Concerned about your drug use but aren’t sure what steps to take?
You can find lots of advice here.
It can be hard to take the first step, but cutting down or stopping your drug use can make you happier and healthier, and improve all areas of your life.
You don’t have to be taking drugs everyday for them to be impacting your life. Any substance can have a negative affect over time, whether it’s cannabis, prescription drugs or cocaine.
Perhaps you’re finding it hard to keep a job down, your relationships or overall health is suffering or you can’t do the things you used to enjoy without using. Whatever your motivation for making positive changes, you can get support every step of the way.
There are many types of drugs people can become addicted to, so there are many signs to look out for.
Drug use is likely becoming a problem for you if:
- You avoid people who don’t use drugs
- You avoid places where it’s not possible to take drugs
- You feel unsatisfied if you don’t take the drug regularly
- You rely on drugs to cope with emotional problems
- You are dishonest with friends and family to hide your drug use
- You have financial worries or debts
- You sell or steal things to pay for drugs
- You take dangerous risks, such as driving under the influence of drugs
- You blame yourself and have low self-esteem, especially after a lapse or relapse
- You’re in trouble with the law
Physically and mentally, you might not be feeling your best. the following effects can linger after the drugs have worn off.
- Attention deficit
- Weight loss
- Memory loss
The more times you answer ‘yes’ to these statements and symptoms, the more of a problem drug use is for you. The first step to dealing with a drug problem is admitting you have one.
You’re not alone. Thousands of people struggle with drug use, and thousands of people overcome their problem and learn to manage it.
If you’re here you’ve already taken the first step by acknowledging drugs may be impacting your life.
Getting support could be the next step for you. No one can force you to cut down or stop using drugs until you feel ready to.
Talk to your GP or a health professional, or reach out to a drug support service in your area.
Don’t stop using suddenly
It’s tempting to just stop taking drugs and manage withdrawal on your own, but this can cause you physical harm, depending on the nature of your addiction.
If you’re not quite ready to confide in a health professional, speak with a trusted friend or family member, or join a peer support group like Narcotics Anonymous or Cocaine Anonymous.
Many of these support groups now offer virtual online sessions.
You can learn more about groups and online resources here.
So you’re ready to take some action. That’s great. Here’s how you might get started…
- Start a drugs diary. Make a note of where you are, who you’re with and what you’re doing when you take drugs
- Can you spot any patterns? Maybe you’re always with the same group of people or gathered in a particular setting. Maybe you always take drugs after something difficult – a fight with a partner, or disagreement with your parents.
- When you learn how to spot your triggers, put a plan into action to avoid them.
- Don’t be hard on yourself or expect perfection. The road will be full of ups and downs, but these are all opportunities to learn.
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