Defining a Drug Abuse Problem

Posted in Drug Addiction

People use several terms to describe addiction, but not all of these words can be used interchangeably. Understanding drug abuse can help Atlanta residents avoid or recognize a problem and realize the need to get professional help.

Types of Drug Use

There are a few common types of drug use, including the following examples:

  • Casual – Generally refers to sporadic use at home or in social situations
  • Recreational – Typically refers to use during a particular event, like a concert
  • Medicinal – Use of pharmaceuticals or marijuana to treat physical ailments
  • Lifestyle – Occupational or hobby-related use for energy, calm or other specific effects

Genetic heritage plays a major role in addictive behaviors, so Atlanta residents may have widely different reactions to drug use. In many cases, a drug problem starts with one of the uses listed above, and it develops into one of the problems listed below:

  • Tolerance – As the body learns to metabolize the drug more quickly, higher doses are required to achieve the same effects
  • Dependence ­– Continued drug use results in neurobiological changes that turn the substance into a physical necessity for the user to feel normal
  • Addiction – Biological and psychological shifts motivate compulsive behaviors to use the drug

A common misconception regarding dependence and addiction is that they are the same conditions. It is true that they often occur together, but a physical dependence does not always motivate compulsive behaviors. For example, a person can develop a dependence on the caffeine in coffee, and quitting coffee consumption will have a physical impact for a few days, but it will not lead to obsessive acts. On the other hand, addiction means someone will use drugs despite negative consequences to her life.

How to Recognize a Drug Problem

Casual, recreational, medicinal and lifestyle use can suddenly turn into a drug abuse problem: the following behavioral and physical signs suggest that a problem is emerging in any Atlanta resident:

  • An ongoing preoccupation with acquiring and taking the drug
  • Needing increasingly larger doses to achieve the same results
  • Insomnia, anxiety, headaches and other effects occur during abstinence
  • A user’s social circle slowly retracts to include only other users
  • Increasing rates of missed school, work and social occasions
  • Putting finances and relationships at risk through drug use
  • Medical emergencies such as an overdose or drug interaction

The longer a dependence, tolerance or addiction continue, the more ingrained it becomes in a person’s biology. Recovery is achievable for all, but addressing the problem early increases the chances of lasting success.

Substance Abuse Treatment

Professional rehab treatment remains the most effective way to deal with addiction, and it includes several of the following services:

  • Medically supervised detox with options to wean the drug from a user’s body
  • Behavioral therapies that instill healthier habits, attitudes and outlook
  • Counseling to identify drug use triggers and relapse risks
  • Integrated treatment for co-occurring mood disorders like depression
  • Holistic options like yoga, acupuncture, nutrition and natural pain relief
  • Group therapy to discuss coping mechanisms and develop support

Following treatment, rehab typically provides aftercare counseling and placement in a local support group.

Atlanta Addiction Treatment

Whatever stage an Atlanta user’s drug problem has reached, it is important to seek help immediately. Our addiction counselors are available 24 hours a day to assist with recommendations, discuss treatment options and check health insurance policies for rehab coverage. Our helpline is toll free, so please call now.