— a complex illness that affects the brain
View our video on drug addiction and our treatment at The Kusnacht Practice rehabilitation centre
About drug addiction
A killer compulsion
Drug addiction is a progressive condition that worsens over time, causing damage to physical, mental and emotional well-being. An individual who is addicted is unable to control their use of substances, leading to potentially fatal consequences. According to the United Nations, 29 million people suffer from drug use disorders, resulting in 200,000 recorded drug-deaths annually. However, the true toll is likely to be far higher as many drugs fatalities go unrecorded due to the underlying cause of death being misreported.
Symptoms and effects of drug addiction
Drug addiction occurs when an individual becomes psychologically and/or physically dependent on substances, which may include illegal drugs or prescription medication. One can experience a strong compulsion to use drugs despite negative consequences as well as the inability to stop by willpower alone. Chronic drug abuse can have catastrophic short- and long-term effects on an individual’s mental and physical health. They can differ depending on the type of substance, how much and how often it’s taken and the person’s general health. Overall, the consequences of drug abuse and dependence can be far-reaching: lung disease, stroke, brain damage, heart conditions and death.
Most common symptoms of drug addiction
- changes in friends and activities
- changes in daily routines
- withdrawal symptoms like bloodshot eyes and frequent bloody noses
- changes in personality and behaviour like a lack of motivation, irritability, and agitation
- failing in attempts to stop
- undertaking risky activities when under the influence of the drug
Drug addiction treatment
The risk of addiction is influenced by a person’s individual biology, genetic factors and social environment. People who are addicted to drugs may use substances as a way of masking underlying issues such as emotional distress or mental problems. Thankfully, through scientific advances, we know how drugs affect the brain and how to treat addiction. Through a variety of therapy methods we provide at The Kusnacht Practice, we assert individual care of withdrawal symptoms, submit a tailor-made treatment strategy and work to modify behaviour to prevent a recurrence.