and analyse whether you need to take further steps. The different drug abuse patterns are classified as follows:
A lot of people drink on some occasions, and try some substance just for the sake of experimenting. However, when the substance starts affecting your career, relationships and activities, a pattern of drug use is recognized. These patterns increase the risk of addiction, no matter how many months, years or weeks a person is engaged in them. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Psychiatrist.