Understanding drug abuse and addiction

The world of drug abuse is often difficult to understand from the outside. You might even make the case that those on the inside do not understand it either. What we do know is that getting help for drug addiction is imperative to prevent as much destruction as possible.

It is important to know that drug addiction harms the life of both the person that takes drugs and the people close to them. It is not something that is isolated just to the individual. Drug addiction ruins marriages, irreparably damages friendships, reeks of financial havoc, and has definite adverse health effects.

To help get a better understanding of drug addiction, let’s look at both the the person suffering with addiction and their loved ones. You may find yourself identifying with one or both of these examples.

Those with drug addiction

Drug addiction develops when the feeling of euphoria caused by a substance starts to wear, so the person has to take more of it in order to feel an effect. Addiction usually starts with substances of low risk, moving onto more dangerous drugs in order to replace the high. Gateway substances include things like marijuana, ecstasy, and common household solvents.

Drugs themselves are never the full story. Drugs are most commonly used as a coping mechanism to supress issues that someone wants to shut out and forget. Once the they start using drugs as a means of escape, addiction has a foothold in their life. It is a vicious cycle with no end in sight.

The impact on loved ones

Family members are often the forgotten ones in the addiction equation. Unfortunately, we have a tendency to believe drug abuse only affects the person abusing substances. But it doesn’t. Spouses, children and siblings are often devastated because of their loved one’s drug abuse.

That devastation can manifest itself in any number of ways, including:

  • Guilt – It is not uncommon for family members to feel guilty about their loved one’s addiction. It is as though they believe they are partly responsible for their destructive behaviour. Along with that guilt is often an overwhelming sense of shame.
  • Emotional Stress – The concern for the health and safety of the person with addiction often leads family members to endure incredible emotional stress. While they feel powerless to do anything, they are overwhelmed by thoughts of the potential consequences of their loved one’s drug addiction.
  • Uncontrolled Anger – The combination of guilt and emotional stress sometimes leads family members to uncontrollable anger. They become embittered and lash out at others at a result. This anger is simply the manifestation of their other negative emotions, yet it cannot be ignored.
  • Financial Ruin – Those with addiction will normally depend on family members for the financial resources to satisfy their cravings. When those family members stop providing money willingly, they may be forced to steal. It is not uncommon for families to be financially devastated by drug addiction.

The fact that you have read this page all the way through suggests either you need help with an addiction or you know a family member who does. In either case, please understand that help is available. Private Rehab Guide exists for that very reason. If we can help you, please contact us right away. The sooner you do the better.