Recognizing Family Members Who Are Abusing Drugs
It can be difficult to tell the difference between typical adolescent angst and symptoms of drug use.
The Following are Potential Symptoms that Your Teen or Another Family Member is Abusing Drugs:
- School or Work Problems: All of the symptoms of physical health problems drug addiction include recurring absences from school or at work, a sudden loss of interest in school or work, lowering grades or performance, energy and motivation issues, weight loss or gain, and red eyes.
- He or she exaggerates attempts to keep family members out of their room or is secretive about where they go with friends, or they are dramatically changing their actions and relationships with family and friends due to drug addiction.
- Financial Problems: You may receive unexpected money demands without explanation you may notice that money has disappeared, that it has been robbed, or that clothes or other objects from your home have vanished, implying that they have been sold to fund drug addiction or use.
Should Neurobehavioral Disorder Associated With Prenatal Alcohol Exposure Be Added
In utero alcohol exposure acts as a neurobehavioral teratogen, with lifelong effects on CNS function and behavior . These effects are now known as neurobehavioral disorder associated with prenatal alcohol exposure. Key features include neurocognitive and behavioral impairments diagnosed through standardized psychological or educational testing, caregiver/teacher questionnaires, medical records, reports from the patient or a knowledgeable informant, or clinician observation. Prenatal alcohol exposure can be determined by maternal self-report, others reported observations of maternal drinking during the pregnancy, and documentation in medical or other records.
Neurobehavioral disorder associated with prenatal alcohol exposure was not included in DSM-IV. The proposed diagnostic guidelines allow this diagnosis regardless of the facial dysmorphology required to diagnose fetal alcohol syndrome . Many clinical experts support the diagnosis , and clinical need is suggested by substantial misdiagnosis, leading to unmet treatment need . However, more information is needed on this disorder before it can be included in the main diagnosis section of the manual.
Is Addiction Really A Disease
Is addiction really a disease or a matter of choice? Ask the mother who lost her 19-year-old son the laughing family prankster who earned a full-ride college scholarship as a solid student and star second baseman to drugs.
The moody, angry dropout who survived overdoses to get caught breaking into cars wasn’t the boy she raised. What she knew, like the families and friends of the more than 15,000 Hoosiers who’ve died due to overdose since 1999, is that addiction’s not a life anyone would choose.
Most medical professionals agree. The American Medical Association classified alcoholism as a disease in 1956 and included addiction as a disease in 1987.
In 2011 the American Society of Addiction Medicine joined the AMA, defining addiction as a chronic brain disorder, not a behavior problem, or just the result of making bad choices.
Research and input from top addiction authorities, addiction medicine doctors, neuroscientists and experts from the National Institute on Drug Abuse are behind classifying addiction as a disease. Like other chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, experts are still learning about how and why the disease develops. Let’s look at what they know so far.
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Substance Abuse Effect As A Trigger Of Mental Illness And Substance Abuse
It Is Possible to Display Different Symptoms of Mental Health Conditions Because Some Mental Health Issues May Appear when They Are Not Present. Among Other Substances, One Can Abuse Any of The Following Common Substances. It Is Also Known that People Who Abuse Substances for A Long Period Gradually Develop Mental Illnesses. Other Drugs May Cause Psychological Symptoms to Arise Similar to Those Caused by Prescription Drugs.It is often the case that diseases such as mental illnesses are caused by a combination of factors, including genetics, in addition to substance abuse.
Some Other Triggers of Mental Illness are:
- Family history
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.
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The Reason For A New Definition Of Addiction
In the past, diagnosis of addiction has focused on outward manifestations of a person’s behaviors, which can be observed and confirmed by standardized questionnaires. The new definition of addiction instead focuses on what’s going on inside you, in your brain.
The experts at ASAM hope their new definition leads to a better understanding of the disease process, which they say is biological, psychological, social, and spiritual in its manifestation. Addiction can manifest itself in many behaviors beyond substance abuse.
Genetic Causes Of Drug Addiction
Drug addiction tends to run in families, indicating genetics may have a role in causing drug addiction. In fact, in studies of twins it appears half of someone’s risk of becoming addicted to drugs is genetic.2 Genetic causes of drug addiction appear to involve multiple gene sequences and science has not yet been able to pinpoint all the genes involved. However, it is known some genes, like those involved in brain receptors of nicotine, contribute to the cause of drug addiction.
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How Does Nida Use The Terms Drug Use Misuse And Addiction
Drug use refers to any scope of use of illegal drugs: heroin use, cocaine use, tobacco use. Drug misuse is used to distinguish improper or unhealthy use from use of a medication as prescribed or alcohol in moderation. These include the repeated use of drugs to produce pleasure, alleviate stress, and/or alter or avoid reality. It also includes using prescription drugs in ways other than prescribed or using someone elses prescription. Addiction refers to substance use disorders at the severe end of the spectrum and is characterized by a persons inability to control the impulse to use drugs even when there are negative consequences. These behavioral changes are also accompanied by changes in brain function, especially in the brains natural inhibition and reward centers. NIDAs use of the term addiction corresponds roughly to the DSM definition of substance use disorder. The DSM does not use the term addiction.
Inhalants Are Substances That Are Inhaled
Inhalant use can cause various signs and symptoms, depending on the drug addiction. Paint thinners, glue, correction fluid, felt tip marker fluid, diesel, cleaning fluids, and aerosol household products are some of the most commonly inhaled chemicals used in drug addiction. Users can suffer brain damage or death due to the toxic nature of these substances.
Drug Addiction Can Manifest Itself in A Variety of Ways, Including:
- Possession of an inhalant drug without a valid purpose
- Euphoria or intoxication for a short period of time
- Inhibition has decreased to an extent.
- Belligerence or combativeness
- Face gestures that arent voluntary
- Slurred voice, sluggish movements, and impaired coordination give the impression of intoxication.
- Heartbeats that arent normal
- Tremors are a form of tremor that occurs
- Rash around the nose and mouth due to the residual odor of inhalant content
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What Are Drug Addictions Risk Factors
While there is still controversy in the medical community, it is widely accepted that there is no single reason for drug addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, contributing factors include a hereditary predisposition to develop addictive tendencies, a drug-abusing climate, access to illegal drugs, and some developmental problems. One of the most significant risk factors for the development of addiction is a dual diagnosis of drug addiction.
The risk of addiction and the pace at which you become addicted differs depending on the medication. Opioid painkillers, for example, have a greater risk of drug addiction and induce addiction more rapidly than most medications.
You can need greater doses of the medication to get high as time goes on. You may soon need the medication to feel healthy. You can find that going without the medication becomes increasingly difficult as the drug use increases. Stopping drug use can lead to extreme cravings and make you physically ill .
Signs And Symptoms Of Substance Abuse
Abused substances include prescription medications , recreational or street drugs , and alcohol . A substance abuse problem is not defined by what drug you use or the type of alcohol you drink, though. Rather, it comes down to the effects your drug or alcohol use has on your life and relationships. In short, if your drinking or drug use is causing problems in your life, you have a substance abuse problem.
- Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking or drug use?
- Do you need to use more and more drugs or alcohol to attain the same effects on your mood or outlook?
- Have you tried to cut back, but couldnt?
- Do you lie about how much or how often you drink or use drugs?
- Are you going through prescription medication at a faster-than-expected rate?
- Have your friends or family members expressed concern about your alcohol or drug use?
- Do you ever feel bad, guilty, or ashamed about your drinking or drug use?
- Have you done or said things while drunk or high that you later regretted?
- Has your alcohol or drug use caused problems at work, school, or in your relationships?
- Has your alcohol or drug use gotten you into trouble with the law?
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Where The Disease Model Of Addiction Falls Short
While the disease model of addiction can provide a lot of insight into how addiction begins, and the complex workings of addiction in the body, it is not perfect.
Many people fear that labeling addiction as a disease would mean that people who have substance use disorders have no responsibility for their actions. This is not true. Addiction affects how the brain makes choices and what it prioritizes. However, addiction does not affect the ability to distinguish between right and wrong, or to recognize when your actions are harmful to yourself and others.
The disease model of addiction also doesnt provide a standard or straightforward treatment plan. There is no one-size-fits-all way to treat substance use. Finding a treatment approach that works for you can be an exhausting process that takes time and resources, which can be intimidating to those currently using.
Prioritize Mental Health Treatment And Recovery
The brain can be likened to a puzzle. Although studies have spanned decades, our comprehension of the human mind remains tentative and not well grounded. We are, nevertheless, continue to obtain a better understanding of the most complex organ of any life form on the planet. It is imperative to understand disorders like drug use disorder and how their interaction with mental illness. Understanding mental illness would empower those who suffer from such conditions to obtain high-quality care for their symptoms and boost their life quality. If an individual or their loved one cares about would benefit from learning more about addiction or the complex relationship between addiction and co-occurring mental illness, please reach out to us at any time of day or night. Amongst our numerous coordinators, any one of them would be overjoyed to assist a person or their loved one in commencing the recovery process from mental illness.
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How Are Substance Use Disorders Categorized
NIDA uses the term addiction to describe compulsive drug seeking despite negative consequences. However, addiction is not a specific diagnosis in the fifth edition of The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders a diagnostic manual for clinicians that contains descriptions and symptoms of all mental disorders classified by the American Psychiatric Association .
In 2013, APA updated the DSM, replacing the categories of substance abuse and substance dependence with a single category: substance use disorder, with three subclassificationsmild, moderate, and severe. The symptoms associated with a substance use disorder fall into four major groupings: impaired control, social impairment, risky use, and pharmacological criteria .
The new DSM describes a problematic pattern of use of an intoxicating substance leading to clinically significant impairment or distress with 10 or 11 diagnostic criteria occurring within a 12-month period. Those who have two or three criteria are considered to have a mild disorder, four or five is considered “moderate,” and six or more symptoms, “severe.” The diagnostic criteria are as follows:
The Effects Of Drug Abuse On Health
Substance use disorders are associated with a wide range of short- and long-term health effects. They can vary depending on the type of drug, how much and how often its taken and the persons general health. Overall, the effects of drug abuse and dependence can be far-reaching. They can impact almost every organ in the human body.
Side effects of drug addiction may include:
- A weakened immune system, increasing the risk of illness and infection
- Heart conditions ranging from abnormal heart rates to heart attacks and collapsed veins and blood vessel infections from injected drugs
- Nausea and abdominal pain, which can also lead to changes in appetite and weight loss
- Increased strain on the liver, which puts the person at risk of significant liver damage or liver failure
- Seizures, stroke, mental confusion and brain damage
- Lung disease
- Problems with memory, attention and decision-making, which make daily living more difficult
- Global effects of drugs on the body, such as breast development in men and increases in body temperature, which can lead to other health problems
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Addiction Changes The Brain
Addiction changes the way the brain works, rewiring its structure. Drugs and alcohol hack into your brain’s communication system and interfere with how nerve cells send, receive and process information.
Parts of the brain make up our reward system. They’re in charge of rewarding us when we do something we likeeating a piece of our favorite pie, hanging out with friends, going for a run, for instance. That reward comes in the chemical dopamine, which the brain releases when we do something enjoyable.
Could Biomarkers Be Utilized In Making Substance Use Disorder Diagnoses
Because of the DSM-5 Task Force interest in biomarkers, the Substance-Related Disorders Work Group, consulting with outside experts, considered pharmacokinetic measures of the psychoactive substances or their metabolites, genetic markers, and brain imaging indicators of brain structure and function.
Many measures of drugs and associated metabolites in blood, urine, sweat, saliva, hair, and breath have well-established sensitivity and specificity characteristics. However, these only indicate whether a substance was taken within a limited recent time window and thus cannot be used to diagnose substance use disorders.
Genetic variants within alcohol metabolizing genes , genes related to neurotransmission such as GABRA2 , and nicotinic and opioid receptor genes including CHRNA5 and OPRM1 show replicated associations to substance use disorders. However, these associations have small effects or are rare in many populations and thus cannot be used in diagnosis. Perhaps in future editions, DSM may include markers as predictors of treatment outcome
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Understanding Dual Diagnosis And Getting Treatment
Treatment of substance abuse and mental ill-health are inherent aspects of some patients treatment that need to be accommodated. Dual diagnosis refers to a condition in which an individual has both mental health problem and substance abuse problem, such as someone diagnosed with dual disorders. This further strengthens the connection between the two illnesses, which function as a pair to alleviate those who suffer from them.The patient must be aware that both afflictions must be treated simultaneously to treat them effectively. In case a patient is being treated for one disorder after another, the treatment for one will leave the patient with the symptom of the depression disorder. Left untreated, psychiatric disorders like depression are more likely to induce substance abuse or lead to death. Mental health diagnosis of substance abuse could render mental health treatment ineffective.
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