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Signs of Abuse :: BMAD

You might be wondering why on earth your loved seems to be choosing drugs over family. You might be struggling with finances, or even from the painful realization your loved one is in trouble with the law. Or you might be asking yourself why you are taking drugs again, when you swore just a few hours ago that you needed to cut down.

Self abuse is not a matter of moral weakness or faulty willpower. It is a vicious cycle that actually causes changes in the brain, leading to stronger and stronger impulses to use. Without help, drug abuse destroys families and takes lives. But there is hope. Find out how to recognize the signs and symptoms of drug abuse or addiction in someone you care about or yourself. With the right support and treatment, the road to recovery is possible.

What is drug abuse and drug addiction?

Selfabuse, also known as substance abuse, involves the repeated and excessive use of chemical substances to achieve a certain effect. These substances may be "street" or "illicit" drugs, illegal due to their high potential for addiction and abuse. They also may be drugs obtained with a prescription, used for pleasure rather than for medical reasons.

Different drugs have different effects. Some, such as cocaine or methamphetamine, may produce an intense "rush" and initial feelings of boundless energy. Others, such as heroin, benzodiazepines or the prescription oxycontin, may produce excessive feelings of relaxation and calm. What most drugs have in common, though, is over stimulation of the pleasure center of the brain. With time, the brain’s chemistry is actually altered to the point where not having the drug becomes extremely uncomfortable and even painful. This compelling urge to use, addiction, becomes more and more powerful, disrupting work, relationships, and health.

Prescription drug abuse

Prescription drug abuse is just as dangerous as street drug use. When used appropriately, prescription drugs can have beneficial effects medically or psychologically. Prescription drugs in the opiate family, such as vicodin (hydrocodone) and oxycontin, are often prescribed for chronic pain or recovery from surgery. Benzodiazapines, such as valium or Xanax, are prescribed to treat anxiety. The problem arises when these drugs begin to be used ‘off label’. Furthermore, prescription drugs provide an easy access point to other family members susceptible to abuse.

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