Visible Symptoms of Several Commonly Abused Drugs

You may have a friend, family member, or co-worker who has had an erratic change in behavior lately. This does not mean that he or she is abusing drugs, but could have a lack of sleep, be ill, or have experienced a traumatic event. This information below is for those of you who do suspect drug abuse. Use this information only as a guideline. Do not confront the potential drug abuser. You may want to engage the help of a professional to help you deal with this issue if it is a family member. A co-worker may need to be reported to the manager or director. There is help available, though.

In general, symptoms of drug usage do not pop out alone, and usually there is more than one symptom that you will be able to notice. Depending on a person’s body structure, age, and gender, different symptoms will show up in a different order, strength and combination. Also, every drug has its own set of symptoms that reveals its influence on the human body. Here’s a brief coverage of specific symptoms that characterize certain kinds of drugs:

Marijuana: Glassy, red eyes; loud talking and inappropriate laughter followed by sleepiness; a sweet burnt scent; loss of interest, motivation; weight gain or loss.

Alcohol: Clumsiness; difficulty walking; slurred speech; sleepiness; poor judgment; dilated pupils; possession of a false ID card (of course this is common among teens.)

Depressants: (including barbiturates and tranquilizers) Seems drunk as if from alcohol, but without the associated odor of alcohol; difficulty concentrating; clumsiness; poor judgment; slurred speech; sleepiness; and contracted pupils.

Stimulants: Hyperactivity; euphoria; irritability; anxiety; excessive talking followed by depression or excessive sleeping at odd times; may go long periods of time without eating or sleeping; dilated pupils; weight loss; dry mouth and nose.

Inhalants: (Glues, aerosols, and vapors ) Watery eyes; impaired vision, memory and thought; secretions from the nose or rashes around the nose and mouth; headaches and nausea; appearance of intoxication; drowsiness; poor muscle control; changes in appetite; anxiety; irritability; an unusual number of spray cans in the trash.

Hallucinogens: Dilated pupils; bizarre and irrational behavior including paranoia, aggression, hallucinations; mood swings; detachment from people; absorption with self or other objects, slurred speech; confusion.

Heroin: Needle marks; sleeping at unusual times; sweating; vomiting; coughing and sniffling; twitching; loss of appetite; contracted pupils; no response of pupils to light.

Of course, every drug has its own influence on the human body, and depending on which chemical substance – it can slow down or speed up a person’s brain activity. Professionals often call this: “effects on the executive functioning areas of the brain.” Executive functioning areas of the brain are responsible for activities like planning, organizing, acting when it is time to act, as well as delaying or preventing action (inhibitory functions) when appropriate.

The executive brain functions are performed in the frontal and prefrontal cortex. When a person starts using drugs – the inhibitory functions of the brain are particularly impaired, which means that his or her brain stops to delay or prevent impulses that would have been stopped in regular conditions. These changes in the human brain can lead to aggression, sexual, criminal, or other activities that can have devastating consequences for the addicted person. Until the age of 25, the human brain is in the process of active and rapid development, and, therefore, is not fully mature. Drug abuse in childhood and teenage years can cause devastating effects on the younger person’s ability to perform important executive functions.

Recovery From Addiction To Drugs

Recovery from addiction to drugs may seem an impossible dream for one caught in the practice but there is help. Treating the root cause with the right treatment is possible.

You have made a start by looking at the problem and considering the change. It can take a long time and will involve stubborn resolve to see it through and a solid foundation to prevent relapsing.

Holistic Recovery

Treatment should take the whole person into account and help to form a new way of living. It is seen to be addressing a brain illness, not a mental illness and so deals with the physical body, to repair it’s integrity and stabilise it’s health.

Anxiety, depression, and distressing states of mind can induce a person to mad or odd behaviour. Holistic recovery will safely help the individual with ways to work through these emotions and to manage negative behaviours and thoughts.

Positive influences through a support system will make the job of recovery possible. Careful thought needs to go into it. Some treatments focus on destructive behaviour and distorted thinking and little attention goes into the true causes of the state of mind. Lectures and group activities can only go so far.

The use of the addicts own senses to assess emotions and to manage associated distress properly, will happen in holistic recovery from addiction to drugs. The seven senses, taste, touch, hearing, internal sensations, balance, sight and smell send information to the brain and the body’s response will involve feelings.

Humans cannot feel thoughts and anxiety and depression are physical sensations. Thoughts can produce physical distress if the brain interprets them as a threat. As an example, a concern usually has a thought attached to it. The person cannot feel the thought, but can feel the body’s response to it and sufferers will be trained to understand this.

The body releases chemicals like cortisol and adrenaline as a result of the brain’s interpretation of the thought. The thought can make your body hide, freeze, flee or fight.

The sensation felt can lead to pressure, tension, heaviness and tightness leading to depression and anxiety which can then lead to heart attacks. For recovery to happen these events need to be eased up. An holistic approach will educate the sufferer to achieve relief from the physical sensations and to notice the senses, recognise specific thoughts happening and how their body is feeling.

They will be able to manage the anxiety and depression that leads to addictive behaviour. A willing attitude is needed to think, sense, feel and do their way out of addiction. It is tuning the body to bring about change to the whole of one’s life, mind and spirit.

Ways to control cravings and triggers and developing support systems are needed to avoid relapsing. Daily practising of learned techniques and observations with the help of the supporters through association, will overshadow the negative influences.

Do healthy eating habits and do not do your vices, leave them behind. Positive changes incrementally, will add up to significant advances, if maintained. Knowing the links to the addiction will aid in the recovery from addiction to drugs. Cultural factors play a part and the longer the addiction has occurred, the longer the recovery is likely to be.

Holistic Recovery Program

An holistic recovery program deals with anyone having an addiction type illness. They may engage in what becomes uncontrollable behaviour in order to avoid anxiety, depression and distressing states of mind.

The holistic recovery approach offers sufferers opportunities to experience the painful emotions safely and at the same time learn helpful ways to manage negative behaviours and thoughts. Addiction and recovery are important matters that require careful thought.

A lot of treatment programs for addiction focus on destructive behaviour and distorted thinking. Less attention is given to the true causes of anxiety and depression. They do offer addicts lectures and group activities wherein they can share their feelings. However they seldom offer addicts adequate opportunities to safely and directly experience their feelings and ways to manage them creatively.

The holistic approach to addiction recovery will do what they offer and more. It is a combination of western and eastern healing and teaches addicts to use their own senses in order to assess emotions and at the same time, know how to manage associated distress effectively.

The seven senses include internal sensations, balance, sight, taste, touch, hearing and smell. They pick up information and send it to the brain. The body’s responses always involve feelings. Addicts who undergo an holistic recovery program may be surprised to learn that humans can’t feel thoughts.

They also learn that anxiety and depression are simply physical sensations. Thoughts can bring forth physical distress if the brain construes them to be a threat. For example, if you are worried about something, a thought is usually attached to it. The person can’t feel the thought but what she is actually feeling is the body’s response to it. If this is properly explained and taught to addicts, they will understand it.

Worry brought about by the thought is interpreted by the brain as some sort of threat and so cortisol, adrenaline and other chemicals are released. These chemicals can make your body freeze, flee, or fight.

The sensations you feel can be tension, pressure, tightness and heaviness and can lead to anxiety and depression which may frustrate recovery.

The mind seems to be a product of the brain and if the brain is unbalanced, then the mind will be too. To look after the physical brain’s health and wellbeing is to look after the mind’s health and wellbeing. Just to talk to the mind about a problem of addiction or craving, will only induce a relapse, probably more sooner than later.

Non provision of brain based needs has to be tested for possible implication in the cause of the illness and how much damage the non provision has caused. The brain chemistry is changed by continual drug or alcohol use. This is physical disruption to the brain so talk therapy can not work and psychiatric drugs make the problem worse. Bio-chemical repair has to happen.

An holistic recovery program can teach addicts to consistently and effectively ease the physical sensations. Patients are taught how to notice the senses, identify specific thoughts that are occurring, and how their body is actually feeling. The recovering addicts will now have the power to handle the anxiety and depression that leads to addictive behaviour.