Unfortunately, drug abuse is very common in our country. In fact, drug abuse affects one out of every five teenagers, and more than 25% of teenagers use drugs occasionally or frequently. As with most mental disorders, there’s no one definitive trigger for teen drug abuse; rather, it’s possible that a combination of environmental and genetic factors contribute to drug abuse among teens. In other words, while there may be psychological and physical triggers such as anxiety, depression, social alienation and early sexual activity that can lead to drug abuse, the root cause must first be identified and overcome.
Prescription opioids such as morphine, codeine and oxycodone are highly addictive. When abused, these medications create drug abuse symptoms that include restlessness, irritability, depression, anxiety, panic attacks and, in some cases, psychosis. Doctors prescribe these opioids because they are extremely effective pain relief for patients who have acute or chronic pain.
However, like most prescription medications, misuse of these opioids can result in potentially deadly drug abuse symptoms such as gastrointestinal problems, constipation, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, lack of appetite and even death. This is largely due to the fact that opioids provide a strong, immediate hit of pleasure; thereby tempting users to repeatedly abuse them despite negative consequences. For example, abusers of prescription opioids often suffer from the symptoms of withdrawal when their dosage is decreased. When this happens, the body becomes dependent on the drug and begins to experience uncomfortable side effects such as nausea and vomiting. In the long run, regular use of the drug results in chronic drug abuse symptoms and eventual addiction.
Psychological symptoms are sometimes difficult to recognize because they mimic normal mental illness or even healthy responses to stress and pressure. This makes it particularly important for parents to be aware of any drug abuse symptoms that their teenager is experiencing. Unfortunately, many teenagers become addicted because they are unaware of the serious health risks associated with substance abuse. If a parent notices signs of drug abuse, it is imperative that they speak up and get treatment for their child. The sooner they receive treatment, the less likely they are to develop psychological addictions and suffering in the future.
If you suspect your loved one is dealing with an addiction, it is imperative that you take action. First and foremost, seek medical help if your loved one is exhibiting the signs of addiction. Addiction should not be treated casually or lightly, especially since it often involves substances that can kill if not taken properly.
Signs of addiction include excessive weight loss, a decrease in energy levels, constant mood swings, depression and irritability. It is important to keep a watchful eye out for physical signs of abuse such as rashes, scars and abscesses, bed sores and swollen lymph nodes. Excessive amounts of sleep, changes in appetite, a noticeable change in behavior and a lack of interest in activities you used to enjoy are also common symptoms of addiction. The intensity and frequency of these symptoms may vary from case to case, but they are very common among addicts.
When you are looking for treatment options for your loved one, make sure to keep in mind that there are many rehab centers available to provide drug abuse treatment programs. However, since many of these signs of addiction often mirror symptoms of other mental disorders, it is important that you and your doctor determine the cause of symptoms before seeking any kind of treatment program. Once you have determined the source of symptoms, you will be better equipped to choose a treatment plan that will help your friend or family member to get over their addiction.
Another common route into drug abuse is through the use of prescription medications. Many people begin to take prescription drugs to help them cope with everyday life stressors. Unfortunately, these prescription drugs can become an integral part of the dependency cycle. When these individuals become physically dependent upon these medications, they can’t function without them and they begin to seek out more potent prescription drugs to help them deal with their daily stressors.