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Drug Addiction - Treatment, Symptoms and Causes

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

What is Drug Addiction?

It is said that every person craves an addiction, just as a distraction to one's pain. Any substance that can alter an organism's bodily functions is termed as a drug. The more accommodating terms like misuse, harmful use, dependence, abuse were used to replace depressing and discouraging terms like addicts and addiction, with the hope of encouraging discussions and subsequently improving the existing condition. But, it's been to no avail, so far. If we try to reason out the causes of drug abuse and addiction, multiple layers of factors might come up. What needs to be understood is that the trigger to start drug abuse and the reason that leaves one unable to stop are quite different, and their difference defines the struggle of the life of a drug addict. While teenagers are undoubtedly the most vulnerable, several crucial factors can drive people of any age towards drug abuse.

Causes of Drug Addiction.

'Curiosity killed the cat” We live in the age of accessibility and information. This has let us in a stage, where no age is naive, and hence no one is immune.. Everyone is susceptible, as everyone knows.

Causes and factors affecting people agewise are:

Pre-adolescent age
  • an abusive childhood
  • negligence from parents or family
  • the family history of use
Adolescent age
  • peer pressure and attitude to rebel against the moral code
  • low self-esteem or Anomie
  • impractical relationships and teenage pregnancy
  • adventure and thrill derived from experimentation
  • stress to achieve and the subsequent fear of failing in a competitive world
  • fear Of Missing Out (FOMO Syndrome)
  • too concerned or interfering parents
  • Midlife
  • abuse or issues of the domestic realm
  • future planning and excessive stress in the work environment
  • escaping or altering the reality
  • marital frustration and sexual problems
  • co-morbidities (mental)
  • Elderly
  • the demise of near and dear
  • insufficient attention from family, caregivers
  • certain groups
  • very high or low earning socioeconomic groups
  • easy access - medical professionals
  • pressure to perform well consistently or amphetamines in students
  • Constant vigilance, idealism, loss of privacy, unscheduled work culture and stress in case of celebrities

What is the symptoms of Drug Addiction?

Cathryn Kemp had once stated that she used to think a drug addict was someone who lived on the far edges of society. Wild-eyed, shaven-headed and living in a filthy squat.

That was until she became one...

The above statement clearly describes the ignorant perception we, as a society holds towards drug addicts and how such falsification disrupts with self-diagnosis or realization.

To catch a close acquaintance abusing a substance, one needs to be very observant about the subtle changes in habits or behaviour.

General symptoms-
  • any sudden changes in behaviour, mood or grades (in case of students), forming patterned behaviour etc
  • inability to perceive pleasure in usually pleasurable activities
  • isolation and neglecting responsibilities
  • stealing and risk-taking behaviours
  • -
  • over justifications, aggressive comebacks and denial (DENIAL and RATIONALISATION are the most common defence mechanisms in Substance abuse).
  • Abstinence/Withdrawal symptoms-

    Most common withdrawal symptom is HANGOVER(a headache, irritability, anxiety and weakness), although, they become progressively worse with chronic use such as- tremor, irritability, flushing, feeling of impending doom and bowel- bladder problems, et cetera.

    It is to be noted that LSD AND CANNABIS, though powerful psychedelics, do not produce any withdrawal symptoms OD(overdose) symptoms-

    loss of consciousness, trauma, delirium, convulsions, coma and perceptual distortion


    Treatment of Drug Addiction.

    'In order to break out from prison, you must realize you are locked up”

    Acceptance, Insight and motivation form the pillars of successful treatment. Treatment methodology can be broadly classified as follows:

    classified into two-
    1. treatment involving acute intoxication - resuscitation and antidote administration are the sought after procedures under this method
    2. dependence based chronic rehabilitation:- this can be done by
      • Pharmacotherapy like methadone or naltrexone for opium; amantadine for cocaine; nicotine patch and bupropion for smoking; disulfiram for alcohol etcetera
      • Behavioural therapy (best) – this is inclusive of expert counselling, Alcoholic Anonymous or other group therapy, supported by family coordination.

    Prevention to avoid Drug Addiction.

    'you become what you fear, and escape what you face” Primary prevention (also called source reduction)-

    Illicit drug production, trade, smuggling and distribution must be put under strict Law enforcement.

    India is predisposed to drug abuse due to its geographic proximity to major drug routes - Golden triangle and Golden crescent in the east and west respectively. Ideal would be to highly attentive toward youth, along with spreading general awareness while media had been responsible to some extent for the glorification, and hence acceptance of drug use in the name of societal acceptance to taboo the reverse can also be done, with proper media

    Risk Reduction

    Initiating a conversation about risks, consequences and disadvantages among highly susceptible groups such as children, along with a caring, yet strong motivation to abstain can be helpful. Close vigil even at the sight of the slightest deviation from normal behaviour is recommended.

    Withdrawal symptoms of Drug Addiction.

    Drug withdrawal is the group of symptoms that occur upon the abrupt discontinuation or decrease in intake of recreational drugs.

    The withdrawal symptoms may be drastic if the individual is suffering from any other underlying conditions such as sleep deprivation, anychronic disease, etc.

    Some of the common withdrawal symptoms from drug addiction may include nausea, respiratory distress, anxiety, dilution of concentration, etc.

    Popular Questions & Answers

    Hello Dr. My brother was addicted too petrol smell day&& night he inhale the petrol what's it's treatment and solution of this addicted.

    Psychologist, Chennai
    He need hypnotherapy better instruct him to sniff other fruit flavours which he likes or you give squeezed lemon to sniff which will control from petrol inhaling addiction
    1 person found this helpful

    I am an tramadol addict and my age is 32 years and I want to stop this but I am getting fear about my health can you tell me what will happen I will stop using tramadol from today.

    Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Master of Science in Applied Psychology, Master of NLP
    Psychologist, Bhubaneswar
    Any addictive material, if you will stop immediately then you might face some degrees of anxiety or phobia. Before stopping it kindly consult with a de-addiction specialist.

    Hello am a man of 29 years old now have been too much addicted to sex till date, but how am thinking if its as affected me in producing a child. I need your help what is the ability of giving a woman pregnant.

    Sexologist, Delhi
    Dear Samuel, Having more sex does not affect the ability of sex or the quality of semen. By having more sex, there is freshness in our body, semen contributes a lot in the pregnancy of a woman, the quality and quantity of semen should be related t...

    Hello doctor, me eshi pareshani me hu jisme kabhi kabhi mujhe khud ko sharm aati he. Me female body ki aur bahut jyada attraction he, mujhe kahi bhi koi lady dikhti he agar wo good physique me ho to usko kiss, hug and kuddle krne ka man krta he, aur esa sochta hu ki wo bhi same mere sath kare. Khas tor pr unka belly stomach dekhne ki koshish krta hu aur jisse mere penis tight ho jata he phir me use adjust krne ki koshish krta hu. Aur kaam krte hue ya padte hue bhi wo vichar ate he aur penis tight aur loose hota rhta he dard sa mahsus hota he ,ye problem subah uthane se start hokar sone tak rhti he kuchh kuch time interval pr esa hota rhta he. Me meri wife ke sath bhi agar bethkar baat kr rha hu ya wo kaam kr rhi ho ya so rahi din me tab bhi penis tight ho jata he, usko pas jane se mere penis tight ho jata he. Isse mera head me bojh sa lagta he aur phir kabhi kabhi to apni wife ko litakar uske pet ki malish krne ki koshish krta hu pr mostly wo deny krti he bolti he mujhe pet me koi problem nhi he jo malish kr rhe he. Phir kisi time mere muh ko dekhkar malish krwa leti he. Me yeh question type kr rha hu tab bhi mera penis tight hota he luse ho jata he kabhi kabhi to esa hota hi raat me meri wife ke sath so rha hota hu aur neend khul gyi kabhi kabhi to aur wife sidhi leti hui to uska navel dabata hu 3-4 wo notice krti he hat jata nhi to 4-5 bar to krta hi hu. Me iski vajah se thik tarike se study bhi nhi kr pata. Pls kuchh upay bataye.

    MD - Psychiatry
    Psychiatrist, Rajkot
    This is very common in teenagers and might be due to obsessives compulsive disorder. Koi psychiatrist ko consult karo. Treatment k bad thik ho jayega 100%

    I'm 35 years male, heights 175 cm & 75 kg i, was a heroine addict for past 2& half years (smoking heroine) now i'm sober for 3 months? I took addnok 2 mg quarter a tablet morning and evening for 2 months, now i'm on tramadol 100 mg, notipam m and large 2 mg i've stopped taking addnok now, doctor when will I get rid of this withdrawal? It's already 3 months i'm off from heroine, I still I get this muscle cramps on my stomach, biceps and my back muscle above hip, and i'm scared of this heroine now. Is tramadol addictive? Is there withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking tramadol?

    MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, Post Graduate Diploma in Mental Health, Diploma in Clinical Psychiatry, (DCP), Member of College of Psychiatrists,Ireland, (MCPsychI), Master of Psychiatry (M.Psych)
    Psychiatrist, Dehradun
    Yes tramadol is addictive, it’s effect is like heroine only but milder. You will need to stop tramadol and take some alternative medication, like non opioid pain killers.
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