Drug and alcohol abuse destroys the brain. By sending mixed signals to your brain’s neurotransmitters, drugs effectively trick your brain into craving more and more of them, as they wreak havoc on organs and bodily functions. This craving turns into full scale dependency– a term that indicates that the body has transitioned from simply enjoying a drug’s high to needing it– and, if left unchecked, chronic addiction, from which the road to recovery is often difficult and cumbersome. Those suffering through this vicious cycle can often turn into shells of their former selves, or exhibit behaviors that are quite uncharacteristic of how they used to be. These behaviors can include things like:
- high-risk behavior
- frequent mood swings
- blame shifting
- and more
These transitions can lead to isolation from family, friends, and loved ones, and can increase the likelihood of continued drug use. Research indicates that the negative traits often exhibited by those that frequently use drugs are due in large part to the stigma drug use possesses. Because the actions of drug users are frequently condemned (as they should be), users turn to defensive tactics to assuage guilt or to practice their habits in secrecy, away from prying eyes.
- Dishonesty, for instance, stems from often having to hide drug abuse from those you interact with on a daily basis.
- Manipulation can be traced back to the practice of convincing those that don’t support your habit to assist you anyway, for whatever reason the user feels will work in that moment.
- Mood swings usually occur in tandem with drug use, as the effects of many drugs include euphoria, over-inflated confidence, and a propensity to take higher risks.
Once off of that high, users can feel the exact opposite, and even be depressed and shy.
- Blame shifting comes from frequently looking to ease the guilt that comes with drug use by attributing it to the effects of other people and things.
- Finally, impulsiveness stems from a desire to get high quickly and immediately, with very little regard for the consequences of such behavior.
Drug users are also frequently described as angrier and harder to get along with than their counterparts, particularly when they aren’t under the influence of drugs. This can typically be attributed to the stress that a dependent body can enact on a user’s psyche when it doesn’t have the drug it desires. Seeking professional treatment for your drug use is the best way to slowly return to the person family and friends knew and loved. The first step is just a phone call!