Drug Abuse

What is Drug Abuse?

Drug abuse is a very severe desire to get and use more and more substances which may include drugs, cigarettes, and alcohol.

Drug abuse is different from drug dependence or drug addiction because drug dependence suggests that the individual has a physical or psychological need to use the drug to carry out basic functions and will experience withdrawal symptoms when the drug is discontinued which doesn’t occur with drug abuse.

Drug abuse tends to run in families and individuals with a history of mental health challenges who come from dysfunctional families, whose friends use drugs, who achieve poorly in school, and whose parents are active drug abusers suffering from untreated mental illness are at greater risk for becoming drug abusers.

What are the Symptoms of Drug Abuse?

Symptoms widely depend on the kind of drug the individual abuses.

Symptoms include

General symptoms that might occur are constant sniffles or runny nose, changes in sleeping patterns, sudden mood swings, loss of interest in regular social activities, sudden weight gain or weight loss, slurred speech, impaired coordination, lack of proper self-care, poor hygiene, neglecting personal responsibilities, drug use is causing legal difficulties, problems at work or at school, and relationship problems.

How is Drug Abuse Treated?

Effective drug abuse treatment involves detoxification which is the process of eliminating the drug from the body, therapy and medication for depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, etc., and long-term follow-up.

The goal of treatment should be to help the drug abuser stop using drugs completely and improve their mental health for better relationships within society, at work, and at home.

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Last Reviewed:
September 20, 2016
Last Updated:
September 06, 2017