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Drug Addiction

Both illegal drugs and prescription drugs are highly addictive substances and can rapidly take over someone’s life. Developing a drug addiction can cause behavioural differences, influencing how someone treats those close to them and causing serious health issues that can reduce their lifespan.

To overcome drug addiction and achieve abstinence, it’s important to understand how a drug addiction can develop and the way that it can impact all aspects of someone’s life.

What is Drug Addiction?

Drug addiction is a chronic disease that causes an inability to control the compulsion to use drugs, despite the negative consequences on lifestyle and health.

Drug use can be extremely addictive and cause significant health issues that affect the user physically and mentally. Individuals can experience withdrawal symptoms whilst not using the drug and experience long-term changes to their overall health and cognitive functions.

Types of Drug Addiction

Often associated with feelings of euphoria, confidence and increased energy, people use illegal drugs and misuse prescription drugs to distract themselves from reality and enjoy themselves in a perceived version of reality. This can be in the form of illegal drugs, which are against the law to sell, and prescription drugs which can be bought over the counter in shops legally.

Illegal Drug Addiction

Drugs are illegalised to control the selling and use of them due to their serious health impacts and highly addictive nature. Illegal drugs are more addictive than drugs that can be bought over the counter but are less accessible for people to purchase.

There are various types of illegal drugs that people consume which are created using different substances and have different side effects:

  • Cocaine
  • Cannabis
  • Ketamine
  • Heroin
  • MDMA

Due to their highly addictive ingredients and euphoric side effects, drug users can become rapidly reliant on substances. Drugs such as heroin can cause users to become addicted after one ‘hit’, which can cause significant withdrawal symptoms. This can lead to continuous use of illegal drugs and create a vicious cycle of drug use that feeds an addiction.

Prescription Drug Addiction

Prescription drugs are used to reduce pain symptoms and treat illnesses, and are commonly found in hospitals, pharmacies or can be bought in supermarkets. These types of drugs are typically less addictive than illegal drugs but are easily accessible and used repetitively.

To help treat hundreds of illnesses, there are many types of prescription drugs that people can become addicted to:

  • Painkiller
  • Sleeping pills
  • Valium
  • Diazepam
  • Nurofen
  • Xanax

People can become addicted to prescription drugs unintentionally, after experiencing a long-term injury or illness. Taking prescription drugs over a long period can build a reliance on the drug to complete normal daily activities and can worsen over time.

Causes of Drug Addiction

A drug addiction can develop due to various preliminary and environmental factors. People can begin taking drugs due to social or cultural pressures, or experiencing a long-term illness, and people with a genetic history of addiction can be placed at an increased risk of becoming addicted.

Social Factors

Encountering those who regularly take illegal drugs such as family or friends can place someone at an increased risk of taking drugs. Social or peer pressure from others can lead people to take drugs, even when they may not want to. This can occur in the household, or during social events such as parties and nightclubs.

Genetic Factors

Someone with a family history of addiction can be more susceptible to developing a drug addiction.

Drug substances can contain extremely addictive ingredients, however parents with a genetic disposition to developing addictive behaviours can transmit them to their child and place them at a higher risk of becoming addicted to drugs.

Signs of Drug Addiction

There are various signs to look out for to see if you or a loved one is addicted to taking drugs. Someone with a drug addiction can display physical signs and behavioural signs that they have an issue with drug use and are reliant on them to function during normal daily activities.

Withdrawal symptoms

When withdrawn from drug use, individuals with a drug addiction can display various withdrawal symptoms that affect them physically and mentally.

When the body ingests addictive substances, the body becomes reliant on the drug and cannot function properly without it:

  • Cravings
  • Sweating
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea

Withdrawal symptoms can be difficult to experience and can lead to further drug use, creating a vicious cycle and leading to continuous drug use.

Behavioural Differences

Regular and excessive drug use can affect an individual’s thoughts and feelings, impacting the way they behave towards family, friends and partners.

Symptoms such as mood swings, lack of energy and intense cravings for drugs can cause those with drug addictions to act differently and make different lifestyle choices:

  • Avoid social events without drug use
  • Poor work performance
  • Neglecting family or work life
  • Lack of self-care

Speak To Us About Recovering From Drug Addiction

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We provide 24/7, free advice and support about rehabilitation and how it can help with recovery from an alcohol addiction. We help you or a loved one gain quick and easy admission to local rehabilitation centres in your area that suit your requirements. Speak to a member of our team today to find out more information.

Impacts of Drug Addiction

Drug addiction can have a significant impact on all aspects of someone’s life, changing their lifestyle choices and decision-making. This can impact them socially, changing their relationships with loved ones their work life and their long-term physical and mental health.

Health Issues

Regular drug use can cause health complications that can impact someone physically and mentally. Those with a drug addiction can experience withdrawal symptoms when they’re not using drugs and can experience long-term issues. This can affect all aspects of their health, causing respiratory, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal issues which can reduce their lifespan and impact their quality of life.

  • Stroke
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Heart attack
  • Artery disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Cancer
  • Schizophrenia
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts

Relationship Breakdowns

Changes to lifestyle choices and decision-making can impact relationships with loved ones. People with a drug addiction can experience a behaviour change that impacts those around them and causes breakdowns in relationships:

  • Aggression
  • Mood swings
  • Poor decision making
  • Lack of responsibility
  • Low energy

Work and Financial Issues

Excessive drug use can affect someone’s financial stability, affecting how they manage their finances and perform when at work.

Drug use can change someone’s behaviour while at work, impacting their energy levels and focus. This can lead to issues being caused at work, placing them at a higher risk of causing breakdowns in relationships with their employers and possibly losing their jobs.

In addition to the financial cost of purchasing drugs, this can cause financial issues and affect their relationships with their family.

Treatments for Drug Addiction

There are various treatments for drug addiction which can help recovery and overcome addiction. There are private and free alternatives that are accessible for people with drug addiction to live a happier, healthier lifestyle.

Narcotics Anonymous Meetings

Narcotics Anonymous (NA) Meetings are organised for people with drug addictions to meet and speak about their experiences. These meetings are free and organised locally, making them easily accessible for people living in the United Kingdom.

AA meetings allow people with drug addictions to speak about their feelings with like-minded individuals. This can help them learn techniques for preventing relapse and assisting people to build a community in their local area.


Rehabilitation assists with safe withdrawal from alcohol and provides therapy treatments to help people overcome their addiction.

Inpatient rehabilitation treatment involves staying at a residential centre and receiving 24/7 advice and support. This is an immersive experience and helps residents focus solely on their recovery. Outpatient rehabilitation treatment involves therapy treatments in a neutral environment, where the individual is expected to stay home.

Rehabilitation includes a series of services that make it the most effective method for treating alcohol addiction:

  • Medically supervised detoxification
  • Nutrition plan
  • Immersive experience
  • Therapy treatments
  • 24/7 support and advice
  • State-of-the-art facilities
  • Aftercare

Find Out More About Rehabilitation for Drug Addiction

To find out more information about how rehabilitation can help with recovery then speak to us today. We offer free advice and support about rehabilitation and can help you find rehabilitation centres in your area that suit your requirements.