It is important to learn the difference between recreational drug taking, and drug abuse.
While drug use should not be promoted at all, some people are able to smoke a bit of cannabis and have a drink with friends at the weekend, while their life doesn’t become out of control.
But where is line crossed over from having a good time, to drug use becoming a problem?
The signs to look out for in drug abuse can be:
Are you constantly thinking about the weekend while you’re at work in the week? Planning what drugs, you are going to be taking, and where you will be going. This could be the obsession to use drugs slowly creeping up on you.
Are you having an extra bottle of wine when you get home from work? Because you’ve ‘earned it’. Is that one bottle in the week, slowly becoming 2,3 or 4 through the week.
Are your bills slowly becoming unmanageable, as you’re spending more money on substances, then paying your bills?
Are you finding yourself slacking with work, taking time out, making up excuses and not going in?
Not getting work done, is your work performance slacking?
Do you feel run down, and tired most of the time?
These are the warning signs, and at this point you are becoming chemically dependent.
Talk to your family and friends about your problem and seek help through either 12 step mutual aid groups, or online support groups.
Of course, the signs of chronic drug abuse are completely different. Chronic drug users will use every day without fail. They will find the ways and means to get their drug of choice, not caring who they harm in the process.
In a chronic drug user there will be many other tell-tale signs, they will have become very isolated and alone, they could have lost their job, their home and completely lost all contact with family and friends.
They could be out committing crime to feed their habit, facing custodial sentences.
They will become dependent on prescribed medication, as well as the street drugs they are taking.
They will suffer mood swings, suffer from bouts of depression and anxiety. They can present as angry all the time.
For the chronic drug user, it can prove fatal.
If you, or someone you know is suffering from chronic drug or alcohol abuse seek help. You can enter a detox programme, then go on to treatment such as drug rehab. Or there is also support online. And you can seek help through Narcotics Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous or Cocaine Anonymous. There are many ways to help even the most hopeless case find recovery.