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Addiction/Drug Abuse

Signs Someone is Using Drugs

  • lose interest in school
  • change friends (to hang out with kids hwo use drugs)
  • become moody, negative, cranky or worried all the time
  • ask to be left alone a lot
  • have trouble concetrating
  • sleep a lot (maybe even in class)
  • get in fights
  • have red ot gain puffy eyes
  • cough a lot
  • have a runny nose all of the time
“It’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years” –Abe Lincoln

Drug Abuse/Addiction:

Some of us live in a society that makes it look cool to use drugs. Other societies do not entertain drugs at all, and teens are less likely to fall victim to drugs. Wherever you are, these facts will help.D rug use among the South Asian is population is perceived to be increasing among young people, including females. People use drugs for a variety of reasons. Virtually everyone has been, or will be, exposed to the reality of illicit drugs by the time they graduate from elementary school. The increase in drug related deaths is staggering, and the upsurge in drug use is terrifying.

The easiest way of defining drug abuse is observing that a person uses a drug for something other than a medically prescribed purpose. That is, they have a habit of taking a drug to “get high” or “feel better”. They take more than prescribed amounts. They take the drugs for recreation.

Young people often use drugs for the same reasons that adults do. Some of these include:

  • to have fun
  • to relax and forget problems
  • to gain confidence
  • to socialize
  • out of curiosity
  • as a form of escapism

So what is drug abuse?

It is the habitual use of drugs to alter one's mood, emotion, or state of consciousness.

This includes the destructive pattern of using substance or chemicals that leads to significant physical, mental, emotional problems or distress.

Drug addiction is a chronic (long-lasting) disease. It doesn't go away like a cold. It can stay for a long time, sometimes for life.

Drug Abuse is a chronic disease affecting the brain, and just about everyone is different. Drugs affect different people in different ways. One person can take and abuse drugs, yet never become addicted, while another merely has one experience and is immediately hooked. Drug Addiction is characterized by a person having to use the drug(s) repeatedly, regardless of the damage it does to:

  • Their health
  • Their family
  • Their career
  • Their relationships with friends and the community

So what is Addiction?

Addiction is not limited to drugs and alcohol. People can be addicted to many things, such as food, gambling, shopping, or most anything that gets in the way of a healthy lifestyle. When things get out of hand, and people behave compulsively, regardless of the consequences. When the person is no longer in charge of their life, regardless of the triggering mechanism, they are addicted. The addiction can take over a person’s entire life. Nothing else matters.

Powerless and unmanageable are the hallmarks of addiction. When brain chemistry changes, the mind is tricked into thinking it NEEDS the drug to function. A physical addiction sets in and the person must have the drug. Just like the body needs food to survive, the addicted mind needs the drug to survive. It doesn’t matter if the person is dying, it doesn’t matter if their health has deteriorated and even if their life has been ruined. All that matters is the drug.

The consequences of drug abuse!

  • Criminal Record
  • Career and employment
  • Licenses
  • Travel
  • Social Status
  • Physical Health
  • Drug abuse can adversely affect every major system in the human body
  • Mental Health issues
  • Addiction
  • Relationships: Family/Peers
  • School
  • Finances

Substance abuse affects the emotional, financial, and psychological well-being of the entire family. Teens who use drugs withdraw from their family members and family activities, as well as set bad examples for any younger siblings. Because their judgment and decision-making ability becomes greatly impaired, they may become more hostile toward family members and even steal from them to get money for drugs.

Physical Addiction Pattern

  • Changes in sleeping patterns.
  • Feeling sick after a period of time without your drug.
  • Developing a tolerance.
  • Changes to weight (gain/loss).

Psychological Addiction Pattern:

  • Use of drugs or alcohol as a way to forget problems or to relax.
  • Withdrawal or keeping secrets from family and friends.
  • Loss of interest in activities that used to be important.
  • Problems with schoolwork, such as slipping grades or absences.
  • Changes in friendships, such as hanging out only with friends who use drugs.
  • Spending a lot of time thinking about how to get drugs.
  • Stealing from others and/or selling belongings to be able to afford drugs.
  • Failed attempts to stop taking drugs or drinking.
  • Anxiety, anger, depression and/or mood swings.
  • Low self-esteem.
  • Paranoid thinking.

SAWAC facilitates fostering drug free communities by promoting health and community development and providing educators, parents and young people of all ages with powerful tools to train them to implement effective substance abuse prevention programs.