Drug Addiction as well as drug abuse refers to a persistent, relapsing condition in which the drug user instinctively spends time searching for as well as using a prohibited drug.
This type of addiction is typified by neurochemical as well as molecular alterations in the brain. As it is cocaine, heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide, mandrax, barbiturates as well as a variety of opiates are some of the most commonly used drugs, which are subject to substance abuse by drug users.
Now, addiction happens to be a very complex disorder, which is typified by compulsive usage of drugs. In general, those who get addicted to drugs feel an uncontrollable and overwhelming need for drug usage, even if there are threats of negative outcomes. This type of self-destructive behavior may be quite hard to identify with.
The answer to this lies within the brain. Frequent drug usage modifies the brain, resulting in long-lasting alteration in behavioral patterns, as well as physiology. Such changes in the brain interfere with the ability to comprehend clearly, control one’s behavior, apply good judgment, or feel normal sans drugs. These alterations are also to be blamed for drug cravings as well as compulsion to usage of drugs, which make addictions so powerful.
Signs and symptoms of drug abuse include physical warning signs, such as bloodshot eyes which are smaller or larger than usual, alterations in sleep patterns or appetite, unexplained weight gain or weight loss, deterioration in physical appearance, unusual smells, slurred speech, impaired coordination or tremors etc. The behavioral symptoms in such a condition include drop in attendance as well as performance in school or work, unexplained requirement for money, which if unsatisfied may lead to stealing, getting engaged in secretive behavior, sudden alterations in friends or hobbies, etc. Apart from that, there may be several psychological warning symptoms, such as aggressive behavior leading to fights, irritability, sudden mood swings, giddiness or lack of motivation.
In case of such warning signs, it is better to take appropriate steps in this regard. If a person is suffering from drug addiction, then it is better for him or her to go for a drug rehabilitation program.
A drug rehabilitation program refers to medical or psychotherapeutic treatment in regard to dependence on various psychoactive substances like cocaine, heroin etc. The main purpose is to allow the patient to stop substance abuse, for avoiding psychological, legal, social, financial, as well as physical consequences, which may be caused, particularly due to excessive abuse.
Several types of treatment procedures are applied for achieving the desired results, such as residential treatment, out-patient, extended care centers, local support groups and recovery houses. Medication includes buprenorphine as well as behavioral therapies in case of stimulant addiction are often used. Certain opioid medications like methadone are also widely used for treating addiction as well as dependence on drugs. Buprenorphine and methadone are maintenance therapies, which are used with the purpose of stabilizing abnormal opioid systems and are used for withdrawing the patients from narcotics. Ibogaine is another medication, which may be used for interrupting both psychological craving as well as physical dependence to a wide range of drugs.
Behavioral therapies include cognitive-behavioral therapy, multidimensional family therapy, motivational interviewing, as well as motivational incentives.