Drug abuse can cause physical and mental deterioration. While it’s understood that addiction is a disease, it doesn’t completely excuse inflicted individuals from all responsibility for their behaviour. Different drugs can have different effects, a lot of the effects can be long lasting and permanently damage your health even if you had stopped taking them. Drug abuse ruins families and personal relationships.
Drug Abuse Vs Drug Addiction
Drug abuse is when you use legal or illegal substances too often and may depend on them. You may feel you are leaning for the paracetamol more often than you should. You feel it eases stress or helps you avoid reality. This is drug abuse, usually people can change their habits and stop using drugs altogether. There is a lot of help out there, however, the change starts with you. Drug addiction is when you can’t stop, avoiding this situation starts with addressing drug abuse and not leaving it get worse.
Effects on your brain
The brain is wired to make you want to repeat experiences that make you feel good. The drugs that your brain is addicted to trigger your brains reward system, this means it makes you feel pleasure and that is why people who abuse drugs keep going back for more. When people use drugs for a long time it can hurt your judgment, decision making, memory and the ability to learn.
The legal consequences of drug abuse will lead to difficulty getting a job. Employees will always do background checks and even if you do have a job this drug use can deeply affect job performance. A lot of people who abuse drugs have trouble financially. You could find yourself spending money on over the counter drugs rather than paying your rent, a situation like this can spiral and leave a person in substantial financial debt.
A person’s habits and behaviours tend to change significantly due to drug abuse. Some drugs can impair the brains ability to think clearly. A few of the main behavioural changes are increased aggression or irritability. A person can start to get impatient with others or frustrated within conversation. Personality changes may lead to depression which is a severe symptom and needs to be seen to. There are excellent supports for behaviour changes due to drug abuse out there.
When someone loves or cares for a person who abuses drugs, their love can sometimes cloud their judgement. It’s not uncommon for loved ones to try to “help” the person, but in ways that end up enabling the person to continue. Typical enabling behaviours include taking over responsibilities and feelings of the loved one, working to minimise negative consequences for the person struggling, taking on the blame, and making excuses for poor behaviour.
Does this mean you have to let the person go? Sometimes yes, and sometimes no. You may be able to motivate someone who is abusing drugs to receive help, and you can go through this process together in some ways, but not every person struggling will accept help and go through treatment. Also, if you’re in a relationship with a drug abuser who’s physically harmful to you, you may have no other choice than to leave.
For addicts who do agree to treatment, relationships may be salvageable. Getting help with a drug abuse is nothing to be ashamed of. As with any chronic disease, medical interference is necessary for the individual to get back to a healthy lifestyle. The range of treatment options available today are designed to rehabilitate any level of drug abuse. When it’s time to talk to a loved one about getting help, treatment professionals stress the importance of a non-confrontational environment and one where the individual is also sober. Showing concern for a loved one, avoiding judgment and talking are the best ways to approach a conversation about getting help.