People who are dependent on drugs usually use them to feel better, but drug abuse can have dire consequences. The use of chemicals to alter the way we feel and see things is one of the oldest activities of the human race. But a person’s use of a drug such as tobacco, alcohol, cannabis or heroin can become uncontrolled, or start to control them. Even when the drug abuse leads to serious physical and mental problems, the person using may still not want to stop.
If they do decide to give up, they may then find it’s much harder than they thought.
There are a lot of bewildering different words used to describe drug use and drug abuse problems. Not every expert will agree with the definitions here, but being consistent about the terms used helps to reduce the confusion and anxiety everyone feels when faced with this problem.
Different Types of Drug Abuse
Each drug has different patterns of:
For each different drug, the term ‘substance abuse’ can cover different levels of use, including:
- experimenting with use
- using large amounts without appearing intoxicated
- using large amounts to get intoxicated
People can use a substance for more than one of the above reasons, and may also use several drugs for different reasons.
Untangling why a person uses drug is rarely an easy task, but most people use a drug because they enjoy the effects. This may seem like a simplistic or insensitive statement, but it’s easily forgotten by the people around the person involved in the drug abuse, who are concerned for their wellbeing.
Signs Of Drug Abuse
Worried parents often ask for tell-tale signs of drug abuse, but the simple answer is that it’s very hard to spot. Many users who have contact with mental health services manage to conceal their use from mental health professionals, so it’s obviously difficult to identify.
Parents usually know their children better than anyone else, and maintaining an open atmosphere in which communication is kept up is often the best way to find out what’s going on.
This is not always easy with teenagers, as they might view the methods parents use to find out if they are involved in drug abuse as intrusive and controlling. And angry confrontations with teenagers might push them further into a cycle of resentment and refusal to communicate.
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