'Addiction' is a word used to describe a state of being dependent on a substance. Although addiction is a commonly used word, other terms commonly used are 'Drug Abuse' or ' 'Alcohol Abuse' at YSAS we prefer to use the term 'dependence'. We can help you identify the level of dependence that you might have and how to best deal with it.
Your substance use may start off as occasional, recreational or experimental. In some cases, it can become more frequent and you can start becoming dependent on the substance this is what can sometimes be seen as drug abuse or alcohol abuse.
You may be experiencing physical dependence, where you start to feel physical symptoms without using the substance. These symptoms can be aches and pains, anxiety, strange dreams, hot and cold flushes, nausea and other flu-like symptoms. As well as physical dependence, there is psychological dependence. Psychological dependence is where you feel you need to be substance-affected in certain situations, but what that substance is varies. For instance, some young people get stoned or drunk when they are in social settings. Psychological dependence is where you feel dependent on being stoned, but it doesn’t matter so much which substance you use to achieve this. One type of dependence isn’t better or worse than the other, as they can both seriously affect your mental state and physical health. Drug dependence can make you feel really anxious, depressed and out of control.
If you have a substance dependence the most common symptoms are severe effects on relationships, your mental wellbeing and physical health. You may feel like you have lost the ability to function or feel comfortable without drugs. You may get drug cravings which are constant and all-consuming. This puts an enormous strain on relationships, particularly relationships with people who don't use drugs.
You may start spending more than you can afford to keep up your supply. If you find yourself doing things to get hold of drugs that you wouldn’t have done before taking drugs, then it’s very possible you have developed a dependence.
If you attempt to stop using on your own and find that it’s too difficult, there is help available. YSAS provides withdrawal services and rehabilitation programs that will support you through the challenges of coming out of a substance dependence and help you regain control of your life.
Call us on our 24 hour free YoDAA Line: 1800 458 685. or check out our Programs + Services.