Learn To Set Smart Goals
Setting goals can help you stay drug-free, but if you set broad or expansive goals, they become more difficult to achieve and can cause more harm than good. With that in mind, remember the acronym SMARTwhen youre setting goals. SMART stands for:
- Specific Set a targeted goal that you can achieve rather than a broad one that youre working toward.
- Measurable Set a goal with progress points that you can measure. Dont rely on arbitrary statements, but on actual data.
- Achievable Make sure that this is a goal that you can achieve. Dont set your goal to walk on the moon if youre not healthy enough to pass an astronaut physical.
- Realistic Dont shoot for the stars with your goal setting. Stay firmly grounded here on Earth, especially when youre setting your goals.
- Timely Give yourself a specific time limit to complete your goal. Make sure it adheres to the other four letters of the acronym.
Setting SMART goals gives you the tools you need to set goals that will motivate you to stay drug-free instead of stressing you out and serving as a relapse trigger.
From Cocaine Abuse To Addiction
There are various factors that may be involved in why some people may be more likely to become addicted to cocaine than others, including:
- Age at first use
- Medical and mental health history
- Use of multiple drugs or substances
- Environmental circumstances
It is generally accepted that the younger people are when they begin abusing drugs or alcohol, the more likely they may be to suffer from addiction later in life. Almost three-quarters of all Americans admitted for substance abuse treatment who were ages 18-30 in 2011 began abusing substances before the age of 17 and more than 10 percent before age 11.10 This could be in part due to the fact that young brains are still in the process of developing, and parts of the brain that are involved in impulse control are not fully formed until adulthood. If drugs are introduced before the brain can form normally, damage may occur, making it more likely for a drug dependency to form.
Childhood trauma and high levels of stress during adolescence can increase the likelihood of someone turning to drugs for potential relief. Self-medication for underlying medical or mental health issues may also lead to substance abuse and dependency, as the National Alliance on Mental Illness estimates that over 50 percent of all those who abuse drugs may also suffer from a simultaneous mental illness.
Understanding Drug Use And Addiction Drugfacts
Many people don’t understand why or how other people become addicted to drugs. They may mistakenly think that those who use drugs lack moral principles or willpower and that they could stop their drug use simply by choosing to. In reality, drug addiction is a complex disease, and quitting usually takes more than good intentions or a strong will. Drugs change the brain in ways that make quitting hard, even for those who want to. Fortunately, researchers know more than ever about how drugs affect the brain and have found treatments that can help people recover from drug addiction and lead productive lives.
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How Alcohol Affects Your Body
Many Australians enjoy a drink. In fact, alcohol is Australias most widely used social drug. Like all drugs, alcohol can damage your body, especially if you drink heavily every day or in binges. Even small amounts of alcohol are still linked to the development of certain diseases, including numerous cancers.
Alcohol affects your body in many ways. Some effects are immediate and last only a while others accumulate over time and may significantly affect your physical and mental health and quality of life.
How much harm alcohol causes your body depends on how much you drink, your pattern of drinking, and even the quality of the alcohol you drink. Your body size and composition, age, drinking experience, genetics, nutritional status, metabolism, and social factors all play a part as well.
Common Symptoms Of Drug Abuse
Neglecting responsibilities at school, work, or home .
Using drugs under dangerous conditions or taking risks while high, such as driving while on drugs, using dirty needles, or having unprotected sex.
Experiencing legal trouble, such as arrests for disorderly conduct, driving under the influence, or stealing to support a drug habit.
Problems in your relationships, such as fights with your partner or family members, an unhappy boss, or the loss of friends.
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What Other Factors Increase The Risk Of Addiction
- Early use. Although taking drugs at any age can lead to addiction, research shows that the earlier people begin to use drugs, the more likely they are to develop serious problems.31 This may be due to the harmful effect that drugs can have on the developing brain.32 It also may result from a mix of early social and biological risk factors, including lack of a stable home or family, exposure to physical or sexual abuse, genes, or mental illness. Still, the fact remains that early use is a strong indicator of problems ahead, including addiction.
- How the drug is taken. Smoking a drug or injecting it into a vein increases its addictive potential.33,34 Both smoked and injected drugs enter the brain within seconds, producing a powerful rush of pleasure. However, this intense high can fade within a few minutes. Scientists believe this powerful contrast drives some people to repeatedly use drugs to recapture the fleeting pleasurable state.
Elements Of Good Practice For Drug Prevention
The good news for practitioners is that a large number of school-based drug prevention programs have been researched and evaluated. This is not to say that there isn’t a need to raise the rigor of evaluations and conduct more meta-analyses and systematic reviews, but rather that the good work that has been done in this field has provided concrete, attainable processes and strategies for program practitioners to follow. This section outlines some key lessons to keep in mind in implementing school-based drug prevention programs.
Often it is the case that a strategy can best be understood by illustrating the flipside namely, what doesn’t work . For example, theses programs are largely ineffective for reducing substance use:Footnote 38
- Information dissemination programs which teach primarily about drugs and their effects
- Fear arousal programs that emphasize risks associated with drug use
- Moral appeal programs that teach about the evils of use and
- Affective education programs which focus on building self-esteem, responsible decision-making, and interpersonal growth.
On the contrary, approaches which include resistance-skills training to teach students about social influences to engage in substance use and specific skills for effectively resisting these pressures alone or in combination with broader-based life-skills training do appear to reduce substance use.Footnote 39
2.1. Evaluation of Drug Abuse Prevention Programs
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If Taking Drugs Makes People Feel Good Or Better What’s The Problem
When they first use a drug, people may perceive what seem to be positive effects. They also may believe they can control their use. But drugs can quickly take over a person’s life. Over time, if drug use continues, other pleasurable activities become less pleasurable, and the person has to take the drug just to feel normal. They have a hard time controlling their need to take drugs even though it causes many problems for themselves and their loved ones. Some people may start to feel the need to take more of a drug or take it more often, even in the early stages of their drug use. These are the signs of an addiction.
Even relatively moderate drug use poses dangers. Consider how a social drinker can become intoxicated, get behind the wheel of a car, and quickly turn a pleasurable activity into a tragedy that affects many lives. Occasional drug use, such as misusing an opioid to get high, can have similarly disastrous effects, including impaired driving and overdose.
How Do Drugs Produce Pleasure
Pleasure or euphoriathe high from drugsis still poorly understood, but probably involves surges of chemical signaling compounds including the bodys natural opioids and other neurotransmitters in parts of the basal ganglia . When some drugs are taken, they can cause surges of these neurotransmitters much greater than the smaller bursts naturally produced in association with healthy rewards like eating, hearing or playing music, creative pursuits, or social interaction.
It was once thought that surges of the neurotransmitter dopamine produced by drugs directly caused the euphoria, but scientists now think dopamine has more to do with getting us to repeat pleasurable activities than with producing pleasure directly.
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Drugs Interfere With A Time Of Major Brain Development
The teenage years are a time of major development of the brain, particularly those areas associated with maturity, self-control, and decision-making. This lack of complete development in the brain of teenagers explains a variety of teen behavior such as risky and impulsive behaviors and actions. They seek immediate gratification without regard or complete knowledge of the long-term consequences. When teens experiment with drugs, they get that immediate gratification and seek it out repeatedly.
Introducing The Human Brain
The human brain is the most complex organ in the body. This three-pound mass of gray and white matter sits at the center of all human activityyou need it to drive a car, to enjoy a meal, to breathe, to create an artistic masterpiece, and to enjoy everyday activities. The brain regulates your body’s basic functions, enables you to interpret and respond to everything you experience, and shapes your behavior. In short, your brain is youeverything you think and feel, and who you are.
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When Does Drug Use Turn Into Addiction
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse the classes of drugs that are most misused include stimulants, opioids, and central nervous system depressant drugs such as hypnotics, sedatives, and tranquilizers.
In one year:
- Over 16 million Americans misused a prescription psychotherapeutic drug like Xanax.
- Almost 5 million Americans misused benzodiazepines.
- Over 6 million Americans misused prescription sedatives and tranquilizers.
- Over five million Americans misused prescription stimulants.
- Over 9 million Americans misused prescription painkillers.
Any time you take a drug that isnt prescribed to you or that you dont need for medical reasons, it is considered misuse.
Drug abuse can take the following forms:
- Shopping different doctors to get more of a drug.
- Taking a drug after your prescription has run out.
- Making up or exaggerating symptoms to get drugs.
- Taking more of the drug than you are supposed to or taking drugs in between doses.
- Using your medications in a way they are not intended, such as chewing pills, crushing pills and snorting or smoking the powder, or dissolving and injecting the powder.
- Taking medications to get high or for nonmedical purposes.
- Regularly using recreational drugs like heroin, cocaine, meth, and others.
Practice Positive Self Talk
Celebrate your victories instead of focusing on perceived failures. Youve already taken the incredibly brave step to walk through addiction recovery. No matter where you are in your journey, youre already a champion. When you feel tempted to criticize yourself, berate former mistakes or numb negative emotions with a substance, focus on employing positive self-talk.
Think about the things youre proud of and any experiences where you were able to stay strong in your sobriety. Make a list of attributes you like about yourself or others have complimented you for. Surround yourself with positive statements and things that inspire and excite you.
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When Drug Use Becomes Drug Abuse Or Addiction
Of course, drug useeither illegal or prescriptiondoesnt automatically lead to abuse. Some people are able to use recreational or prescription drugs without experiencing negative effects, while others find that substance use takes a serious toll on their health and well-being. Similarly, there is no specific point at which drug use moves from casual to problematic.
Drug abuse and addiction is less about the type or amount of the substance consumed or the frequency of your drug use, and more about the consequences of that drug use. If your drug use is causing problems in your lifeat work, school, home, or in your relationshipsyou likely have a drug abuse or addiction problem.
If youre worried about your own or a loved ones drug use, learning how drug abuse and addiction developsand why it can have such a powerful holdwill give you a better understanding of how to best deal with the problem and regain control of your life. Recognizing that you have a problem is the first step on the road to recovery, one that takes tremendous courage and strength. Facing your problem without minimizing the issue or making excuses can feel frightening and overwhelming, but recovery is within reach. If youre ready to seek help, you can overcome your addiction and build a satisfying, drug-free life for yourself.
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Of Cocaine Abuse In Relation To Risks
The two main forms of cocaine are powered and rock form, termed crack. The white powder is generally snorted, smoked, or injected, while crack is almost always smoked. The method of how cocaine is abused may influence the type of side effects and risks potentially incurred. For instance, someone who primarily smokes cocaine is more likely to suffer from respiratory and breathing issues, while someone who snorts the drug may have more problems with nosebleeds and damage to nasal tissue and sinus cavities. Injection drug users may share drug paraphernalia, resulting in the use of dirty needles and compounding the risks for infectious diseases, skin irritations, and scarring as well as the potential for collapsed veins.
All methods of abuse are potentially hazardous and run the possible risk of a fatal overdose. An overdose on cocaine is typically the result of toxic levels of the drug in the bloodstream, which speed up blood pressure, respiration, and heart rate. These levels also elevate body temperatures to dangerous levels. Heart attack, stroke, and seizures are all potential complications of a cocaine overdose. Nausea, vomiting, irregular heart rate, headache, tumors, seizures, fever, agitation, increased blood pressure, hallucinations, and chest pain may indicate a cocaine overdose. Seek immediate medical attention if an overdose is suspected.
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Write The Causes Of Drug Addiction
Drug addiction is one of the most dangerous social problems which area ruining the future of our young generation.
The most common reasons of the drug addiction are:
1) The mental depression is the most common reason.
2) Bad friend circle is also a major reason.
3) Easy availablity of the drugs in the schools and colleges is also a reason.
For all of the above mentioned reasons the drug addiction became a major social problem in our country.
How Do Drugs Work In The Brain
Drugs interfere with the way neurons send, receive, and process signals via neurotransmitters. Some drugs, such as marijuana and heroin, can activate neurons because their chemical structure mimics that of a natural neurotransmitter in the body. This allows the drugs to attach onto and activate the neurons. Although these drugs mimic the brains own chemicals, they dont activate neurons in the same way as a natural neurotransmitter, and they lead to abnormal messages being sent through the network.
Other drugs, such as amphetamine or cocaine, can cause the neurons to release abnormally large amounts of natural neurotransmitters or prevent the normal recycling of these brain chemicals by interfering with transporters. This too amplifies or disrupts the normal communication between neurons.
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Can Drug Addiction Be Cured Or Prevented
As with most other chronic diseases, such as diabetes, asthma, or heart disease, treatment for drug addiction generally isnt a cure. However, addiction is treatable and can be successfully managed. People who are recovering from an addiction will be at risk for relapse for years and possibly for their whole lives. Research shows that combining addiction treatment medicines with behavioral therapy ensures the best chance of success for most patients. Treatment approaches tailored to each patients drug use patterns and any co-occurring medical, mental, and social problems can lead to continued recovery.
More good news is that drug use and addiction are preventable. Results from NIDA-funded research have shown that prevention programs involving families, schools, communities, and the media are effective for preventing or reducing drug use and addiction. Although personal events and cultural factors affect drug use trends, when young people view drug use as harmful, they tend to decrease their drug taking. Therefore, education and outreach are key in helping people understand the possible risks of drug use. Teachers, parents, and health care providers have crucial roles in educating young people and preventing drug use and addiction.
The Brain Continues To Develop Into Adulthood And Undergoes Dramatic Changes During Adolescence
One of the brain areas still maturing during adolescence is the prefrontal cortexthe part of the brain that allows people to assess situations, make sound decisions, and keep emotions and desires under control. The fact that this critical part of a teens brain is still a work in progress puts them at increased risk for trying drugs or continuing to take them. Introducing drugs during this period of development may cause brain changes that have profound and long-lasting consequences.
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What If The Person Doesnt Want Help For Drugs Or Alcohol
Ultimately, its the persons decision whether to seek professional help. Many people who misuse drugs or alcohol find it hard to ask for help at first, but may want to reach out later on. Be careful not to nag the person, since this might discourage them from opening up in the future.
Clearly state any behaviours you expect, or wont tolerate, from the person. You might not accept drug use in your home, for example.
Encourage the person to use safely to minimise the risk of harming themselves for example, through needle and syringe programs or opioid replacement programs.
Its important to know that you cant force the person to stop using drugs or alcohol. Only they can choose to change.