Have you ever taken time to ponder about how life would be without drugs or medicines? We may have long gone extinct. Drugs are such lifesavers, and we’ve all had reason to pop one or two pills in our throats at some point in our lives. Millions of us wouldn’t have been here today, but for drugs.
However, while drugs are necessary for living, they may also become disastrous when we use them wrongly. We misuse drugs when we take illegal drugs or when we use prescription medicines against our doctor’s advice. Also termed drug abuse, misusing drugs are dangerous and can even cause the abuser’s death.
There’s another aspect of drug misuse that’s equally as devastating — drug addiction. In this article, we’d discuss the meaning of drug addiction and why it should never be encouraged. We’d also touch on ways in which we can fight against such menace in our society.
Know the Difference: Drug Abuse & Drug Addiction
Drug abuse and addiction are two highly related terms. It’s no wonder that many people use them interchangeably. However, in the strict sense, there are some notable
differences between them.
Drug abuse or misuse describes a situation where people take drugs outside their intended purpose. On the other hand, drug addiction means that the user has developed an unhealthy dependency on the abused drug. That is, they have misused the drug in a way that alters their lifestyle and makes them dependent on it for daily living.
So, while every drug addiction stems from drug abuse, not every drug abuse leads to addiction. Usually, drug addiction starts when abusers take some drugs and love the effect it has on them. To keep getting the same effect, the abusers continue taking them in increasing doses till they can no longer survive without them.
Why is Drug Addiction Dangerous?
Drug addiction is dangerous for several reasons:
● Social Problems
Drug addicts usually discover that their addiction affects their social lives and relationships in many ways. They may lose their jobs or drop out of school due to their inability to control drug use. Some of them may run into legal problems and end up in jail. Drug addicts are prone to aggressive behaviours that make them physically abusive. Drug addicts who drive are more likely to cause road accidents than other drivers.
● Mental Consequences
One of the most devastating consequences of drug addiction is cognitive. Drug addiction can cause depression, psychosis, aggressiveness, mood swings, impulsiveness, paranoia, and anxiety.
● Physical Consequences
Drug addiction increases the risk of diseases and infections by first weakening the abuser’s immune system. It harms the vital organs and causes devastating health conditions like heart attacks, seizures, and stroke, lung problems, liver damage, etc. Abusers who use injections are at high risk of developing blood vessel infections.
Since drug addicts are highly prone to depression, they’re also likely to commit suicide than non-addicts. Again, some drug addicts can die as a result of drug-induced health complications.
Combating Drug Addiction
Like we discussed in previous subheads, drug addiction is dangerous and can lead to life-threatening conditions. Fortunately, no matter how hopeless your situation may seem, there’s always hope for recovery. All you need to do is visit your physicians and they’d develop a treatment plan that’s best-suited for you.
Overcoming your drug addiction will usually involve the following steps:
● The Willpower
Overcoming your drug addiction usually starts with recognizing and accepting your dependence on the drug. Right after that, you must be determined to make a change. This will include changing your mindset, relationships, and intentionally improving your self-worth.
This is usually the hardest step to overcoming drug addiction. However, once you can get this right, you’d realize how much your life would change for the better. Change can be scary but living your life dependent on drugs produces scarier results in the long term.
● Professional Addiction Treatment Programs
While willpower is necessary to overcome drug addiction, it’s not enough. You’d have to take active steps to stop your addiction the right way by visiting your healthcare provider. Your doctor will assess your condition and recommend the right treatment option for your condition.
Your treatment plans may include detoxification, medication, counselling, behavioural therapy, and long-term follow-up, etc. Any combination of those treatment options is usually more effective than just one approach.
● A Reliable Support Network
Drug addicts need all the support they can get from a group of sober friends to overcome their addiction. This support can also be Spiritual- from your spiritual and religious community.
No one sets out to become a drug addict. However, the effects of alcohol, narcotics, and other addictive drugs can be extremely overwhelming, such that with each intake, our reliance on them skyrockets. Since the effects of drug addiction are more destructive than beneficial, combating it should be your priority.
Fortunately, you can do this by visiting your doctor and religiously adhering to the recommended treatment plans. It’s also necessary to avoid relapse by avoiding triggers like drug-addicted friends and drug stores, etc.
Teens Going for Gold Network is also here to assist you on your path to recovery. You can contact us via 08162408982 or send a direct message on Instagram via @tgfgnetwork.