Drug Misuse, Abuse and Addiction

Drug misuse is the use of a substance for a purpose not consistent with legal or medical guidelines. Drug abuse is the use of certain chemicals with the aim of creating pleasurable effects in the brain. Drug abuse often follows drug misuse. Drug abusers simply want to get high, they then develop a tolerance and they feel they must take more to feel balanced. Drug addiction is a chronic disease which involves drug seeking and use that is compulsive despite harmful results. The initial desire to take drugs is usually voluntary but with repeated intake, changes in the brain occur and the individual finds himself not being able to do without the substance which is termed addiction.

Warning signs of drug abuse or addiction can be very noticeable while sometimes it takes a longer time to discover. When these warning signs are properly managed, they can lead to a successful recovery. Common signs of include:

  • Loss of control
  • Spending less time on important activities
  • Reduced attendance in school or work
  • Changes in personal hygiene and physical appearance
  • Taking risks so as to obtain drugs

Drug addiction can lead to mental problems, hepatitis B and C, HIV, respiratory and cardiac problems, criminal problems and overdose which leads to death. Any drug overdose can be accidental or intentional. Accidental overdoses tend to happen when people take more of a prescription medication than originally intended. The key to recovery is receiving personalized treatment that is intensive and integrated.

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