Drug or Alcohol addiction, likewise called substance usage disorder, is an illness that impacts an individual’s brain and behaviour and causes an inability to manage to make use of a legal or controlled substance or medication. Compounds such as alcohol, marijuana and nicotine likewise are considered drugs. When you’re addicted, you might continue using the drug regardless of the harm it causes.

Drug dependency can start with speculative use of a leisure drug in social scenarios, and, for some individuals, the drug use becomes more regular. For others, particularly with opioids, drug dependency begins with exposure to recommended medications or getting medications from a good friend or relative who has been prescribed the medication.

The danger of addiction and how quick you become addicted often varies by the type of drug. Some drugs, such as opioid pain relievers, may have a higher risk and cause dependency faster than others.

As time passes, you may require more significant dosages of the drug to get high. Quickly you may need the drug simply to feel excellent. As your drug use increases, you might find that it’s increasingly difficult to go without the drug. Efforts to stop substance abuse may cause intense yearnings and make you feel physically ill (withdrawal symptoms).

You may need help from your physician, family, good friends, support system or an organised treatment program to overcome your drug dependency and remain drug-free.

Signs of Addiction

Signs of drug addiction symptoms or habits include, among others:

  • Feeling that you have to use a drug regularly– every day and even several times a day.
  • Having extreme urges for the drug that shut out any other ideas
  • In time, needing more of the drug to get the same impact
  • Taking more substantial amounts of the drug over a more extended period than you intended
  • Making sure that you preserve a supply of the drug
  • Investing cash on the drug, even though you can’t afford it
  • Not satisfying responsibilities and work obligations or cutting down on social or recreational activities because of your drug use.
  • If you are continuing to use the drug, even though you understand it’s triggering issues in your life or triggering you physical or mental damage
  • You are doing things to get the drug that you normally would not do, such as taking.
  • Driving or doing a variety of risky activities when you’re under the influence of a drug
  • Investing a good deal of time getting the drug, using the drug or recuperating from the results of the drug
  • Stopping working in your efforts to stop using the drug
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you try to stop taking the drug
  • Recognising unhealthy drug use in relative
  • Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish regular teenage moodiness or anger from signs of drug use. Other Possible indications that your teenager or other family member is utilising drugs include:
  • Issues at school or work– often missing school or work, as well as a sudden disinterest in school activities or even work, or a drop in grades or work performance
  • Physical health concerns– the absence of energy and motivation, weight loss or gain, or red eyes
  • Overlooked look– lack of interest in clothes, grooming or looks
  • Changes in behaviour– overstated efforts to bar family members from entering his/her room or being secretive about where she or he goes with friends; or drastic modifications in habits and relationships with family and friends.
  • Cash issues– abrupt requests for cash without a sensible description; or your discovery that money is missing out on or has been stolen or that products have disappeared from your house, indicating perhaps they’re being offered to support drug use

Recognising signs of drug use or intoxication

Symptoms and signs of drug use or intoxication may differ, depending on the type of drug. Listed below, you’ll discover several examples.

Cannabis, hashish and other cannabis-containing compounds

People utilize marijuana by smoking, consuming or breathing in a vaporized kind of the drug. Marijuana typically precedes or is used along with other compounds, such as alcohol or illegal drugs, and generally is the first drug tried.

Symptoms and signs of current use can include:

  • A sense of ecstasy or feeling “high”.
  • An increased sense of visual, auditory and taste perception.
  • Increased high blood pressure and heart rate.
  • Red eyes.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Decreased coordination.
  • Difficulty focusing or remembering.
  • Slowed reaction time.
  • Stress and anxiety or paranoid thinking.
  • Marijuana odour on clothing or yellow fingertips.
  • Overstated yearnings for certain foods at different times.
  • Long-term (chronic) usage is typically connected with.
  • Decreased psychological sharpness.
  • Reduced efficiency at school or work.
  • Reduced number of friends and interests.

K2, Spice and bath salts.

Two groups of miracle drugs– synthetic cannabinoids and replaced or synthetic cathinones– are prohibited in a lot of countries. The results of these drugs can be dangerous and unpredictable, as there is no quality assurance, and some active ingredients might not be understood.

Artificial cannabinoids, likewise called K2 or Spice, are sprayed on dried herbs and after that smoked, however, can be prepared as a natural tea. Regardless of producer claims, these are chemical compounds and rather than “natural” or harmless products. These drugs may produce a “high” similar to marijuana and have ended up being a popular, however dangerous option.

Signs and symptoms of recent use can consist of:

  • A sense of bliss or feeling “high”.
  • Elevated mood.
  • A transformed sense of visual, acoustic and taste understanding.
  • Extreme stress and anxiety or agitation.
  • Fear.
  • Hallucinations.
  • An increased heart rate, blood pressure or a heart attack risk.
  • Vomiting.
  • Confusion.

Substituted cathinones as well as also called “bath salts,” are mind-altering (psychedelic) compounds comparable to amphetamines such as euphoria (MDMA) and cocaine. Plans are often identified as other products with the intention of avoiding detection.

Despite the well-known name, these are not bath products such as Epsom salts. Replaced cathinones can be consumed, snorted, breathed in or injected and are highly addicting. These drugs can cause extreme intoxication, which results in unsafe health results or even death.

Symptoms and signs of recent usage can consist of:

  • Bliss.
  • Increased sociability.
  • Increased energy and agitation.
  • Increased sex drive.
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Issues believe plainly.
  • Loss of muscle control.
  • Fear.
  • Panic attacks.
  • Hallucinations.
  • Delirium.
  • Psychotic and violent behaviour.

Barbiturates, benzodiazepines and hypnotics.

Barbiturates, benzodiazepines and hypnotics are prescription main nervous system depressants. They’re frequently utilized and misused in look for a sense of relaxation as well as a desire to “switch off” and forget stress-related thoughts or feelings.


Examples consist of phenobarbital and secobarbital (Seconal).

Benzodiazepines. Examples may include sedatives, such as diazepam (Valium), alprazolam or (Xanax), lorazepam (Ativan) and clonazepam (Klonopin) and/or chlordiazepoxide (Librium).

Hypnotics. Examples may include prescription sleeping medications such as zolpidem (Ambien, Intermezzo, others) and zaleplon (Sonata).

Signs and symptoms of current use can include:

  • Sleepiness.
  • Slurred speech.
  • Lack of coordination.
  • Irritation or modifications in mood.
  • Issues focusing or thinking plainly.
  • Memory problems.
  • Uncontrolled eye motions.
  • Absence of inhibition.
  • Slowed breathing and decreased blood pressure.
  • Falls or mishaps.
  • Lightheadedness.

Meth, drug and other types of stimulants.

Stimulants include amphetamines or meth (methamphetamine), cocaine, methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta, others) and amphetamine-dextroamphetamine (Adderall, Adderall XR, others). They are typically utilized and misused looking for a “high,” or to increase energy, to improve efficiency at work or school, or to lose weight or control cravings.

Signs or symptoms of recent use can include:

  • Feeling of excitement and excess self-confidence.
  • Increased alertness.
  • Increased energy and restlessness.
  • Behaviour changes or aggressiveness.
  • Rapid or rambling speech.
  • Dilated pupils.
  • Confusion, delusions and hallucinations.
  • Irritability, anxiety or fear.
  • Modifications in heart rate, high blood pressure and body temperature level.
  • Queasiness or throwing up with weight loss.
  • Impaired judgment.
  • Nasal blockage and damage to the mucous membrane of the nose (if snorting drugs).
  • Mouth sores, gum illness and tooth decay from cigarette smoking drugs (” meth mouth”).
  • Insomnia.
  • Depression as the drug disappears.

Club drugs.

Club drugs are frequently utilized at clubs, shows and celebrations. Examples consist of ecstasy or molly (MDMA), gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), flunitrazepam (Rohypnol– a brand name used outside the U.S.– likewise called roofie) and ketamine. These drugs are not all in the exact same category; however, they share some comparable impacts and dangers, consisting of long-term hazardous results.

Due to the fact that GHB and flunitrazepam can cause sedation, muscle relaxation, confusion and amnesia, the capacity for sexual misbehaviour or sexual assault is connected with making use of these drugs.

Signs and symptoms of the use of club drugs can consist of:

  • Hallucinations.
  • Paranoia.
  • Dilated pupils.
  • Chills and sweating.
  • Uncontrolled shaking (tremblings).
  • Habits changes.
  • Muscle cramping and teeth clenching.
  • Muscle relaxation, poor coordination or problems moving.
  • Minimized inhibitions.
  • Increased or transformed sense of sight, sound and taste.
  • Poor judgment.
  • Memory issues or loss of memory.
  • Decreased consciousness.
  • Increased or reduced heart rate and high blood pressure.


Use of hallucinogens can produce various signs and symptoms, depending on the drug. The most typical hallucinogens are lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and phencyclidine (PCP).

LSD use might trigger:

  • Hallucinations.
  • Significantly lowered understanding of truth, for instance, translating input from one of your senses as another, such as hearing colours.
  • Impulsive habits.
  • Quick shifts in feelings.
  • Long-term mental modifications in perception.
  • Fast heart rate and hypertension.
  • Tremors.
  • Flashbacks, a re-experience of the hallucinations– even years later on.

PCP usage might cause:

  • A sensation of being separated from your body and surroundings.
  • Hallucinations.
  • Problems with coordination and movement.
  • Aggressive, perhaps violent habits.
  • Uncontrolled eye motions.
  • Absence of discomfort sensation.
  • Increase in blood pressure and heart rate.
  • Problems with thinking and memory.
  • Issues speaking.
  • Impaired judgment.
  • Intolerance to loud noise.
  • Sometimes seizures or coma.


Signs and symptoms of inhalant usage vary, depending upon the substance. Some frequently inhaled substances include glue, paint thinners, correction fluid, felt tip marker fluid, gasoline, cleaning fluids and home aerosol items. Due to the hazardous nature of most of these compounds, users may develop brain damage or sudden death.

Signs and symptoms of use can consist of:

  • Having an inhalant compound without an affordable description.
  • Brief euphoria or intoxication.
  • Reduced inhibition.
  • Combativeness or belligerence.
  • Lightheadedness.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Uncontrolled eye movements.
  • Appearing intoxicated with slurred speech, sluggish movements and poor coordination.
  • Irregular heartbeats.
  • Tremors.
  • Lingering smell of inhalant product.
  • Rash around the nose and/or mouth.

Opioid type painkillers.

Opioids are narcotic, painkilling drugs which are produced from opium or made synthetically. This class of drugs includes to name a few, heroin, morphine, codeine, methadone and oxycodone.

Often called the “opioid epidemic,” addiction to opioid prescription discomfort medications has reached a worrying rate across the United States and in some areas of Australia. Some people who’ve been using opioids and over a long period may need physician-prescribed temporary or long-term drug substitution throughout treatment.

Symptoms and signs of narcotic usage and dependence can include:

  • Lowered sense of pain.
  • Agitation, sleepiness or sedation.
  • Slurred speech.
  • Issues with attention and memory.
  • Restricted students.
  • Lack of awareness or negligence to surrounding people and things.
  • Issues with coordination.
  • Depression.
  • Confusion.
  • Irregularity.
  • A runny nose or nose sores (if snorting drugs).
  • Needle marks (if injecting drugs).

When to see a hypnotherapist.

If your substance abuse is out of control or causing problems, get aid. The earlier you look for help, the higher your opportunities for long-term healing. Talk with your Dr or see a clinical hypnotherapist, such as a professional who specializes in addiction, or a qualified clinical hypnotherapist

Make an appointment to see a doctor if:

  • You can’t stop using a drug.
  • You continue using the drug in spite of the harm it triggers.
  • Your substance abuse has caused unsafe behaviour, such as sharing needles or unprotected sex.
  • You believe you might be having withdrawal symptoms after stopping substance abuse.

If you’re not prepared to approach a medical professional, helplines or hotlines might be an excellent place to discover the treatment. You can find these lines noted on the internet or in the phone book.

When to seek emergency assistance.

Look for emergency situation assistance if you or somebody you know has taken a drug and:

  • Might have overdosed.
  • Shows modifications in consciousness.
  • Has a problem breathing.
  • Has seizures or convulsions.
  • Has indications of a possible heart attack, such as chest discomfort or pressure.
  • Has any other bothersome physical or psychological reaction to the use of the drug.

Staging an intervention.

Individuals struggling with dependency typically deny that their drug use is problematic and are reluctant to seek treatment. An intervention provides a loved one with a structured opportunity to make changes before things get back at worse and can inspire someone to look for or accept help.

An intervention should be carefully prepared and might be done by friends and family in assessment with a medical professional or hypnotherapist qualified in alcohol and drug hypnosis, or directed by an intervention specialist. It involves friends and family and often colleagues, clergy or others who care about the individual having a problem with dependency.

During the intervention, these people congregate to have a direct, heart-to-heart discussion with the person about the repercussions of addiction and ask him or her to accept treatment.

Book an appointment at Norwest Wellbeing.


Like many mental health disorders, several elements might contribute to the development of drug addiction. The main aspects are:


Environmental aspects, including your family’s beliefs and attitudes and exposure to a peer group that encourages substance abuse, appear to play a role in initial substance abuse.

Genes. When you’ve started utilizing a drug, the development into addiction may be affected by acquired (hereditary) traits, which may postpone or accelerate the illness development.

Modifications in the brain.

Physical dependency appears to occur when repeated use of a drug changes the method your brain may feel pleasure. The addicting drug can cause physical changes to some nerve cells (nerve cells) in your brain. Neurons utilize chemicals called neurotransmitters to interact. These changes often remain long after you stop utilizing the drug.

Danger elements.

Individuals of any age, sex or financial status can end up being addicted to a drug. Certain elements can affect the probability and speed of establishing an addiction:

Family history of dependency. Drug dependency is more common in some households and most likely includes hereditary predisposition. If you have blood relatives, such as a mum and dad or a sibling, with an alcohol or drug addiction, then you’re at a greater risk of developing a drug addiction yourself.

Mental health disorder. 

If you have a mental health disorder which may include depression, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or post-traumatic stress disorder, then you’re more likely to be an individual that may become addicted to drugs. Using drugs can become a common way of coping with some painful feelings, anxiety, depression and loneliness; this can make these problems seem much worse.

Peer pressure. 

Peer pressure is often a very strong contributing factor in starting to use or misuse various drugs, particularly in young people.

If there is a lack of family involvement or there are difficult family situations with a lack of bonding with your parents or siblings then it may increase the risk of a person becoming addicted to a drug, so to can a lack of parental supervision during adolescence.

Early use. Using drugs at an early age can sometimes cause changes in the persons developing brain, and this may increase the likelihood of progressing to a long term drug addiction.

Taking a highly addictive drug. 

There are Some drugs, such as stimulants, cocaine as well as opioid painkillers, which can result in much faster development of addiction than other drugs. Even smoking or injecting drugs can increase the potential for addiction. Taking drugs considered less addicting– so-called “light drugs”– may start you on a path of drug abuse and possibly addiction.


Drug use can have many significant and damaging short-term or long-term effects on your physical and mental health. There are some drugs that can be particularly risky, especially if you are taking high doses or you combine them with other types of drugs or alcohol. Some examples may include.

Methamphetamine, opiates and cocaine, which are highly addictive and often cause multiple short-term and long-term health consequences, including psychotic behaviour, seizures or death due to an overdose.

GHB and the drug flunitrazepam may cause sedation, confusion, and in some cases, memory loss. These so-called “date rape drugs” are also known to impair a persons ability to resist unwanted contact and their recall of the event. At high doses, they can also cause seizures, coma and may even cause death. The danger then increases when these drugs are taken with alcohol.

Ecstasy or molly (MDMA) which can cause dehydration, electrolyte imbalance and other complications that may include seizures. Long-term, MDMA can brain damage.

One significant danger of club-style drugs is that the liquid, powder or pill forms of those drugs available on the streets can often contain unknown substances that may be extremely harmful, including other illegally manufactured and pharmaceutical drugs.

Because the toxic nature of these inhalants, users may develop brain damage at different levels of severity.

Other life-changing behaviours or complications.

Dependence on drugs may also create a number of dangerous and damaging health complications, including:

Getting a communicable disease. 

It’s not uncommon for someone who is addicted to a drug to be more likely to get an infectious disease, such as HIV, often through unsafe sex or by sharing needles.

There are other health problems. Drug addiction may lead to a wide range of both short-term or even long-term mental and physical health complications. These depend greatly on which drug is taken.

Accidents. It’s not uncommon for some people who are addicted to various drugs are may become more likely to drive a vehicle or do other dangerous activities, all while under the influence of a drug.


People who are addicted to drugs are often prone to die by suicide more often than people who aren’t addicted.

Family problems. Changes in behaviour may cause relationship or family conflict, which can lead to separation and custody issues.

Drug use and work.

 Drug use can cause performance issues at work, increase absenteeism and eventually lead to loss of employment.

Drug use at school. 

Drug use in schools can negatively affect scholastic performance and decrease motivation in the student, impacting how well they excel at school.

The legal issues. 

Many legal problems are common for users of drugs and can start from buying or being in possession of illegal drugs, also stealing to support a drug addiction, driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, often a contributor to disputes over child custody in relationship breakups


Financial problems relating to drug use. 

Spending large amounts of money to support a drug habit use money from other essential areas of life that could lead to debt accumulation, and can lead to illegal or unethical behaviour to support the habit.

Prevention of drug use and addiction.

The best way to prevent drug addiction is to not to take the drugs at all. If a doctor prescribes a drug that may have the potential for drug addiction, use care taking the drug and always follow the advice given by your doctor.

A doctor will prescribe medications at a safe dose and the amounts while monitoring their use to ensure that you’re not given too high a dose or be on the drug for too long a time. If you are concerned, you may need to take more of the drug than the prescription of medication; you should always talk with your doctor.

Preventing drug abuse in children, adolescents and teenagers.

These steps may help prevent drug abuse or misuse in a child, adolescent or teenager:


Talking with your children about the risks of drugs their use or misuse.

Listen and be aware. 

Always Be a good listener if your children need to talk about peer pressure issues, and always support their efforts to resist it.

Set a good example. Don’t misuse alcohol or addictive drugs. Children of parents who have drug addiction issues are at higher risk of becoming addicted to drugs themselves.

Strengthening your bond. 

Continually work on your relationship with your children. Having a strong, healthy bond between you and your child can reduce the risk of your child using or misusing drugs.

Preventing drug addiction relapse.

If you have been addicted to a drug, then you’re at a higher risk of falling back into a pattern of addiction. If you do start using the drug, you’ll likely lose control over its use again– even if you’ve had been treated for drug addiction or you haven’t used the drug for some time.

Maintain your treatment program. 

Monitor your cravings. Sometimes It may feel like you’ve recovered, and you don’t feel like you need to keep taking steps to remain drug-free. Your chances of remaining drug-free will be much greater if you continue seeing your therapist or counsellor, going to support group meetings and taking prescribed medication.

Avoid high-risk situations. Don’t go back to the environment where you were getting your drugs. Always staying away from your old drug acquaintances.

Seek help immediately if you start to use the drug again. Talking with your doctor, or seeking the help of a clinical hypnotherapist who can help you right away.

Norwest Wellbeing has qualified, and trained Psychotherapists and clinical hypnotherapists skilled in treating addiction. Contact us today and see how we can help you.

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