An addiction to drugs is a psychological and physical inability to stop consuming a chemical, drug, activity, or substance, even though it is causing mental and physical harm to oneself or others.
The term addiction refers to a dependence on substances such as illicit drugs like cannabis (marijuana/weed), cocaine, ecstasy, and heroin. A person who cannot stop taking a particular medication or prescription medicine might have ‘substance dependence’. Some addictions also involve an inability to stop partaking in activities, such as gambling, or eating. In these circumstances, a person may have a behavioural addiction.
Many people don’t understand why or how one becomes addicted to drugs or prescription medications. They may mistakenly think that those who use drugs lack moral principles or willpower and that they could stop their drug use simply by choosing to so. In reality, drug addiction is a complex illness.
People first try drugs for different reasons. For many, it’s peer pressure; for others, it’s simply out of curiosity, and for some, it’s to help and cope with stress, depression or anxiety. Whatever the reason, continued use can become problematic and lead to unforeseen consequences.
It is not always easy to see when your consuming habits have changed from social use to substance abuse. If you are concerned about your reliance on drug usage, ask yourself these questions:
- Do I feel the need to use an increasing quantity of drugs?
- Do I need to use or engage in drug use more frequently?
- Do I have a supply of drugs with me at all times?
- Do I go to great lengths to obtain drugs?
- Do I have a growing dependence on prescription drugs?
- Do I have difficulties with, relationships; the law; finances, or work; that stems from my drugs addiction behaviour?
- Do I take drugs/substance to help me cope with difficult situations?
- Do I have an inability to stop taking illegal or prescription drugs?
- Do I have profound changes in appearance, including an apparent abandonment of hygiene?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you might have signs and symptoms of addiction.
It’s advisable to seek professional guidance and support to help curb and reduce your reliance on drugs, substance or activity.
Often the hardest step is acknowledging that you have a dependence on drugs. However, once you have admitted this, then you have taken the first step towards getting better and well.
To request a confidential consultation with a professional counsellor from the Surrey Centre, please complete the form below, and we will contact you to arrange a meeting.