Drug addiction has the power to dominate your life and interfere with your relationships, work and your physical and mental health. The impact of drug addiction is felt in communities all over the world, not least in the UK, where according to the Office of National Statistics, drugs caused 4,859 deaths in 2021 alone. Luckily, professional, compassionate help is available and if you are struggling with drug addiction, Linwood House can help you overcome this terrible condition and take back control of your life.
What is drug addiction?
Drug addiction is when you compulsively seek and use drugs despite negative consequences for yourself or your loved ones. It can affect people from all walks of life, regardless of age, gender or social status. When you are addicted to drugs, it can cause you to prioritise obtaining and using drugs over anything else, causing major damage in every area of your life.
Common drug addictions include:
Methamphetamine, also known as crystal meth, is a powerful stimulant drug that can lead to addiction with regular use and can cause a range of physical and psychological health issues such as heart problems, dental decay and depression. Click the button below to learn more about meth addiction.
While cannabis (also referred to as marijuana) may be perceived as a harmless substance, the reality is that regular use can lead to addiction and result in respiratory problems, memory deficits and an increased risk of psychosis. Click the button below to learn more about cannabis addiction.
This is an incredibly harmful form of drug addiction which sadly affects thousands of people in the UK. Heroin is extremely physically and psychologically addictive, can easily cause fatal overdose and produces intense withdrawal symptoms when users attempt to stop without support.
Cocaine is one of the most widely-used illegal drugs. This powerful stimulant is highly physically and psychologically addictive with 840 deaths resulting from cocaine in the UK in 2021 (an all-time high). Click the button below to learn more about cocaine addiction.
Despite not being physically addictive, people can become dependent psychologically on ecstasy, or MDMA. Chronic use can have serious effects including structural changes in the brain, dental issues and damage to the liver, kidneys and cardiovascular system.
Whether they came from a doctor or a dealer, certain prescription drugs such as benzodiazepines and painkillers can be highly addictive and can cause physical dependence, increased risk of seizure and even death. Click the button below to learn more.
What causes drug addiction?
While drug addiction does not care who you are or where you’re from, certain people might be more prone to addiction due to genetic, environmental or psychological factors.
Our environments play a key role in our development and how we see the world. People raised in situations where they’re exposed to drug use are often more likely to experiment with illegal drugs. Additionally, experiencing trauma, social isolation and stress can increase the risk of developing harmful coping mechanisms such as drug use.
Psychological factors such as mental illness can also be a contributing factor to drug addiction. For example, people may self-medicate with illegal substances to cope with difficult emotions or experiences brought on by their condition which can lead to a self-perpetuating cycle of addiction.
Genetics can also contribute to drug addiction as certain genes can influence the way the brain responds to drugs. This may render some people more vulnerable to the rewarding effects of substances and consequently make them more prone to developing a drug addiction.
What are the signs of drug addiction
There are various signs of drug addiction to look out for in yourself and others, including:
- Losing interest in previously enjoyed activities or hobbies which are replaced with drug use
- Personal, family, social or work responsibilities may being neglected due to a preoccupation with with obtaining, using and recovering from drugs
- Isolating oneself from family and friends
- Engaging in risky or criminal behaviour that would never be considered when sober
- Lying to loved ones about drug use
- Stealing from loved ones to fuel drug addiction, lie, or even steal from loved ones.
- Attempting to stop drug use but not being able to
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms – such as anxiety, irritation or depression, among others – when unable to access or use drugs
- Needing and taking larger amounts of the drug over time to experience the same effect
- Choosing to spend money on drugs rather than on essential expenses, such as paying the rent or buying food
- Taking drugs on a daily basis, or as a means to feel ‘normal’
If you notice any of these symptoms of drug addiction in yourself or someone you know, it may be time to seek professional help.
How can Linwood House help with drug addiction?
Linwood House understands that everyone experiences drug addiction differently which is why our healthcare professionals will first assess your physical, mental and emotional health needs. This initial evaluation of your medical history and drug use and medical history can help us create a bespoke drug detox programme to address the physical aspect of your drug addiction.
After that you will begin a range of therapies as part of our drug rehab programmes in our safe and stable recovery centre. With around-the-clock care and the company of others going through the same process, you will gain vital insight into your negative behavioural patterns and will be able to develop new healthier habits.
Anyone battling with drug addiction also requires ongoing support which is why our free aftercare programme is available for anyone who has stayed Linwood House for three weeks or more.
How can I help a loved one who Is a victim of drug addiction?
The best way to help a loved one is by supporting their recovery and being understanding of what they are going through.
This may involve:
- Talking to your loved one about your concerns and how their drug addiction affects you
- Learning about drug addiction and what help is available for it and encourage a loved one to seek help
- Avoiding enabling behaviours by setting boundaries and encouraging them to address their drug addiction.
- Attending family therapy and visiting a loved one during their recovery
- Providing a safe, sober and healthy home environment which can encourage sobriety and set an example of a possible life without substances
How can I get help for drug addiction?
If you need help for drug addiction, the first step is always to reach out and ask for it. Contact our team today and we can provide you with all the information you need about drug addiction and the treatment options available at Linwood House. We also provide support for family members of a loved one struggling with addiction which can help guide them through your recovery journey.