Drugs & Alcohol

Drug Addiction

Drug addiction does not happen to everyone and it does not always happen intentionally. A person who craves a drug and continues to use it despite the negative effects is addicted. Most people with addictions need help quitting.

What are the symptoms of drug addiction?

  • Spending money you do not have on the drug
  • Unable to quit
  • Stealing to get the drug
  • Feeling like you need the drug
  • In teenagers – problems in school
  • Changes in behavior

What are the risk factors of drug addiction?

  • Family history of drug addiction
  • Men are twice as likely as women to have a drug addiction
  • Psychological problems – ADHD, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, etc
  • Peer pressure, especially in teenagers
  • Type of drug – some drugs, such as heroin and cocaine, or more addictive than others

What are the treatment options for drug addiction?

  • Treatment programs – in an individual or group setting, these are educational and therapeutic seminars on getting sober and staying sober
  • Counseling – in an individual or group setting, counseling helps you cope with your addiction and overcome it, and may also include life counseling to identify any reasons why a person is addicted and how to improve his or her life
  • Self-help groups: Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are two examples; these emphasize that constant treatment is necessary to quit the drug
  • Detoxification: helps you to quit the drug quickly; reducing the dosage of the drug or administering other chemicals that produce similar effects to the drug with less extreme side effects

What are the withdrawal symptoms of…?

  • Depressants (Xanax, Valium, Ambien, Lunesta): restlessness, sleep problems, anxiety, hallucinations, seizures, increased blood pressure and heart rate, delirium
  • Stimulants (cocaine, amphetamines, methamphetamines, Ritalin, Adderall) : depression, fatigue, anxiety, suicide attempts, paranoia
  • Opioids (heroin, morphine, codeine, Oxycontin, Vicodin): fatigue, anxiety, runny nose, restlessness, depression, increased blood pressure and breathing, muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea

(reference: Mayo Clinic)