Drug Addiction is a mental and physical disorder that involves compulsive use of recreational drugs. These drugs come in various types, each of which produces its own set of physical and psychological effects. But if there's one thing they have in common it's that they all alter the way the brain works.
Signs and Symptoms of Drug Abuse and Addiction
When a person takes recreational drugs, there is a surge in the dopamine level in the brain. Dopamine is the hormone associated with pleasure. The brain makes the connection between the drugs and pleasure, and this is where the addiction starts.
When the addiction emerges, the substance becomes a tool for living. It's as if a person won't be able to survive without using this drug.
Along with the pleasure one experiences from this activity, there are also significant changes in the brain that interferes with the person's ability to:
- feel normal
- control behavior
- and exercise good judgment
Common Signs and Symptoms of Drug Abuse
- neglect of responsibilities at school, work or home
- use of drugs under dangerous conditions such as driving after using or having unprotected sex
- problems in the relationship with spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, family, friends, and co-workers
- legal trouble such as disorderly conduct, stealing to finance the drug habit, and, as mentioned, driving under the influence
Common Signs and Symptoms of Drug Addiction
- feeling powerless over the compulsion to use drugs
- loss of control over drug use or using more drugs than you want or intend to
- abandonment of activities that used to be enjoyable such as sports, socializing with friends, hobbies, and so on
- continued use of drugs despite the bad effects like paranoia, blackouts, infections, mood swings, depression, and so on
- drug tolerance or the need to use more and more amount of drug to experience the same effects that used to be attained with smaller amounts
- taking of drugs to prevent or remedy withdrawal symptoms that may include nausea, insomnia, depression, shaking, anxiety, restlessness, and sweating
Physical Warning Signs of Drug Abuse
- slurred speech
- bloodshot eyes
- changes in appetite
- impaired coordination
- changes in sleep patterns
- sudden weight gain or weight loss
- neglect of personal grooming habits
- deterioration of physical appearance
- pupils larger or smaller than normal
- unusual smell on the body, clothing or breath
- tremors, shaking of body parts such as hands and arms
Behavioral Warning Signs of Drug Abuse
- secretive attitude
- financial problems
- suspicious behaviors
- unexplained need for money
- change in friends, hobbies, and hangouts
- drop in attendance, performance and productivity in either work or school
- frequent trouble or problem such as accidents, injuries, fights, illegal activities
Psychological Warning Signs of Drug Abuse
- lack of motivation
- unusual hyperactivity
- mood swings or irritability
- sudden change in attitude or personality
- fear, anxiety and paranoia for no good reason
- short temper, angry outbursts, violent reactions
Warning Signs of Commonly Abused Drugs
- loud talking
- glassy red eyes
- excessive laughter
- loss of interest or motivation
• depressants like Xanax, Valium, GHB
- poor judgment
- slurred speech
- drunk-like state
- contracted pupils
- inability to concentrate
• stimulants such as Amphetamines, Cocaine, Crystal meth
- dry nose
- dry mouth
- weight loss
- dilated pupils
- excessive talking
- long periods without eating or sleeping
• hallucinogens including PCP, LSD
- mood swings
- dilated pupils
- slurred speech
- bizarre behavior
- needle market
- contract pupils
- loss of appetite
- sleeping during unusual hours
- no response of pupils to light
If you or anyone you know is suffering from drug addiction, it's imperative to get help as early as possible.
Ecstasy is the popular name for MDMA (3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine), a drug that is both a stimulant and a mild tranquilizer.
Ecstasy has other names such as:
- the love drug
- Disco Biscuit
This drug, which comes in the form of a pill with a logo or cartoon character stamped on it, is very popular among teens and young adults in dance and rave parties. It is often taken as a pill but can also be snorted in the powder form or be injected into a vein.
Ecstasy got its name from the extreme sense of pleasure that some say you will experience when you take this drug. It has strong hallucinogenic effects that can boost self-confidence as well as feelings of peacefulness and closeness. In fact, people who use this say that they experience extreme desire to touch and hug other people. Reading this paragraph might be giving you the impression that ecstasy is good for you. It's not. Ecstasy actually very dangerous.
- blurred vision
- rapid eye movement
- jaw muscle tension
For one, this drug can cause muscle tension and jaw-clenching, which is why you will often find ecstasy users sucking on baby pacifiers to ease the tension inside their mouths.
- acne and liver damage
If a person develops acne on any part of the skin after using ecstasy, this means he/she is at great risk of liver damage if the drug is to be used continuously.
High Dosage Damages
Those who take in high doses can suffer from steep increase in the body temperature that can lead to severe problems like:
- muscle breakdown
- kidney failure
- heart failure
The effects are even a lot more harmful if the drug is used with alcohol.
Mental and Emotional Damages
Ecstasy can cause various mental and emotional issues, even weeks after the person stops taking the drug.
These damages include:
- severe anxiety
- sleeping problems
- impairment of thought and memory
Long-term use can lead to impairment of thought and memory.
Signs of Ecstasy Use
Ecstasy remains in a person's system for only 12 to 16 hours. Because of this, most general drug screening tests are not able to detect the drug unless it is targeted specifically.
There are certain signs that would tell you if a person uses this drug.
One is a pacifier worn around the neck. A person who does this especially when attending parties is likely to be a user of this drug.
Other signs that should raise a red flag include:
- sleep problems
- skin rashes that look like acne
- attendance to all-night rave parties
- possession of pills with cartoon character stamps on them
Reaching To Help
This drug is indeed dangerous and debilitating. If you know someone who uses this drug, it's imperative to encourage the person to get help before it's too late. Inform him/her about the dangers of ecstasy to make it easier for you to convince the person to put a stop to this dangerous habit.