There is a fine line between regular use and drug abuse and addiction.
Very few addicts are able to recognize when they have crossed that line. While frequency or the amount of drugs consumed do not necessarily constitute drug abuse or addiction, they can often be indicators of drug-related problems. Drug abuse may start as a way to socially connect. Commonly, people try drugs for the first time in social situations with friends and acquaintances. A strong desire to fit in to the group can make it feel like doing the drugs with them is the only option. Problems can sometimes sneak up on you, as your drug use gradually increases over time. Smoking a joint with friends over the weekend, or taking ecstasy at a gig, or cocaine at an occasional party, for example, can change from using drugs a couple of days a week to using them every day. Gradually, getting and using the drug becomes more and more important to you. If the drug fulfills a valuable need, you may find yourself increasingly relying on it. You may take drugs to calm or energize yourself, or make you more confident. You may start using prescription drugs to cope with panic attacks or relieve chronic pain. Until you find alternative, healthier methods for overcoming these problems, your drug use will likely continue. If you are using drugs to fill a void in your life, you’re more at risk of crossing the line from casual use to drug abuse and addiction. To maintain a healthy balance in your life, you need to have positive experiences and feel good about your life without any drug use. As drug abuse takes hold, you may miss or frequently be late for work or school, your job performance may progressively deteriorate, and you may start to neglect social or family responsibilities. Your ability to stop using is eventually compromised. What began as a voluntary choice has turned into a physical and psychological need. Eventually drug abuse can consume your life, stopping social and intellectual development. This only reinforces the feelings of isolation that led to the drug use in the first place. The good news is that with the right treatment and support, you can counteract the disruptive effects of drug use and regain control of your life. The first obstacle is to recognize and admit you have a problem, or listen to loved ones who are often better able to see the negative effects drug use is having on your life.
For more information on how we can assist you or a loved one please call and one of our professional staff members will guide you through the process.
011 787 9142 (office hours)
079 7707532 (emergency hours)