Recovery from Drug Abuse
Monday 16th May 2011
There are important differences between drug abuse and drug addiction and often people wrongly use the two terms interchangeably. Someone can abuse a drug without being addicted to it. When someone is drug addicted this means that they have a physical and mental dependence on the drug.
Drug abuse is using a drug for a reason other than for what it is normally prescribed or recommended. NIDA, the USA’s National Institute on Drug Abuse classifies it as “The use of illegal drugs or the inappropriate use of legal drugs. Another definition of drug abuse is the repeated use of drugs to produce pleasure, to alleviate stress, or to alter or avoid reality (or all three).”
When a person is engaged in drug abuse they keep using the drug even though it results in negative consequences to their mental and physical wellbeing and their behaviours.
The problems drug abuse can create include physical cravings and needing increased amounts of the drug to achieve the desired effect. Drug abusers will keep on using despite the negative effects it has on their social, financial, mental, occupational, family life etc.
All addictions are characterised by two features – a mental obsession and a physical compulsion. The cycle of having to compulsively use drugs and then obsessing about ways and means to get more, minimise the negative consequences from using drugs, hiding it from those close to you and then desperately doing it again and again is, not by any stretch of the imagination, a good way to live! This is the essence of drug addiction.
Once the line has been crossed from drug abuse to drug addiction most other activities are given up in the need to get more drugs. Suicide and accidental deaths are often associated with this disease. Recovery from drug abuse is therefore not just about leading a happier life; it may be about saving your life.
If you or someone you know has a drug abuse problem please contact one of our addiction treatment counsellors today. We can arrange an immediate referral to a top drug rehab for assessment and
Call us now – we’re waiting for your call.
Physical dependence on drugs is the situation where the person’s body has become so accustomed to having drugs in the system that it cannot function properly without it. This comes as a result of sustained abuse over a long enough period of time. The result of dependency is that the drug addict cannot stop using without experiencing withdrawal symptoms.
Abstinence, getting clean from drugs, is the first step in recovery from drug abuse but not the end-goal. Abstinence simply means that the drug abuser is no longer using. No changes to their quality of life are promised and their lifestyle may be left unchanged. This means that it is quite possible for a person to stop abusing drugs but remain unhappy and unfulfilled.
Recovery from drug abuse involves changing behaviours, attitudes and lifestyle. This results in the drug abuser improving their life in a wide range of areas – psychological, social, physical, vocational, and spiritual. This can only be accomplished by making real changes. It’s obviously worth making these changes because they lead to a drastically improved quality of life.
Being in recovery from drug abuse means that the addict discovers an entirely new way of living, instead of being trapped in the cycle of active drug addiction they have found an active recovery and lead contented, happy lives free from obsession and compulsion.
Happiness enters their life and replaces the sense of misery that used to pervade it. After coming to terms with their past they realise that they are relieved on the burden of shame which resulted from their drug abuse.
They no longer wish to shut off the past or deny that the drug abuse and related behaviour happened, but rather they acknowledge that it has brought them to where they are in life right now.
Drug addicts often feel useless and filled with self-pity. This sensation slips away as they remain in recovery from drug abuse. They see how they are valuable members of society and how they can use their experience to help other drug abusers and addicts who are in the grip of the illness.
They do this through sharing their strength, hope, and experience with the drug addict who is still using and drinking. For many drug abusers it is only when they hear the experience of a fellow sufferer that they are able to believe that they can recover.
Being in recovery from drug abuse also helps addicts to deal with situations that they had previously never known how to cope with. Such situations can be in difficult social situations such as confrontations, loan applications, and other areas where assertiveness may be required. Troubles in relationships with spouses also start to diminish and the drug addicts’ home life starts to become more harmonious.
In short we can conclusively say that addicts who are in recovery from drug abuse find that their lives are more fulfilled, peaceful, and happy as a result of working a recovery program.
If your life is spiralling out of control due to drug abuse and you want help please call us right now.
Article by We Do Recover
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