Drugs are all around us, with many medicines helping to have changed the way we see and experience the world around us in a positive way. There is of course a flipside to this with some of the more problematic legal and illegal drugs seemingly entrenched in our society that pose a threat to the health of users. Some of these drugs are particularly addictive, with their repeated use changing the brain chemistry of users in such a way that they need more and more of the drug, until they can no longer be sober without experiencing extreme side effects. It can be difficult to understand whether someone you know is experiencing this, however, so in this article we take a look at a few key signs someone has an addiction.
Keeping an eye out on behaviours
Whether it be a need for alcohol, opiate or cocaine rehab in Melbourne, there are a lot of drugs out there that can cause some very serious and long lasting addictions. Although these drugs all have different effects and resulting side effects as a result of withdrawal, drug addiction nonetheless has some common indicators that are useful as a way to help people learn if a friend or a family member might have a drug problem. These can include both social and behavioural signs as well as physical signs, so keeping a close eye on both can be a good idea. In terms of social and behavioural elements, you might want to keep an eye out for instances where someone might be obviously dishonest with friends and family (in order to hide their drug use), quickly sell their own possessions or steal in order to pay for drugs, avoid any spaces where it might not be possible to ingest drugs, take increasingly dangerous risks and rely heavily on drug use to manage emotional problems or a sense of loneliness.
More signs to look out for and next steps
In terms of negative health, someone addicted to drugs might demonstrate both physical and mental problems. Physical ones can include obvious examples of weight loss, weight loss and skin issues and degradation of physical appearance due to poor hygiene. Mental health problems can include paranoia, depression, anxiety, memory issues and attention problems and hallucinations. Many of these side effects are not necessarily tied to behaviour or appearances while on drugs – many can occur long after drugs have worn off. If you or someone you know experiences a combination of these physical, mental or behavioural issues, it might be a sign of addiction. Recognising that there is a problem is the first positive step, and the next steps can gradually help to remedy the core issue. This shouldn’t mean you force anyone if they don’t want to help themselves – this will only build resentment and further the divide between you and them.
Investing in positive changes
If you, a friend or a family member accepts that their addiction is a problem, the next step involves talking to either a counsellor, a doctor or a mental health professional. Quitting cold turkey can actually be very dangerous, so taking it slowly is often important. Although it may seem difficult at first, conquering addiction will always lead to far superior quality of life and a renewed appreciation of those around you.