What Happens to Drug Abusers?

chasing a drug high

Drug abuse begins in a variety of ways. Despite the huge number of people living with addiction to drugs and alcohol, there are often similarities in the stories of people living with addiction. Spending copious amounts of time in pursuit of a high will often place one squarely in the path of law enforcement, and legal fees for drug-related offences can cost thousands of dollars, and often require jail time. But something like this rarely happens when a person first begins using controlled substances, and long before they develop an addiction.

So many things can happen over the course of a person’s time regularly using and abusing drugs.  Anyone is very fortunate to survive drug addiction, but some people endure more than others, and are left with permanent physical and psychological scars from their experiences.

Nationally, the number of overdose-related deaths continues to rise, hitting about 72,000 in 2017. The number of people receiving treatment for drug and alcohol addiction, though, also has steadily risen, and hit over two million in 2017. While this is good news, we’re still overwhelmed – an estimated 22 million Americans are living with an addiction to drugs and alcohol. Some of the population, of course, is transient, but there are plenty of well-to-do homeowners who lose control of their lives on drugs. The process of addiction is powerful and heartbreaking, but serves as a testament to the power that drug cravings have.

The First High

what happens in drug abuse

What inspires a person to experiment with drugs really depends on the person. Some common reasons are past physical or sexual trauma, mental illness, PTSD, realization of one’s sexuality, and so on. Stressful events can take their toll on a person, and if not properly addressed with a mental health professional, may spiral out of control to something even more damaging.

It is unusual for a person to choose to randomly seek out new drugs; considering that alcohol is still the most popular drug in the world, and it is legal in the United States to consume alcohol, this is often where many addicted people begin. Later, as a person spends more time on the scene, the possibility of trying other drugs, including some dangerous, highly-addictive drugs, rises. Normally, a friend or family member supplies the first dose of any product, allowing a person new to drugs to try the sensation.

What all drugs have in common is the desired warm, fun, happy effect. The feeling is described as, ‘euphoric’ by people who have used heroin. This feeling becomes an epically-powerful incentive for a person living with heroin addiction. It is not unusual for a person to be strongly addicted after just a few exposures, even as little as one. This feeling could last into the evening, as the first high is usually the longest, and the most satisfying you will ever have, and none of the other hits compare. This is what can cause people to continue to chase the high, no matter the cost.

After the First High

Depending on the drug, coming down from your first high can be a difficult experience – meth, cocaine, and heroin all have very difficult crashes that could really affect a user. Some of the side effects of a cocaine crash is vomiting, chills, and depression.

The first high, while a powerful experience for so many, can’t be matched, ever. Seeking it out could be throwing away your future, including your time with loved ones. Resting, having heavy and wholesome food, and plenty of water is essential for a drug hangover, and the feeling can be positively miserable. This is certainly enough reason to stay away from the reach of illicit drugs, their use can cause damage and pain to those seeking to use them as an escape. This isn’t unusual, and people living with addiction or prone to addiction tend to use drugs for these reasons.

After the first high, many people have difficulty sobering up, especially from hard drugs, like meth or heroin. The after-effects of some drugs is enough to scare some people away from using, but also enough to scare some from sobering up. Continued excessive use of drugs and alcohol will eventually take a person to a place that’s hard to leave.

The Decline at Home

It is impossible to hide addiction forever, and the first people that will notice a problem is your family, or whomever is living closest to you. Because home is a place where most people feel comfortable, their daily personal habits might be the first to slide when addiction strikes. A decline in physical appearance is one of the many warning signs of addiction.

In addition to a lack of care in grooming, a person’s hygiene also tends to fall by the wayside. It is not unusual for a person living with addiction to skip bathing for days or even weeks at a time. This change is noticeable for people living with others, but people living alone may go longer before friends and family notice. Pets living with a person with growing addictions may begin to see less of their owners, and in turn, receive less care.

The Decline at Work and in the Community

Without properly caring for yourself, work is inevitably compromised. Employers rarely indulge in employees who don’t perform well on the job. Declining personal hygiene and personal appearance isn’t the only thing for which a person living with addiction might eventually lose their job: missing work is a frequent problem with addicted people.

Missing work over and over again can cost your company money, and force them to end your employment. Without having your job and regularly attending, you’ll lose it, and everything that you possess could be next. Falling into the grip of addiction means that a person loses over and over again, until they say they’ve had enough.

If you’re struggling with drug and alcohol addiction, it’s not too late to get your life back on track. Contact your local drug addiction treatment center to discuss your options.