Excessive use of drugs

General or Other | - Others | Excessive use of drugs (Disease)


The most important indicators of risky use of drugs are changes in the behavior of a person.

Physical Signs

(1) Loss of appetite, increase in appetite, any changes in eating habits, unexplained weight loss or gain.

(2) Slowed or staggering walk; poor physical coordination.

(3) Inability to sleep, awake at unusual times, unusual laziness.

(4) Red, watery eyes; pupils larger or smaller than usual; blank stare.

(5) Cold, sweaty palms; shaking hands.

(6) Puffy face, blushing or paleness.

(7) Smell of substance on breath, body or clothes.

(8) Extreme hyperactivity; excessive talkativeness.

(9) Runny nose; hacking cough.

(10) Needle marks on lower arm, leg or bottom of feet.

(11) Nausea, vomiting or excessive sweating.

(12) Tremors or shakes of hands, feet or head.

(13) Irregular heartbeat.

Causes and Risk factors

Some critics believe that all illegal recreational use is inherently irresponsible, due to the unpredictable, unregulated nature of the drugs and the risks of addiction, infection, and other side effects. Nevertheless, harm reduction advocates claim that the user can be responsible by employing the same general principles applicable to the use of alcohol: avoiding hazardous situations, excessive doses, and hazardous combinations of drugs; avoiding injection; and not using drugs at the same time as activities that may be unsafe without a sober state.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Because drug abuse and addiction have so many dimensions and disrupt so many aspects of an individuals life, treatment is not simple. Effective treatment programs typically incorporate many components, each directed to a particular aspect of the illness and its consequences. Addiction treatment must help the individual stop using drugs, maintain a drug-free lifestyle, and achieve productive functioning in the family, at work, and in society. Because addiction is typically a chronic disease, people cannot simply stop using drugs for a few days and be cured. Most patients require long-term or repeated episodes of care to achieve the ultimate goal of sustained abstinence and recovery of their lives. ...

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