Addiction to drugs

What is addiction?

Important clues

1) Compulsion to seek the drug despite really not wanting to take it

2) It takes central role in one’s life to the neglect of all other roles and responsibilities.

3) Causes damage to physical and mental health

We don’t get addicted to milk or sweets but only to certain drugs because they change our brains in certain ways that we are compelled to take it. Individuals with addiction can often stop but mostly ends up going back sooner rather than later

What should be done?

  • Detoxification initially to counter the withdrawal effects of stopping the drugs (ex., tremors, sleeplessness…)
  • Motivation enhancement therapies to enhance motivation to quit or to counter denial
  • Anti –craving medications
  • Relapse prevention techniques (ex. identifying triggers etc..)
  • Identifying co-morbid anxiety or depression
  • Group support