The term ‘drug’ is used to cover a multitude of mood and mind-altering substances. Here at the Sanctuary Lodge we provide a full rehabilitation programme for those suffering from a drug addiction.
Many individuals have, at some time in their lives, experimented with drugs. For most, this is a passing phase and they find that other things in life take on more importance than getting high. However, for some individuals it can be the start of a progressive illness: the illness of drug addiction. They may or may not start off using so-called softer drugs such as cannabis, legal highs or solvents, and they may or may not move on to harder drugs, class A’s such as Cocaine, Crack or Heroin. Whatever the drug is that they become addicted to, it becomes problematic. At some point, they cross an invisible line into addiction. Yet despite ever increasing negative consequences, they find themselves unable to stop. The compulsion to keep taking the drug is overpowering. The person may have every reason in the world to stop taking drugs, it could impact on their health, family, personal relationships, finances and more, yet they find themselves powerless to stop. They are unable to break the destructive cycle of drug addiction. If they continue as they are, the prognosis is bleak. Many individuals die of drug addiction; it is a serious condition that requires intensive professional treatment.
Symptoms of drug addiction
It may be difficult for you to ascertain for yourself if you or a loved one has a drug addiction, and the transition from recreational use to addiction may have been a series of subtle changes over a long period. There are some definite signs and symptoms that someone with a drug addiction will show. You do not need to be suffering from all of these to be addicted. In fact, any one of these could indicate that you have an addiction to drugs that requires professional help. Symptoms of drug addiction are:
- When you take a drug, you find it difficult to control the amount you take, and you continue to use until all the drugs or the money has gone.
- You no longer, or rarely, use drugs socially, preferring instead to use alone, away from others.
- You have tried to reduce or quit drugs but find you cannot. Short periods of being clean or in control lead to relapses that become progressively worse.
- You feel shame and guilt around your drug taking and so try to keep it a secret from family and loved ones
- Due to the extent of your drug taking, you are suffering financially. Choosing to buy drugs over basic necessities such as food or paying bills.
- Drugs take priority over your commitments and responsibilities. You find yourself cancelling or missing appointments and neglecting your responsibilities.
- You find you have to take more drugs to gain the same effect (tolerance).
- You find yourself getting ill if you go without the drug for a period of time (physical dependence).
- You need the drug to function on a daily basis (dependence)
- You may intend to use drugs for just one night, but end up going on a binge that lasts for longer periods.
- Your mental /physical health is suffering as a result from your addiction.
- Those close to you have expressed concern over your drug taking..
- You have lost interest in things you used to enjoy
- Taking drugs is causing you to feel miserable, shameful, or guilty, but you are still unable to stop.
- You have lied or deceived others in order to get money to finance your drug habit.
- You have stolen or committed another crime in order to get drugs.
- You have found yourself saying, and meaning, that you will never use drugs again, but are unable to stick to that decision.
This list of signs and symptoms is by no means exhaustive, as drug addiction impacts heavily on all areas of an individual life.