Drug addiction has destroyed many lives in the past hundreds of years. From opium in Asia to cocaine and heroin in America, drug addiction has done significant damage.
Drug addicts’ lives severely decline in quality and eventually surrender to diseases. And some of them have, unwillingly or not, killed or committed crimes along the way.
With drug addiction comes abuse, crime, disease, and death to the user and the people around them. The ripples are vast and effects painful.
What Are the Dangers?
A drug addict is not only dangerous to themselves but a threat to others, especially to people close to them. They are a danger to their family, friends, neighbors, and even society in general.
First, they are dangerous when they want drugs.
Drug addicts will always try to find money to buy their substance and can resort to crime when they are significantly troubled. If they can neglect their own comfort for taking drugs, they can neglect someone else’s rights.
Plus, when they are not on drugs, they are volatile and undergoing significant levels of withdrawal symptoms. They are on edge, can lose control, and become violent.
Second, they are dangerous when on drugs.
When on drugs, a drug addict will have impaired brain function, which makes them susceptible to irresponsible behavior.
Under-the-influence actions can lead to car accidents, unwanted pregnancy, crime, and others.
Hence, drug addiction is a problem that needs solving.
If you or anyone you know is a drug addict, you need to change things ASAP before anyone gets hurt.
But how does recovery work?
First, let’s get into the mindset and life of an addict. And to do that, we have to define drug addiction.
What is a Drug Addict?
Here’s how a drug abuser essentially turns into a drug addict.
- A drug addict is someone who uses the substance for pleasure. But the usage of the substance has been done for so long that the pleasurable effects are no longer apparent without constantly increasing doses.
- When you repeatedly use substances, your brain adapts to their continued presence, and you build a tolerance. When you become tolerant, you have to take more to feel the high.
- Increased doses of the substance result in significantly worsening physical and mental side effects. For example, in the case of alcohol, you will have hangovers with headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and more.
- A drug addict will continue using the substance even though these side effects are already a consistent experience. So even if the addict already has tremors, severe migraines, difficulty of breathing, or an ulcer, they will still keep on using the drug – and increasingly to overcome the tolerance for pleasure.
If there’s a process in becoming one, there should be a reverse process for unbecoming one.
Steps of Recovery from Drug Addiction
- Go to a doctor or an intervention program run by medical professionals.
Drug addicts are susceptible to the dangers of withdrawal. They have been in use for so long that stopping can be difficult and even life-threatening.
First, if the addict goes through cravings without the proper intervention, they will simply go back to using the drug. Also, the physical manifestations of withdrawal can be dangerous and so medical monitoring is a must.
- Remove the triggers.
Stress coming in any form and from any reason is the usual rationale for a person to use drugs in the first place. Drugs make stressful work easier or coping with a problem smoother.
If you are recovering from drug addiction, it would be necessary to remove you from places and situations that will trigger you. You will have to rediscover coping with them for some other time, but not during recovery when you are significantly vulnerable to temptation.
To do so, it would be best if you are enrolled in a professional facility where the ambiance and program are specially made conducive to your therapy.
- Address the pleasure.
The pleasure from drug use usually comes as a high, which is a pleasant and calming feeling as the brain signals are stabilized by the substance.
Without the substance, the brain signals go haywire, which triggers the person to want to use the drug again. To combat this, there are prescription medicines to tame down the effects of the lack of drug use.
- Address the withdrawal symptoms.
Recovering drug addicts will have verily apparent withdrawal symptoms. For example, alcoholics will have tremors, high blood pressure, sugar imbalance, and potential delirium tremens, which can be deadly.
This is why you shouldn’t make your drug addiction recovery on your own. For people who are not as severe as a drug addict, you possibly can detox via your DIY program, but not a drug addict.
To address withdrawal symptoms, a facility will help you with medicine. This way, you will detox in as much comfort as you can get.
- Go through a detoxification program.
For some people, detox will last for months or years, depending on the severity of the addiction. What’s important is that you take the time to eliminate the traces of drugs from your body.
- Continue with aftercare.
Keeping yourself sober should be easy after addiction detox, but only with continued support.
You should have regular visits to your physician and therapist so that you can more effectively sustain your sobriety.