What is drug abuse?
Drug abuse is any time a person uses any substance (including alcohol and prescription medication), legal or illegal, to obtain a high, or outside of its prescribed use. Drug abuse can result in addiction or physical and mental dependency. Drug abuse often causes severe consequences in a person’s life, including loss of jobs, struggling in relationships, financial problems, and health problems.
How common is drug abuse?
Sadly, drug abuse is very common and affects about 8% of people in the United States at some point in their lives.
What are the most commonly abused substances?
Common household items are often abused, both because of their easy accessibility and affordability. Glue and some cleaners can be used to get high. Young people and low-income people are more likely to abuse use household items as drugs. Over the counter medications, such as coms cough and cold medicines, can be abused too. A similar demographic as the household item users also abuse drugs like cough syrup and cold medicine. Marijuana, alcohol, prescription medications, cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, and methamphetamines are all popularly abused drugs.
What are some of the commonly abused prescription medications?
Any medication can be abused, but among the most popular are: amphetamines (such as ADD/ADHD medications like Adderall and Ritalin), anabolic steroids, narcotics/opiates (such as Percocet, hydrocodone, methadone, morphine, and Vicodin), and sedatives/tranquilizers (such as Xanax and Valium). Prescription meant for animals can be abused by humans as well.
What are the symptoms of drug abuse?
Symptoms will vary depending on the type of drug and the amount and duration of use, but any drug use has the potential for short and long-term consequences, including death. Some common symptoms of drug abuse include: physical cravings for the drug, dilated or pinpoint pupils, a lingering scent (for some drugs), change in sleep habits, change in eating habits, increased isolation or need for privacy, shortage of finances, problems at work, school, or with relationships, anxiety and irritability, and more.
What are symptoms of withdrawal from drugs?
Again, symptoms of withdrawal will vary depending on the type of drug and the amount and duration of use. Withdrawal symptoms can cause severe discomfort and even death. Rehabilitation or medical intervention is advised to safely (and more comfortably) come off of an abused substance. Withdrawal symptoms include excessive sweating, hot or cold flashes, shaking, convulsions, agitation and irritability, intense drug cravings, excessive sleep or insomnia, and more.
What is the treatment for drug abuse?
Treatment plans can be personalized and will vary from person to person, but almost always involve some form of talk therapy. There are different kinds of treatment, and it is critical to work with a therapist to determine which one is the right fit. Treatment often includes group sessions, such as group therapy or Alcoholics/Narcotics Anonymous meetings. Depending on the substance and severity, detox is typically a necessary part of treatment to cleanse the system of toxic substances.
More detailed information about drug abuse and Its risks you can find here.