If either a legal or illegal drug is used sufficient to cause the abuser either physical, social, emotional or mental harm it can be termed drug abuse. Addiction or dependence is the compulsive, lasting use of a drug.
The habitual abuse of legal drugs is a huge problem worldwide. Most of these drug abusers will not admit there is a problem and blame their lifestyle, families or work.
Drugs most likely to be abused -
Depressants: Sleeping pills and anti depressant drugs are among the most prescribed medications in the world. The effects are similar to those of alcohol: Small doses can be relaxing, but large amounts may damage both mind and body. Taken with alcohol there can be fatal consequences. Doctors are usually very careful in prescribing these drugs as the consequences can be addiction or overdose.
Stimulants: Stimulants can cause rapid speech, highs and agitation. People addicted to amphetamines, or uppers, often try to calm themselves down with depressants, or downers, and become caught in an exhaustive cycle. A more powerful and addictive stimulant is cocaine; the smoked version called crack is also highly addictive.
Opiates: This includes, opium, heroin and morphine. The addiction usually causes depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and inability to cope with life, tremors, hypoactivity, fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, sweating, sneezing, and eventually convulsions.
Marijuana: Smoking marijuana can dull short-term memory, motivation, and energy levels. Chronic use brings increased heart rate, vision problems, slowing of reflexes, apathy, cardiovascular problems, panic attacks, poor working of the lungs, changes in sex hormones, and increased risk of lung cancer. It is debateable as to whether Marijuana is addictive. However, users are more likely to use cocaine than are non users.
There are other commonly used drugs which if abused can cause physical, social, emotional and mental difficulties. These include:
Doctors and other experts disagree on the causes of substance abuse but it is agreed that it is much more than a lack of will power. Certain causes have been identified, such as:-
One problem which exacerbates the drug abuse is the abusers refusal to face up to the fact that it is possible for them to become addicted to the drug. Abusers seem to think that they will not have to face this reality.
Treatment involves withdrawal and recovery.
The most important step in treating drug abuse is awareness of the problem. Family, friends, or a professional must reinforce and encourage your resolve.
The type of treatment that is needed will depend the severity of the problem. It is advisable to see your doctor who can put you in touch with the appropriate groups and counsellors as well as help you withdraw carefully from the type of drug that you are addicted to (as many have serious consequences if withdrawal is not performed under supervision). There may be a need for certain medications and vitamin supplements.
After withdrawal you are in the recovery stage and it is vitally important that you do not put yourself into situations that can trigger a relapse. Such as mixing with people that are known to use the drugs that have been a problem for you. It is the part of the process when you must change your lifestyle and habits. This is where the support of groups and positive family and friends can be of great benefit.
Herbal Therapies - Cleansing the body of toxins is an important step in healing...
See a professional for dosages.
Traditionally drug users have eaten poorly and need to commence a balanced diet with an emphasis on fresh fruit and vegetables, protein and complex carbohydrates. Ask your doctor about the need for supplements.
When to seek further professional advice