Drug Addiction

Drug addiction is a dependence on a street drug or a medication. When you're addicted, you may not be able to control your drug use and you may continue using the drug despite the harm it causes. Drug addiction can cause an intense craving for the drug. You may want to quit, but most people find they can't do it on their own.

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Not everyone who uses drugs becomes addicted, but for many what starts as casual use leads to drug addiction. Drug addiction can cause serious, long-term consequences including problems with physical and mental health, relationships, employment and the law.

You may need help from your doctor, family, friends, support groups or an organized treatment program to overcome your drug addiction and stay drug-free.

Most drug addictions start with casual or social use of a drug. For some people, this is as far as it goes. For other people, using the drug becomes a habit and use becomes more and more frequent. As time passes, you may need larger doses of the drug to get high. Soon you may need the drug just to feel good. As your drug use increases, you may find that it becomes increasingly difficult to go without the drug. Stopping may cause intense cravings and make you feel physically ill (withdrawal symptoms).


A person may be either physically addicted, psychologically addicted, or both, depending on which specific substance they consume (only some drugs are physically addictive), and the response of the addict’s body and mind to the presence of the drug (and its absence from the system upon cessation of use) will vary accordingly.


However, in the cases of both psychological and physical addiction, the addict will crave their substance of abuse, and procuring and consuming it will come to dominate their daily routine, their thought processes, and eventually their entire lives – often at terrible cost to their life prospects and circumstances, their relationships, their self-esteem, and their physical and mental health.


Drug addiction symptoms

Drug addiction symptoms or behaviors include:
• Feeling that you have to use the drug regularly
— this can be daily or even several times a day
• Failing in your attempts to stop using the drug
• Making certain that you maintain a supply of the drug
• Spending money on the drug even though you can't afford it
• Doing things to obtain the drug that you normally wouldn't do, such as stealing
• Feeling that you need the drug to deal with your problems
• Driving or doing other risky activities when you're under the influence of the drug
• Focusing more and more time and energy on getting and using the drug


If you do notice significant changes in behaviour in a loved one which persist over time, whether alongside any of the above symptoms or not, it is understandable that you should be concerned. It is also likely that someone using or addicted to drugs will become deceitful when questioned about it, due to the stigma associated with addiction as well as out of a desire not to cause concern. In the end only you will be able to tell if someone you love is behaving in a way which is strange to you and which causes you concern.


Related pages: Opiate/opioid addiction, Stimulants addiction, Cannabis addiction

 Alcohol addiction, Sedative addiction, Psychedelc drugs addiction



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