Drug use refers to any scope of use of illegal drugs: heroin use, cocaine use, tobacco use. Drug misuse is used to improper or unhealthy use from use of medication as prescribed or alcohol in moderation. NIDA’S use of the term addiction corresponds roughly to the DSM definition of substance use disorder. Teens commonly associate addiction with movie images or people they’ve seen at the absolute lowest, worst point of their addiction.

Many have ideas about what an addict looks like: desperate, homeless, suicidal, criminal. Anyone can become a drug abuser. Drug abuse information indicates that all ethnicities, ages, social groups, and genders can have drug abuse problems. Drug abuse is not a character flaw but rather a medical condition that has developed over time. While n on knows why one person becomes a drug abuser while another doesn’t, drug abuse does tend to run in families.

The National Institute on drug abuse indicates the following risk factors for developing drug abuse.

  • Unstable home environment, often due to drug abuse or mental illness of the parent.
  • Poor relationship with parents.
  • Inadequate supervision over adolescent’s activities.
  • Use of drugs by friends/ peers.
  • Poor achievement in school.
  • Apparent ambivalence or approval of drug use in school, peer group or community.

Availability of drugs in the community, peer group or home

Drug abuse can be an abuse of any chemical substance including cigarette, inhalants, alcohol and others. Drug abuse information shows both legal or illegal drugs can lead to drug abuse. In short, any drug that can be used can also be drug abuse.

Categories of drugs commonly seen in drug abuse cases include:

  • Legal over the counter include drugs like alcohol and cigarettes.
  • Legal, prescription include drugs like methadone, oxycodone and Zolpidem.
  • Chemical includes drugs like inhalants.

While genetic, environmental and psychiatric causes of drug abuse a possible, it is likely that a combination of risk factors is truly the cause of drug abuse. If a person has a genetic predisposition to drug abuse, that likely indicates one of the parent’s abuses drugs. This may create an unstable home life and, possibly, emotional or psychological problems. Together, these can become a drug abuse cause. The first sign of drug is often a change in behaviour. The user may lose interest in activities and hobbies and spend more time with friends than at home. Another symptom of drug use is sleeping changes and decreased performance at work or school. These symptoms of drug use may indicate another problem; however, so it is important to talk to the individual directly to confirm.

Signs and symptoms of drug use include:

  • The smell of drugs on person and clothing.
  • Constant discussion of drugs.
  • Pressuring others to do drugs.
  • Frequent washing of clothes, showering or spraying room deodorizer to remove drug smells.
  • Presence of drug paraphernalia like a pipe, bong or rolling papers.
  • Changes in mood such as anxiety or depression.
  • Skin that is cool and sweaty or hot and dry.
  • Needing more money or unexplained expenses.
  • Abnormal vital signs like respiration, heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Chest or lung pain.
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach pain.

Drug abuse is a very serious issue in our society and this is our responsibility to help and support such persons who are drug users. Most drug abusers think they can stop taking drugs without the help of formal drug abuse treatment, but unfortunately,  without treatment for drug abuse, many of them fail. because drug abuse develops over time, the user’s life and the brain are altered before they attempt to quit drugs and this makes recovery more difficult. Formal treatment for drug abuse is important if a drug abuser is to succeed in recovery.

Treatment for drug abuse include:

  • Medical drug abuse treatment.
  • Drug abuse rehabilitation programs.
  • Drug abuse counselling or support groups.
  • Behavioural treatment counselling in an individual or group setting.
  • Peer support.
  • An aftercare program for when the drug abuser leaves rehabilitation.

Drug abuse counselling may be:

  • Medical and provided by a psychiatrist.
  • Part of a drug abuse rehabilitation program.
  • Provided by private practitioners such as addiction therapists.

It’s hard to know how to help a drug addict. Drug addiction help may not be wanted by the drug addict, even if it is needed. For this article, we’ll consider two types of situation. 

  1. Emergency treatment.
  2. Long term treatment 

In an emergency, help with a drug addiction should always be given by a medical professional.

Emergencies that require immediate, medical help with drug addiction include:

  • Thoughts of self-harm or others.
  • Chest pain, difficulty breathing, lightheadedness.
  • Dark coloured urine.

An addict could experience the loss of their friends. Addiction often causes relationships to become strained, including those o friends and family. Emotions could run high in these relationships, which may cause some people to cut ties with the addict due to their behaviour.

Drug abuser support can include:

  • Family and friends.
  • Other sober addicts.
  • Spiritual advisors.

In conclusion, I have talked about the effects of drugs in our society, and what the outcome and problems it makes within our community and our family. I will also conclude that there is a better way instead of using drugs, the best way is to seek as education and try and stay busy instead of going the wrong way about thinking of using drugs.

Submitted by “Sana Khan”