Drug Addiction

Drug addiction does not happen to everyone, but it can happen to anyone. It is not a result of poverty or unfavorable living conditions. Anyone can become an addict, but some people are at greater risk than others.

Drug addiction can happen to anyone, but doesn't happen to everyone. Why are some more at risk? Learn the signs, symptoms, myths, and what to do if you need help.
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There is no single factor that determines whether someone will be addicted to drugs, however, there are a combination if factors.

 The more risk factors a person has, the greater the chance of addiction:

  • Genetics: If there are alcoholics or addicts in your family, you may be more vulnerable to being addicted, then someone who is not. Also, gender, ethnicity and the presence of other mental disorders may put you at risk.
  • Environment. Family, friends, socioeconomic status, peer pressure, physical and sexual abuse, stress, quality of parenting – all this can influence drug use and addiction.
  • Development. The age that the person uses drugs can also affect your vulnerability to addiction. The earlier or immature the person is, the more likely for abuse. Adolescents are particularly vulnerable, because their brains are not fully developed. This can effect their judgments, self control and risk-taking behaviors. However, taking drugs at any age can lead to an addiction.

  Drug Addiction Myths

Willpower: ‘You can quit if you want to’. Drugs alter the brain, resulting in cravings to use drugs. It is extremely hard to stop using. 

Disease:This assumes that nothing can be done about it. Addiction is considered a ‘brain disease’, but you are not a victim. The brain changes can be reversed through therapy, medication exercise etc.

Hit bottom: It is not true that if you don’t hit bottom, you won’t recover. The earlier you treat the addiction, the easiest it is to treat.

Wants Help: Everyone with a drug addiction has mixed feelings about getting help. Family, legal issues, employment ~ the more pressure on them to get help, the better. With sobriety, there is clarity, many resistant addicts decide to change once they're in the process of getting help.

Failed before: Gaining sobriety is not easy. There can be many relapses. Recovery can be a long process. It doesn't mean failure. The process must be re-evaluated. What went wrong?  What must be done differently.

You are not a lost cause. You just have to do something different. 

  Drug Addiction & Abuse Signs

  • Marijuana: Glassy, red eyes; loud talking, inappropriate laughter followed by sleepiness; loss of interest, motivation; weight gain or loss.
  • Depressants (including Xanax, Valium, GHB): Contracted pupils; drunk-like; difficulty concentrating; clumsiness; poor judgment; slurred speech; sleepiness.
  • Stimulants (including amphetamines, cocaine, crystal meth): Dilated pupils; hyperactivity; euphoria; irritability; anxiety; excessive talking followed by depression or excessive sleeping at odd times; may go long periods of time without eating or sleeping; weight loss; dry mouth and nose.
  • Inhalants (glues, aerosols, vapors): Watery eyes; impaired vision, memory and thought; secretions from the nose or rashes around the nose and mouth; headaches and nausea; appearance of intoxication; drowsiness; poor muscle control; changes in appetite; anxiety; irritability; lots of cans/aerosols in the trash.
  • Hallucinogens (LSD, PCP): Dilated pupils; bizarre and irrational behavior including paranoia, aggression, hallucinations; mood swings; detachment from people; absorption with self or other objects, slurred speech; confusion.
  • Heroin: Contracted pupils; no response of pupils to light; needle marks; sleeping at unusual times; sweating; vomiting; coughing, sniffling; twitching; loss of appetite.

  (American Council for Drug Education)

Teen Drug Addiction & Abuse

Drug addiction can happen to anyone, but doesn't happen to everyone. Why are some more at risk? Learn the signs, symptoms, myths, and what to do if you need help.
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Many teens experiment with drugs and alcohol, but that doesn’t necessary mean that they will become addicts. However, the challenge for parents is to distinguish between what is normal, and if you should be concerned.

Here are some warning signs:

Bloodshot eyes, dilated pupils; using eye drops to mask these signs.
Skipping class; declining grades; delinquency

Theft ~ money, valuables, or prescriptions Isolation, anger, depression             
Changing friends, secretive behavior
Loss of old interests, lying Demanding privacy, locking doors, avoiding eye contact 

If you notice the signs of drug addiction, or alcoholism, it is never an easy subject to talk about, but you must.The longer you avoid the issues, the worse problems become. It is also important not to enable anyone with a drug/alcohol problem

Alanon is a good support group that is free for family member of alcoholics & addicts. There are also 12-step groups like Narcotics Anonymous


If you're serious about change, have an initial 1/2 hr consultation to find out what your need.

Virtual #514-400-9373 

Looking forward to hearing from you

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