How To Quit It Before It Kills You

clock 7 Min Read

Brencia Daphne

October 21, 2021

Addiction: What Is It And Why Is It Lethal?

“Substance abuse is not something that should be taken lightly”.

Right from celebrating successes to dealing with grief, humans have used drugs to cope with the intensity of their emotions. Though pleasurably intoxicating in moderation, drugs can be harmful or even fatal when used in excess and without constraints. Recalling the times when we have come across the news of substance abuse, and drugs being the end of many talented individuals — we know from experience that addiction is bound to bring malice to us.

The American Psychological Association (APA) defines substance abuse as a pattern of compulsive substance use, marked by recurrent social, occupational, legal or interpersonally adverse consequences. Substance abuse is also known as drug abuse.

As daunting as that may seem, frequent and excessive use of any substance such as alcohol, pain medication, cocaine, heroin, marijuana, etc. negatively affects health, frequently causing an uncontrollable addiction towards the substance or drug. This makes it an independent illness that is potentially lethal to our health and well-being.

Addiction can become a never-ending cycle — hard to stop without the right support, even when we know the negative effect it can have on our health both physically and mentally.

Why Do People Take Drugs?

People may begin using drugs due to the following reasons:

  • Peer pressure:- Humans may be pressured by their peers to take drugs, and so to be accepted they are forced to oblige, to “fit in”.
  • Out of curiosity:- Humans are naturally curious creatures. It is common for us to want to try new things, especially as adolescents and teenagers. In this case, however, it could be potentially dangerous.
  • For pleasure:- Drugs can induce pleasurable chemicals, making us feel excited, or confident. At times, a little too confident.
  • To improve their performance at work, school and athletics:- People take drugs to enhance their performance at work, school, and/or with physical activities.
  • To escape or relax:- People utilize drugs as means to “get them high”, or help them loosen up and relax.

Warning Signs Of Drug Addiction:

Substance abuse usually starts with curiosity or recreational use. Here are a few warning signs we ought to look out for:

  • Change in appetite (eating more or less than normal).
  • Cravings or a strong desire to use a substance.
  • Weight loss.
  • Money issues (stealing or cheating to acquire money to buy drugs).
  • Changes in physical appearances due to poor self-care.
  • Lack of interest or motivation in activities you usually love doing.
  • Having problems at work, school, or with family.
  • Cutting back on social activities, and isolating yourself.
  • Having an irregular or unhealthy sleep schedule.
  • Having mood swings.
  • Difficulty completing tasks at work, school, or home.

Is There A Cure For Addiction?

We are in a time where we are flooded with news and information about the Coronavirus from all around us, and it sure can get overwhelming. Even though it is important to be updated about the issue in order to take the right precautions, try and limit how much you take in every day. You could try and have an hour or two out of the day where you put your phone down, restrict any information, and focus on yourself. Or, seek information updates at specific times during the day. Also, make sure you get information from reliable resources; misleading information can lead to unnecessary panic in an already panicked world.

Of course!

Addiction can be cured effectively by changing unhealthy habits and developing a good balance in life. Overcoming substance abuse would be challenging as there is a chance of relapse, if not followed properly. But we have come so far to embrace the times of newfound knowledge and interventions, that there are solutions for recovering from drug addiction. Some of these therapies are:

  • Detoxification: The process of detoxifying or removing the drugs from your body under medical supervision
  • Medication-assisted therapies: During detox, medicine can help control cravings and relieve withdrawal symptoms.
  • Behavioural Therapies:
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT): It helps people identify and recognise the problem, allowing them to adopt effective coping skills combined with other therapies.
  • Contingency Management (CM): It provides material rewards as motivation for desirable behaviours such as sobriety.
  • Motivational Interviewing (MI): In this, the individual develops his/her motivation with the help of the therapist and plans for change throughout the session.
  • Individual Therapy: A one-on-one session with a certified counsellor, which will help reduce stress, enhance relationships, and increase overall productivity.

The initial step can be taken with intervention from friends, family, or loved ones as they play a major role in one’s recovery. Alternate types of therapies are yoga, meditation, massage, and experiential therapy which includes animal and equine.

  • Relapsing can be scary. But there are ways in which we can avoid falling back into that loop:
  • Doing what you love doing:

    It is said that working on your physical and mental well-being through physical activities like running and cycling can help combat temptations. Art, writing, reading, yoga, medication or learning new things can help stimulate the mind and body.

  • Removing unwanted triggers:

    It’s important to identify what triggers you and it’s best to avoid them. It is important that you surround yourself with people who have a healthy and happy state of mind because the people you spend time with affects your living. Always remember, “the environment that broke you, will never fix you.”

  • Support Group:

    It is always easier to open up to a person who has been through or has had a similar experience. That is exactly what support groups are all about. They are safe, open and non-judgmental groups that help you open up about things. When you hear people are dealing with something similar, you definitely feel that you are not alone. It’s a chance for you to step into “someone's shoe” — to experience and learn from people.

  • Therapy:

    Going for therapy sessions or speaking to your therapist would lessen the risk of temptation and use. If you are feeling the pressure and desire to use again, speak to your therapist before attempting to reach out for a pill

How To Help A Friend Dealing With Addiction?

During this outbreak, a lot of us have been stuck indoors in self-quarantine or isolation. Although it is for the safety

Do you want to support a friend who is going through a rough time overcoming addiction?

Here is how you can help:
  • Firstly, educate yourself on substance abuse
  • Keep an open dialogue
  • Encourage your friends to seek treatment for sober living.
  • Encourage them for rehabilitation therapy.
  • You can participate in family therapy and programs
Here’s more you can read about-

We’ve Got You, Always.

Despite the potential risks and challenges, taking proper treatment with a positive attitude will lessen the habit. It’s important to have strong willpower and sheer determination throughout the journey. Coping with addiction is a challenging task and it can’t be taken lightly, but having positive support can make it easier.

We at Heart It out strive to do the best we can for you. Right from booking an individual session, to gifting a session to your loved ones, we have got you covered. You name it, we got it for you. Easily accessible, user friendly and confidential. All your mental healthcare needs are covered by Heart It Out!!

We look forward to taking care of you on your journey towards mental well-being.
  • Firstly, educate yourself on substance abuse
  • Keep an open dialogue
  • Encourage your friends to seek treatment for sober living.
  • Encourage them for rehabilitation therapy.
  • You can participate in family therapy and programs
Gift a session now!

Written By: Nida Syed

Seek Support Now