Addiction to drugs and alcohol : : The time to stop is NOW !

Sanjoo Thangjam
Contd from previous issue
- Maintains hidden supply of the drugs because the very thought about its absence is threatening.
- Begins to have problems at school, college and place of work.
- Uses drugs to handle unpleasant emotional state and sometime uses them when he anticipates problems.
- Family relationship becomes strained-neglects responsibilities; is not dependable.
- Personality shifts are observable.
- Alienation from friends who were close to him prior to drug use. Interest in extra-curricular/leisures activities decline considerably.
- Neglect of personal hygiene-poor grooming and poor eating habits.
- Feeling of anxiety, guilt or shame may strengthen.
Advanced stage:
- Drug use turns continuous
- Loss of control over the drug is complete. Experience less and less pleasure from the drug but continues using it to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
- Cheaper drugs are used when the drug of choices cannot be obtained.
- Becomes increasingly dependent on other people to carry on the pretext of living. He often eats only because is pressurised to.
-Social relationship are almost non-existent and companionship is limited almost exclusively to drug addicts.
- Persons may leave home and start living alone.
- Many face premature death due to poor health condition.
Chemically dependent person may exhibit many or most of the signs and symptoms listed above in a variety of combinations. The problems or damages which may follow also occur in diverse combinations. The degree to which the dependency is developed also varies widely.
So it is the responsibility of those people working in the field of addiction and general public as well, not to simply label the person as an addict but rather to specify what signs and symptoms support such diagnosis.
(The writer is a Social Activist for People Who Use Drugs (PUD)