Drug Addiction: Causes, Prevention and De-addiction
Drug addiction is a complex neurobiological disease that requires integrated treatment of the mind, body, and spirit. It is considered a brain disease because drugs chan Drug addiction is a complex neurobiological disease that requires integrated treatment of the mind, body, and spirit. It is considered a brain disease because drugs change the brain — they change its structure and how it works. Without treatment, these brain changes can be long-lasting ge the brain — they change its structure and how it works. Without treatment, these brain changes can be long-lasting. Addiction is chronic, it is progressive, and if left untreated, it can be fatal. Individuals struggling with drug addiction often feel as though they cannot function normally without their drug of choice. This can lead to a wide range of issues that impact professional goals, personal relationships, and overall health. Over time, these serious side effects can be progressive, and if left untreated, fatal.
Definition: Drug Addiction is a psychological and physical inability to stop consuming a chemical, drug, activity, or substance, even though it is causing psychological and physical harm.
Commonly Used Illegal Drugs
Heroin, Cocaine or crack cocaine, Methamphetamine, Bath Salts, Methadone, Ecstasy, Marijuana, LSD (d-lysergic acid diethylamide), Mushrooms and PCP (Phencyclidine).
(a) Curiosity: To have a personal experience of taste and the effect of drugs.
(b) Temptation: Inspiration from friends about “good feeling” and advertisements. (c)Frustration and Depression: To overcome personal frustration and depression.
(d) Feeling of Insecurity: To take refuge of drugs when the children found themselves to be lonely, unloved and insecure.
(e) Excitement and Adventure:
To satisfy the feeling of excitement and adventure through illegal drugs as young people look for exciting work.
(J) Looking for a different world:
To increase the ability to appreciate the aesthetic beauties, help in intellectual enlightenment and creativity.
(g) Desire to do more physical and mental work:
To increase their efficiency in their work place.
(h) Relief from pain:
To get relief from pain of specific diseases, but persistent and prolonged use make people addict.
(i) Family history:
The use of drugs by senior members of the family becomes a natural stimulant for the young ones.
(j) Availability of drugs: As drugs are now easily available, people start using it.
Difficulty in getting a drug may restrict them from this vice.
(k) Social customs:
In some societies, it is taken during festival as customs.
Prevention of addiction:
1. The restriction in availability of drugs can prevent drug addiction.
2. The drugs should only be sold with doctor’s prescription.
3. Parents should be vigilant and keep a watch on children.
4. Parents should spend more time with family so that children will not feel lonely and insecure.
5. Social workers and police may restrict the drug abusers.
6. Public should raise strong voice against drugs.
7. Legal action according to Narcotic drugs and Psychotropic substances (NDPS)should be seriously implemented.
It is the withdrawal of addiction to drugs. Now-a-days de-addiction centres are working for drug addicts by specially trained physicians. The addicts can be outdoor or indoor patients as found necessary.
The withdrawal symptoms include severe physiological and psychological disturbances.
(i) Stimulants do not cause dependency. So they show minor psychological withdrawal symptoms.
(ii) As opiates cause strong dependency, it shows serious withdrawal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, shivering, diarrhea, perspiration, running nose, muscular cramps, anxiety, insomnia, less appetite, restlessness, rapid heartbeat, higher blood pressure, epilepsy etc.
(iii) Withdrawal of barbiturates leads to epilepsy. Severity of withdrawal symptoms scares the drug addicts from leaving the drugs.
Treatment is often given to overcome withdrawal symptoms by giving less reinforcing and
legally available drugs, which is gradually stopped by decreasing the doses. This is called pharmacotherapy (Gk. Pharmakon = drug, Therapies = treatment).
1. Different medicines are applied for withdrawal of sedatives, narcotics, stimulants and drug combinations.
2. Certain Ayurvedic herbs & vitamins are used.
3. Acupuncture and acupressure with or without electrical stimulant is given.
Symptoms of drug addicts:
1. Loss of interest in daily routine.
2. Loss of appetite.
3. Loss of health.
4. Unsteady gait, clumsy movements and tremors.
5. Reddening and puffiness of eyes with unclear vision.
6. Slurring of speech.
7. Fresh, numerous injection marks on the body and presence of blood stains on clothes.
8. Sleeplessness or drowsiness, lethargy and passiveness.
9. Acute anxiety, depression, profuse sweating.
10. Frequent changing of moods and temper.
11. Emotional detachment and depersonalization.
12. Impaired memory and lack of concentration.
13. Possession of drugs.
14. Presence of needles, syringes, etc.
Steps for de-addiction:
(i) Pharmacotherapy — Treatment by medicine.
(ii) Psychosocial therapy — Supportive care by family members and friends.
(iii) Health restoration — Care taken to restore health, lost due to drugs, (iv) Psychological treatment — By experienced doctors.
(v) Prevention of relapse — Care taken to stop supply of drugs.