Here are some of the reasons for drug use:
To Relieve Stress:
Relying on drugs to reduce life stressors. Drugs produce feelings of pleasure. However, frequent use can also build a tolerance that requires you to use more to produce the same initial effect.
To Feel Good:
Using drugs can provide some people with a break from reality. It offers a sense of relief from underlying issues your mind may be trying to escape from. However, continual drug use can lead to a serious problem.
To Cope with Stress:
Losing someone you love can take a toll on you emotionally, physically, and mentally. Drugs can ease the grief you are feeling and are used to get through difficult times. Even if drugs are used temporarily, they can spiral into a serious problem.
To Overcome Anxiety:
Some people are naturally anxious, causing them to perpetually worry. Although initially drugs may help with anxiety, it has been shown that prolonged use can actually induce more anxiety. Over time, this can lead to even more increased addictive behaviors.
Diagnostic Criteria for a Substance Use Disorder
The American Psychiatric Association (APA) publishes the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM–5). This book is the product of more than 10 years of effort by hundreds of international experts in all aspects of mental health.
According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA) “Substance use disorder (SUD) is a complex condition in which there is uncontrolled use of a substance despite harmful consequences. People with SUD have an intense focus on using a certain substance(s) such as alcohol, tobacco, or illicit drugs, to the point where the person’s ability to function in day to day life becomes impaired. People keep using the substance even when they know it is causing or will cause problems. The most severe SUDs are sometimes called addictions.” ***
According to the diagnostic and statistical manual (DSM-5) the following are warning signs of a substance use disorder:
- Drugs are often taken in larger amounts or over a longer period than was intended
- Persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control drug use
- A great deal of time is spent in activities necessary to obtain drugs, use drugs and recover from drug use and its effects
- Intense cravings or a strong desire or urge to use drugs, in any form
- Intense pleasure from drug use
- Failure to fulfill life obligations (i.e. work, school and family responsibilities)
- Loss of motivation and/or decrease in desire to obtain life goals
- Increased tolerance to drugs, combined with increased usage to feel the initial “high” or same effect once felt
- Withdrawal symptoms once the drug wears off
- Using drugs despite Medical advice that it may be detrimental to physical health and/or exacerbate already existing conditions
- Continual usage even after multiple legal issues as a result of drug use
Risk Factors for Developing a Drug Addiction
There is not one specific factor that determines if someone will develop a substance abuse problem or a drug addiction. Below are some risk factors and warning signs for developing the disease.
Taking a Highly Addictive Drug
There are some drugs such as opioid painkillers, cocaine, or stimulants may be more addictive than other drugs.
Mental Health Disorder
If you have mental disorders such as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, panic disorder or anxiety you are at an increased risk for developing a drug addiction or substance use disorder.
Having family members with addiction problems increases the risk for developing an addiction or substance use disorder.
Particularly for young people, peer pressure can be a strong factor for drug misuse.
Early Alcohol or Drug Use
Using drugs and alcohol at an early age can cause changes in your brain resulting in an increased likelihood of drug use and addiction.
Lack of Family Involvement
Difficult family situations or lack of a bond with your parents or family members may increase the risk of drug addiction or a substance use disorder. Lack of parental supervision can also increase the chances of developing an addiction.
Drug Addiction and Mental Health Disorders
Often, a drug addiction or substance use disorders coincide with another mental disorder. From the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Many people who are addicted to drugs are also diagnosed with other mental disorders, including anxiety and depression. Some people develop mental health problems related to their compulsive drug use, and some people take drugs in an attempt to alleviate symptoms of their mental health disorder.”
When a person is struggling with both a mental illness and a substance use disorder, it can be difficult to identify and treat the issues of each.
Treatment approaches tailored to each patient’s drug use patterns and any co-occurring medical, mental, and social problems can lead to continued recovery. As with other chronic diseases, there is no “cure” for a substance use disorder.
Drug addiction and mental health disorders much like diabetes and asthma are conditions we have seen individuals learn to live with and experience productive lives. Learning to live without using drugs or alcohol takes time, practice, and a commitment to new coping mechanisms.
Drug Addiction Treatment at Turning Point of Tampa
Turning Point of Tampa is a drug addiction treatment center. We recognize drug addiction as an ever-increasing problem within this country. We also believe treatment based on the 12-Step philosophy leads a person to a life that is productive and meaningful.
Whether you or a loved one are suffering from addiction, we can help. Legal substances or a prescribed medication can be abused (Amphetamines/Stimulants, Barbiturates, Benzodiazepines, Opioids). Illegal drugs (Marijuana, Cocaine, Ecstasy, Heroin, Spice and Methamphetamine) or more recently the new “designer drugs” (Spice, Bath Salts, Kratom) have been on the rise in our country for the last several years and pose a serious problem.
Turning Point of Tampa has recognized drug addiction as a serious and treatable disease, and we can help you or the person struggling. If left untreated, a substance use disorder can lead to harmful consequences. Reach out to us about our addiction treatment services for a substance abuse disorder.
If you feel that you or someone you care about has a problem with drugs, please call us at (813) 680-2037 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.