What can be done about drug addiction

smoking (2)Drug addiction is a serious problem in the UK. A drug addiction is a consuming addiction, which compels individuals to take drugs, even though they are aware of the negative consequences associated with taking drugs.

How does an addiction occur?

Drugs are highly addictive and what starts as a casual habit can quickly turn into a full-blown addiction. Many people start taking drugs as a form of experimentation; they may try a drug because their friends are doing it, for example. At first, it may seem like the drugs may you feel better and give you a form of escape from troubling issues in your life, however, this often turns into a compulsion to continue taking drugs and, after a while, you will find that you have no control over your drug taking.

Common drug addictions

The most common drug addictions are:

    • Cannabis: many people smoke cannabis socially and then become addicted to it. Cannabis helps to make people feel relaxed, but it can contribute to long-term mental health problems, as well as physiological health problems.
    • Ecstasy: ecstasy is commonly known as a party drug, as it gives users a ‘high’. Ecstasy can cause psychotic episodes and panic attacks and is also related to problems with the heart, liver and kidneys. More than 200 people have died from taking ecstasy since 1996.
    • Ketamine: ketamine can cause panic attacks and depression and is also linked to problems with the heart and breathing difficulties.
    • Cocaine: cocaine is the second most commonly used drug in the UK, after cannabis. Cocaine is particularly popular amongst young people and there has been a significant increase in the number of young women taking cocaine in recent years. Cocaine can cause depression and panic attacks and has been known to cause heart attacks in even the fittest people.
    • A more dangerous form of cocaine called crack is also responsible for sending thousands of addicts into crack rehab centers for treatment.
  • Heroin: heroin is widely regarded as the most dangerous drug; it is extremely addictive and carries very serious risks for health. A heroin overdose can cause death and there is a risk of conditions, such as HIV and hepatitis, from injecting heroin.

smokingEffects of drug addiction

Drug addiction can have very damaging effects for both the addict and their loved ones. An addiction can contribute to serious mental and physical health problems, as well as contributing to spiralling debt, strained or broken personal relationships and difficulties for relatives. Drug addiction also has implications for wider society. Statistics show that drugs are directly linked to a number of crimes and the cost of caring for people who are ill or injured as a result of taking drugs amounts to millions of pounds each year.

Help and treatment for drug addiction

Treatment for drug addiction is a long, gradual process, as coming off drugs suddenly causes very strong withdrawal symptoms. Treatment for drug addiction usually involves a combination of methods, including therapy and counselling, detoxification and medication and rehabilitation.

There are several policies and projects running in the UK to promote drug prevention and try to discourage people from taking drugs. Many also focus on helping those already affected by drugs.