If you’ve noticed the signs or symptoms of drug addiction in someone you love, don’t hesitate to intervene. Many people are reluctant to talk to a friend or family member about drug addiction, either because they’re afraid of jumping to conclusions, or because they don’t want to make the problem worse. Although it’s never easy or comfortable to bring up the topic of substance abuse, reaching out to an addict could stop the progression of a fatal disease. Here are a few steps you can take to communicate your concerns, while protecting yourself and your loved ones from the repercussions of addiction:
All drugs–nicotine, cocaine, marijuana and others–affect the brain’s “reward” circuit, which is part of the limbic system. This area of the brain affects instinct and mood. Drugs target this system, which causes large amounts of dopamine—a brain chemical that helps regulate emotions and feelings of pleasure—to flood the brain. This flood of dopamine is what causes a “high.” It’s one of the main causes of drug addiction. Making the Decision to Get Help - Alcohol Rehab Review
Physical dependence on a drug can cause serious withdrawal symptoms if a person suddenly stops using the substance or severely reduces the dose. The withdrawal process itself can be uncomfortable and dangerous. Some of the classic signs of withdrawal include tremors, cold sweats, involuntary movements (e.g., jerking, twitching, or shaking), nausea and vomiting, muscle cramps and bone pain. Because withdrawal can be dangerous, proper medical detox can be a life-saving step in recovery.
The signs of addiction vary from drug to drug. Some drugs take longer to produce noticeable symptoms. In some cases, the symptoms blend in with normal behaviors, making it difficult to tell that the person is addicted. Common signs of addiction include needle marks on the arms of people who inject drugs and constant nose sores on people who snort drugs.
Stimulants, such as tobacco, cocaine or prescription amphetamines, stimulate the brain and nervous system, causing increased alertness. Depressants, such as barbiturates and benzodiazepines, slow activity in the brain and nervous system, causing relaxation. Hallucinogens, such as LSD and PCP, drastically disrupt the way the brain and nervous system communicate, causing hallucinations. Rehab: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)