Drug Addiction Basics

Social pressures are usually responsible for initial drug experimentation.

After a party or other even where someone tries a drug, that drug’s use becomes more frequent. Dependancy and addiction varies by drug and how often you use the drug, as well as your own genetic makeup. Some drugs are much more addictive and cause dependency much more often and much faster than other drugs do.

Needing more and more of a drug to get high is a natural evolution of the buildup of that drug in your system over time. Eventually just to feel good or even ‘normal’, you may need that drug to do so. Your intake goes up like this over time, and it gets harder and harder to get along without the drug. Withdrawal symptoms occur when you try to stop using the drug and it causes incredibly drastic cravings and even physical illness as a result.

Symptoms of drug addiction and addict behaviors are:

1. Using a drug at least once if not more per day, feeling the need to use it that regularly ‘or else’

2. Urges to indulge in the drug constantly

3. Only achieving the same level of effect with more and more of the drug

4. Always having a supply on hand of the drug

5. Spending money outside of your budget on the drug

6. Avoiding work, social life, family obligations, and even losing other recreational activities because the drug takes priority

7. Stealing things to pay for the drug

8. Driving or other activities while high or intoxicated

9. Failing to stop using the drug each time you say ‘this is the last time’

10. Immediately experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms

If you are a parent with a teen on a drug, some drug effectsmay be indistinguishable from normal teenage ‘angst’ and ‘moodiness’. Before you put them in a 12 step program for drug recovery take a look at the indicators and talk to them and their friends and teachers.

Some indicators of drug abuse could be:

1. Missing class or missing work, drop in grades, losing a job, disinterest that is severely out of the ordinary

2. Lack of physical energy or being sick too often

3. Not caring about appearance, clothes, etc

4. Being overly secretive about what goes on in their room, who they hang out with, or other drastic relationship behavioral changes

5. Sudden need for money without a good explanation why, or even worse finding money stolen or items from the house missing to possibly pay for drugs

Bear in mind, we have all been teenagers and we know there are also some perfectly normal reasons why teens act a little ‘off’ sometimes. These really represent looking out for extremes in each of these departments, especially if changes in behavior happen very quickly. You don’t want to suspect anyone you love of having a substance abuse issue or needing drug rehab or therapy, but communication is the only way to work out if these behavioral indicators are false red flags or ‘the real thing’, a drug addiction that needs to be treated as such.