What Do You Know About Addiction?

Find out more about addiction by taking this quiz.

1. Addiction can begin when a person starts using drugs.
  A. True      B. False

2. One of the symptoms of addiction is the urge to use more of the same drug over a period of time.
  A. True      B. False

3. Addiction most often gets worse over a period of time.
  A. True      B. False

4. Addiction causes a lack of control over thoughts, feelings, ideas, and behaviours.
  A. True      B. False

5. People are addicted when they keep using a drug even when it causes problems in their life.
  A. True      B. False

6. The Gold Standard in De-addiction treatment management is Buprenorphine
  A. True      B. False    C. Know More

If the answers to all or any of the above is True and if you want to help change someone’s life for the better, please read ahead …

Knowing Addiction

Drug abuse also known as Drug addiction is a form of complex illness. The initial decision of drug taking is voluntary but repeated uses leads to its addiction.  It is characterized by intense and at times, uncontrollable craving for drugs, along with compulsive drug seeking and use that persist even in the face of adverse/fatal consequences.

But addiction is more than just compulsive use of drugs. It can also produce far-reaching health and social consequences. For example, drug abuse and addiction increase a person’s risk for a variety of other mental and physical illnesses related to a drug-abusing lifestyle or the toxic effects of the drugs themselves. Additionally, the dysfunctional behaviors that result from drug abuse can interfere with a person’s normal functioning in the family, the workplace, and within his community.

Addiction of any form is dangerous. What is even more worse is that mostly young children and youth are hit by this unknowingly. Most illicit use of drugs starts at the age of 15-18 years of age. It may start with merely smoking of cigarettes but gradually pushes the person into the trap of drug abuse. Stress, anxiety, peer pressure, poverty are some of the main causes of drug abuse.

People with drug use associated disorder have distorted thinking, behavior and body functions. Changes in the brain’s functioning is what causes people to have intense cravings for the drug and making it hard to stop using the drug. Brain imaging studies show changes in the areas of the brain that relate to judgment, decision making, learning, memory and behavior control.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, people begin taking drugs for a variety of reasons, including:

  • To feel good — feeling of pleasure, “high”
  • To feel better — e.g., relieve stress
  • To do better — improve performance
  • curiosity and peer pressure

People with addictive disorders may be aware of their problem, but are unable to stop it even if they want to.

Benefits of Recovery and Drug Free Life

When one quits drugs  with the right solutions, the improvements can be seen throughout he  life. Even though issues in life may still arise when one is free of substance abuse, one will still feel happier and more productive . Relationships with others will improve. Even on a bad day, one will have the strength to keep going.  The benefits of a drug free life often helps one to outweigh /overcome  the challenges life can throw.

More Energy -One will have more energy throughout the day. Once  fully detoxed and living a recovered life, one will be spending less time/energy worrying about everything. The attitude adjustment partly comes from adopting a different perspective on life.

Structured living – Daily structure and routines can help one set his day off on the right track and it can help one to be more productive and happier.

Goal achievement & Self fulfilment – With more energy and a strong daily routine and structure it’s easy to see why one will accomplish more. Being free from worry and knowing how the day will mostly go helps one focus on the things that they want to accomplish. Achieving goals helps one feel fulfilled and gives  more self-confidence.

Enhanced work ethics– When one is firing on all cylinders – achieving goals with more energy & getting things done turns into a success mantra. One feels better, more productive and wants to contribute more to the world.

Healthy relationships – While goals and work ethic increase, relationships with friends and family members will get better too. But what’s more, one will start feeling good about one,s own self. The earlier feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.

Road to Recovery – Recognising the Problem

After recognition of the problem on hand, it is normal to feel conflicted about giving up the habit of substance abuse, even when one knows that it is causing problems in life. Recovery requires time, motivation and support, but by making a commitment to change, one can overcome addiction and regain control of life.

The first step -Think & Decide to change

  • Start keeping track of drug use, including when and how much is used. This will give a better sense of the role that addiction is playing in one`s life.
  • List down the pros and cons of quitting the habit of drug use.
  • Consider the things that are important such as life partner, kids, parents career and impact on own health. How does your drug use affect those things?
  • Ask someone who is trusted about their feelings on your drug use.
  • Ask your own self if there’s anything preventing you from changing. What could help to make the change?

Key steps to addiction recovery

  1. Reminding one`s self of the reasons to change for the better.
  2. Think about past attempts at recovery, if any. What worked?
  3. Set specific, measurable goals, such as a start date or limits on your drug use.
  4. Remove reminders of addiction from home, workplace and other places frequently visited.
  5. Tell friends/ family/ well wishers about the commitment to recovery, and ask for their support.

De-addiction Treatment Options for Drug Free Life

Once committed to recovery, it’s time to explore treatment choices. While addiction treatment can vary according to the specific drug, a successful programme often includes different elements, such as:

Detoxification. Usually the first step is to purge the body of drugs and manage withdrawal symptoms.

Behavioral Counseling. Individual, group, and/or family counselling can help one identify the root causes of drug use, repair relationships, and learn healthier coping skills.

Medication may be used to manage withdrawal symptoms, prevent relapse, or treat any co-occurring mental health condition such as depression or anxiety.

Long-term follow-up can help to prevent relapse and maintain sobriety. This may include attending regular in-person support groups or online meetings to help keep one,s recovery on track.

Treatment facility Types

Residential treatment – Residential treatment involves living at a facility and getting away from work, school, family, friends, and addiction triggers while undergoing intensive treatment. Residential treatment can last from a few days/weeks  to several months

Day Treatment / Partial Hospitalization -is for people who require some monitoring but at the  same time live want to live at home. The treatment duration will last about 7-8 hrs a day and then one returns home at night.

Outpatient treatment – Not a live-in treatment program, these outpatient programs can be scheduled around work or school. The treatment takes place during the day or evening and one need not stay overnight. The major focus is relapse prevention

Sober living communities – follows an intensive residential treatment programme. One can continue to live for some time with other recovering addicts in a safe, supportive and drug free environment.