Drug abuse is the overuse or misuse of drugs for non-medical purposes. These can be illegal drugs such as speed, ice and cannibis, prescription drugs such as Valium or common anti-depressants such as Xanax, Codeine, Oxycodone (Endone), Dexamphetamine, etc.
Addiction sufferers use drugs to conjure and maintain a state of altered consciousness that removes them from the reality around them. Meanwhile the debilitating effects of drug addiction slowly take over that reality and destroy the vital threads of connection linking them to loved ones and a healthy existence.
Initially, the use of drugs and other substances may be social, or triggered by a person’s reaction to a psychological or emotional stress or event. Drug abuse becomes an addiction when the user develops a dependence on them, despite the negative physical, mental and social repercussions they bring. The use of drugs to alleviate unwanted emotions is secondary to finding and understanding the underlying root cause of these emotions.
Recreational drugs are often used as a coping mechanism to help counteract boredom, loneliness, relationship problems, low self-esteem or something more deep-seated such as anxiety or depression. But as these drugs have such serious negative effects of their own, they often compound the problems they are supposed to alleviate.
Ongoing abuse of drugs leads to a physical and psychological dependence that causes changes in the brain’s reward system to occur – resulting in cravings, overuse, withdrawals, and sometimes overdose or death. Drug addiction is a vicious cycle that’s incredible hard to break without help.
There are three main kinds of drugs, each of which causes different physical and psychological repercussions:
But while they provide a short-term sense of pleasure, they also bring on feelings of anxiety or depression in some people and regular long-term use can negatively affect your mental health, making it hard or impossible to cope with everyday life situations.
Speed, ice, cocaine, ecstasy and other stimulants increase your heart rate, body temperature and blood pressure and give you a temporary ‘buzz’ which makes you feel more confident, motivated and energetic.
However, they can also have a number of side effects including stomach cramps, headaches, dizziness and feelings of anxiety, paranoia and/or aggression.
LSD, ketamine, magic mushrooms and other hallucinogens cause you to hear and see things that aren’t really there, or amplify what the five senses are taking in.
As a result of hallucinogens, many experience unpleasant changes to their reality which can cause anxiety, depression, paranoia and psychosis in those susceptible to mental health problems.
There can be a variety of reasons for drug addiction including having an addictive personality, which is a predisposition to developing addictions. You could also have a parent who is an addict or have been exposed to drug addiction or traumatic experiences from an early age.
Drug addiction might also result from experiencing a severe physical trauma or injury or a severe psychological trauma such as the loss of a loved one. If you suffer from high stress levels or have a mental health condition such as anxiety or depression, you could also be more likely to become addicted to drugs. The possibilities are many, but the common denominator is that if you turn to drugs to cope with whatever you think is wrong with your life, the cure often turns out to be much worse than the cause.
If you think you or someone you know might be suffering from drug addiction or drug abuse, some of the signs to look for include:
Dealing with addiction starts with admitting that it has become a major problem. Once you recognise this, the drug addiction treatment will depend on the severity of your addiction.
If you’re only an occasional recreational drug user but think drugs may be having too much of an influence in your life, there are steps you can take to moderate your drug use including:
If your addiction is more advanced, drug rehabilitation may be the only way to deal with it. This can take the form of community-based rehabilitation programs or residential rehabilitation services where you stay in a clinic or retreat while being treated.
Rehabilitation often involves detoxification to remove the drugs from your system and then therapy to assist you in changing your behaviour.
Palladium Private is different to other drug rehabilitation facilities because we teach a reality-based mindset technique which is based on CBT, ACT and Gestalt Therapy. This is an educational program delivered in a retreat environment that focuses on holistic healing of the mind, body and interpersonal connections. Our detox solution has four major components:
1) If, during your pre-program assessment you are deemed to required a 4-day detox/withdrawal program, then your Palladium program will begin with a GP appointment to review medication(s) and undertake required blood or urine tests to identify areas that need addressing and monitoring.
2) A chaperone will stay with you for three nights to make sure you feel safe and supported. This can be extended for the entire program, but most guests usually find they are feeling better after their third day. We do have guests that have requested a chaperone for the majority of their stay and this can be arranged.
3) A highly nutritious diet is provided to give the body the essential components it needs to fuel the mechanics of detoxification. This is combined with gentle exercise and massage to assist in moving toxins out of the body.
4) We have a multitude of therapies to choose from for the initial physical changes, but long term permanent change is always facilitated in conjunction with the psychological therapies we select for each client.
Our personally tailored, holistic and integrative programs are designed to empower you to deal with
issues in your life including:
Drug addiction or abuse is the ongoing overuse or misuse of drugs for non-medical purposes, despite severely negative life impacts. This can be addiction to illegal drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamies and cannabis, or prescription drugs such as Valium or anti-depressants such as Xanax, Codeine, Oxycodone (Endone), or Dexamphetamine.
Recreational drugs are often used as a coping mechanism to help counteract boredom, loneliness, relationship problems, low self-esteem or something more deep-seated such as anxiety or depression.
Ongoing abuse of drugs leads to a physical and psychological dependence that causes changes in the brain’s reward system, resulting in cravings, withdrawals, and sometimes overdose or death. Drug addiction is a vicious cycle that’s incredibly hard to break without professional help
Addiction is a complex issue, and it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional or addiction specialist for a proper assessment, but if you’re concerned, here are some common symptoms to be aware of:
If you are concerned about your drug use, it is essential to seek professional help. A healthcare professional or addiction specialist can conduct an assessment, provide a diagnosis, and recommend appropriate treatment options.
Remember, reaching out for help is a courageous step towards long-term recovery.
Drug addiction is a complex condition, and while it may not be completely ‘curable’ in the sense that it will never reoccur, it is highly treatable, and recovery is possible.
Addiction is a chronic illness that requires ongoing management, similar to other chronic conditions like diabetes or hypertension. This is why seeking professional support and treatment is so vital for recovery.
Treatment approaches for drug addiction focus on helping you:
Treatment options may include a combination of therapies such as behavioural counselling, medication-assisted treatment, support groups, and residential or outpatient programs.
Recovery from addiction is a journey that varies for each individual. Some people may achieve long-term abstinence and maintain a drug-free lifestyle, while others may need ongoing support to manage their addiction and prevent relapse for a significant chunk of their life.
It’s important to note that relapse is a common part of the recovery process for many who are trying to manage drug addiction.It does not mean that treatment has failed but should be viewed as an opportunity to reassess the treatment plan, identify triggers or underlying issues, and make adjustments to continue the path to recovery.
Drug addiction is typically treated through a combination of approaches tailored to your needs and experiences. Treatment plans may vary based on the type of drug use, addiction severity, co-occurring mental health disorders, and personal circumstances.
There is no perfect ‘one-size-fits-all’ treatment for drug addiction, but some common components of a treatment program may include:
It’s important to note that treatment plans should be individualised and may require adjustments based on the person’s progress and changing needs.
Seeking professional help from addiction specialists is crucial to receive personalised treatment and professional support throughout the recovery process, especially when undertaking detoxification or medication-assisted treatment.
Supporting someone experiencing drug addiction can be challenging and distressing, especially if they deny their problem or do not want to address your concerns.
Drug addicts may act out in harmful ways, especially when confronted about their addiction. They may also lie or manipulate in an attempt to cover their addiction and related behaviours.
Showing someone experiencing a drug addiction that you care about and want to support can significantly aid their journey to recovery. While not always easy, you can demonstrate this in a few ways, including:
Remember: The decision to seek treatment and overcome addiction lies with the individual.
While you can offer support, respecting their autonomy and readiness for change is important. If the person is unwilling to accept help, setting boundaries for your well-being may be necessary while expressing your concern and willingness to support them when they are ready.
Rehabilitation, commonly referred to as rehab, can play a vital role in helping individuals overcome drug addiction.
Here’s a look at some ways rehab can help drug addicts:
Rehabilitation can provide a structured and supportive environment conducive to recovery. It offers a range of therapeutic interventions, counselling, and support services to address addiction’s physical, emotional, and psychological aspects.
By combining various approaches, rehab programs significantly help you develop the skills and support network necessary for lasting recovery.
According to the Australian Department of Health and Aged Care, there were 1,865 drug-induced deaths in Australia in 2019. Around 164,000 Australians sought treatment for their drug use, with the most common substances prompting treatment being alcohol, amphetamines, and cannabis.
Drug addiction is more common than many people think, and there are many ways to seek support and professional help if you are concerned about your drug use. Seeking out these resources is a significant step towards addressing these concerns and managing your health.
Here are a few options that may help:
Remember that seeking help is an essential step in the recovery process.
If you need help figuring out where to start, consider talking to a trusted individual, such as a friend or family member, who may be able to assist you in finding appropriate resources.
Our dedicated team is on hand to talk you through these options and explore how Palladium Private might work for you and your circumstances.
To get in touch, call 1300 573 095 to speak confidentially to one of our Admissions Consultants.