Drug Addiction Help

A drug is any substance that, when taken, can change a person’s body or mind. Drugs come in many forms and serve various purposes, ranging from medicinal use to recreational enjoyment. However, some substances can lead to addiction, causing serious health and social issues. InnerLife Recovery offers comprehensive drug addiction help, providing the support and resources needed to address and overcome these challenges.

Substances can be consumed in various ways, like eating, drinking, inhaling, injecting, smoking, or even absorbing through the skin or mucous membranes. 

Is addiction a disease?

Put simply. Yes. Addiction is not just about using substances. It’s about how you feel when you’re not using them.

Using drugs or engaging in addictive behaviours can seem like a way to escape emotional pain temporarily, but it doesn’t fix the real issues.

Sometimes, addiction starts before you even use substances, coming from emotional struggles that might have been present since birth.

An addiction is not always linked to bad experiences or environments. People from various backgrounds can struggle with addiction.

Addiction often involves seeking validation and rewards from external sources. It can go beyond drugs to achievements and fitting in.

Using substances can make you feel better temporarily, but it doesn’t solve the deeper problems.

As addiction gets worse, people rely more on external solutions, leading to a cycle of relief and destruction.

To address addiction, we need to deal with the emotional and psychological issues at its core.

Understanding addiction means taking a holistic approach to emotional and mental well-being.

Support from addiction hotlines and counsellors is crucial for recovery. They guide individuals toward a healthier path.

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Whether you’re reaching out for yourself or a loved one, we’re here to provide the support and guidance you need, whenever you need it.

Understanding drug addiction through neurochemistry

Drug addiction is a complex issue rooted in our brain’s reward system. This system drives pleasurable behaviours, like eating and sex. Even behaviours we know aren’t good for us, such as taking drugs, can become addictive. The brain’s reward centre, influenced by chemicals like dopamine, plays a crucial role in addiction. It creates feelings of enjoyment when we engage in these behaviours and dissatisfaction when we don’t.

Another brain area involved in addiction is the amygdala, responsible for emotions and memories. Positive memories, like the enjoyment of drug use, can trigger a desire to repeat those behaviours. This can lead to more engagement in activities that feel good temporarily but have harmful consequences in the long run.

Some drugs also lead to a condition called dependence, where the body becomes reliant on the substance. This can make quitting even harder. Understanding the neurochemistry of addiction is essential to provide effective drug addiction help.

The question of whether addiction is a disease is a topic of debate. Some argue that addiction is a disease because it has biological and genetic components. It can change the brain’s structure and function, similar to other diseases. Addiction can also lead to chronic health problems, making it disease-like in nature.

On the other hand, some argue that addiction is a choice because it often starts with a voluntary behaviour, like trying drugs. They believe that labelling it as a disease removes personal responsibility.

Regardless of the debate, what’s crucial is recognizing that addiction requires help and treatment. Whether you see it as a disease or not, support is essential to overcome addiction.

How do I get help for drug addiction?

Seeking help is the first step in overcoming drug addiction. Many individuals struggling with addiction find it challenging to quit on their own due to the powerful effects of drugs on the brain’s reward system.

If you or someone you know is battling drug addiction, reaching out to professionals and support networks is vital. Drug addiction help is available in various forms:

1. Treatment programs

There are specialised treatment programs and rehab centres that offer tailored approaches to drug addiction recovery. These programs may include therapy, counselling, and medical interventions.

2. Support groups

Joining support groups, such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA) or SMART Recovery, provides a sense of community and understanding. Sharing experiences with others who’ve faced similar challenges can be empowering.

3. Counselling and therapy

Individual counselling or therapy sessions with trained professionals can help address the psychological aspects of addiction and provide coping strategies.

4. Medication-assisted treatment (MAT)

Some individuals benefit from medications that reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms. MAT can be a part of addiction treatment.

5. Hotlines and helplines

Addiction hotlines and helplines offer immediate assistance and guidance. They can connect you to resources and provide valuable information.

6. Recovery coaching

Recovery coaches provide one-on-one support and guidance throughout the recovery process, helping individuals stay on track and make positive changes in their lives.

Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to drug addiction recovery. It’s essential to find the right combination of support and treatment that works for you or your loved one. Addiction may be challenging, but with the right help, recovery is possible.

What is the difference between drug addiction, dependence, tolerance, and abuse?

Drug addiction, dependence, tolerance, and abuse are interconnected but distinct concepts that play a significant role in the world of substance use and recovery. Let’s unravel the differences and connections among these terms.

1. Drug Addiction

   – Drug addiction primarily stems from underlying psychological conditions 

   – It’s characterised by a compulsive need to engage in drug use despite negative consequences.

   – Addiction can be an all-encompassing struggle, affecting a person’s thoughts, behaviours, and emotions.

2. Drug dependence

   – Dependence is primarily a physiological issue where the body becomes reliant on a specific substance to function normally.

   – Over time, the presence of the substance becomes integrated into the body’s normal function.

   – When someone dependent on a substance stops using it, they may experience withdrawal symptoms as the body readjusts to its absence.

3. Tolerance

   – Tolerance develops with continued substance use, leading to the need for higher doses to achieve the desired effects.

   – For instance, if someone is seeking a pleasurable “high,” tolerance means they’ll require increasing amounts of the drug.

   – Tolerance can contribute to the acceleration of dependence and addiction, impacting physical and mental health.

4. Drug abuse vs. drug use

   – Not all drug consumption is harmful, and responsible drug use, as prescribed by a doctor, is considered drug use.

   – Drug abuse occurs when individuals take drugs in quantities or via methods not recommended by a healthcare professional.

   – It includes any use that could harm the individual or others and can perpetuate addiction and dependence.

Understanding these distinctions is vital for addressing substance-related issues effectively. Whether you or someone you know is struggling with drug addiction, dependence, tolerance, or abuse, seeking help is crucial.

Drug Addiction help

   – If you or a loved one is facing drug addiction, seeking professional help is the first step toward recovery.

   – Treatment programs, counselling, and support groups can provide guidance and strategies for overcoming addiction.

   – Confidential addiction hotlines are available 24/7 to connect individuals with resources and support.

Remember that overcoming drug-related challenges is possible with the right help and support. Don’t hesitate to reach out to InnerLife Recovery today and start the journey to recovery.

What are drug classifications in the UK?

In the United Kingdom, drugs are classified under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, which divides them into three categories: Class A, Class B, and Class C. These categories determine the level of danger associated with each drug.

1. Class A – most dangerous

   – Class A includes drugs considered the most dangerous, posing severe risks to individuals.

   – Possession of Class A drugs can result in an unlimited fine and up to seven years of imprisonment.

   – Supplying or possessing Class A drugs with the intent to supply can lead to an unlimited fine and even a life sentence.

2. Class B – Significant risk

   – Class B includes drugs that are less dangerous but still carry substantial risks.

   – Possession of Class B drugs may result in an unlimited fine and a maximum of five years in prison.

   – Supplying or possessing Class B drugs with the intent to supply can lead to an unlimited fine and up to 14 years in prison.

3. Class C – Lower capacity for harm

   – Class C comprises drugs with the least potential for harm but still requiring government control.

   – Possession of Class C drugs can lead to two years of imprisonment and an unlimited fine.

   – Supplying or possessing Class C drugs with the intent to supply can result in up to 14 years in prison and an unlimited fine.

How are drugs taken?

The consumption methods for drugs vary widely based on the drug’s nature and form. Common methods include smoking, inhaling, snorting, and oral ingestion. Some drugs are injected, absorbed through the skin, taken rectally or vaginally, or absorbed under the tongue.

What makes a person perceptible to drug abuse?

The reasons behind drug abuse vary among individuals and are influenced by complex factors. While complete understanding is ongoing, several significant risk factors have been identified.

1. Genetic factors

   – Family history of drug abuse is a strong indicator of potential drug abuse and addiction.

   – Genetic predisposition also extends to family histories of mental health issues.

   – Genetic variations can affect how the body metabolises substances, impacting their effects.

2. Environmental factors

   – Social circles that engage in substance abuse increase the likelihood of drug abuse.

   – Exposure to substance abuse within the family during childhood and adolescence is a risk factor.

   – Easy access to drugs, life challenges, trauma, poverty, stress, cultural influences, and discrimination all play roles.

The Stages of drug use and abuse

Every person’s journey through substance abuse and addiction is unique. There’s no one-size-fits-all path. Some individuals experiment with drugs without progressing to abuse, while others develop full-blown addictions. However, we can identify several key stages:

1. First contact

   – This stage involves first contact with a substance, experiencing its effects out of curiosity.

2. Repetition

   – Here, individuals start consuming the substance repeatedly, gaining a better understanding of its effects.

3. Habituation

   – Drug abuse becomes a regular part of life, with more time and resources devoted to it.

4. Addiction

   – At this stage, substance abuse dominates life, causing potential harm to physical and mental health, life circumstances, and prospects. It becomes challenging to stop.

Recreational drug use and misuse

When people discuss “taking drugs,” they often mean illegal substances. People use illegal drugs for various reasons, with recreation being the most common. Many use drugs occasionally for enjoyment, though it can lead to misuse, addiction, and dependence over time.

Recreational drug use, while socially frowned upon, may not pose immediate physical harm, but it carries social and legal risks. It’s crucial to recognize that even without addiction, some substances can be dangerous. Overdoses claim lives annually, and some individuals may have unknown allergies to certain drugs, leading to potentially fatal reactions upon first use.

Can prescription drugs be abused?

Getting a prescription doesn’t mean the medication is without risks. Many medicines, especially those with a high dependence risk, can lead to addiction if not used as directed. It’s vital to follow your doctor’s advice and the instructions on the packaging closely. 

Deviating from prescribed use, such as taking larger doses or using the medicine in ways not recommended, is a clear sign of potential addictive behaviour and abuse. Always adhere to the guidance provided to ensure safety and effectiveness.

Types of drugs


  • LSD/Acid
  • DMT
  • Mephedrone
  • PCP/Angel dust


  • Methamphetamine/Meth/Crystal meth/Ice
  • Amphetamines
  • Cocaine
  • Ecstasy/MDMA


  • Alcohol
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Barbiturates
  • Sedatives


  • Cannabis/Marijuana
  • Synthetic Cannabinoids


  • Various household chemicals
  • Synthetic Cannabinoids


  • GHB


  • Heroin
  • OxyCodone/Oxycontin

Signs and symptoms of drug use

  • Behavioural changes
  • Mood swings
  • Craving, obsession, withdrawal and isolation
  • Loss of interest in personal hygiene and appearance
  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Changed sleeping habits
  • Changed eating habits
  • Financial difficulties
  • Problems at work or in education
  • Changes in sex drive and sexual interests
  • Health problems related to substance abuse
  • Frequent flu-like symptoms
  • Frequent red eyes
  • Unusual sweating
  • Dilated pupils
  • Depression
  • Paranoia
  • Excitability
  • Delusions
  • Clenching and grinding teeth
  • Frequent nausea
  • Itching and scratching
  • Frequent intoxication
  • Changes in peer group
  • Changes in vocabulary
  • Furtive and/or secretive behaviour
  • Deceitful and/or manipulative behaviour
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Neglecting responsibilities and obligations
  • Relationship problems and legal trouble

Personal and social consequences of drug abuse

  • Alienation from friends and family
  • Decreased quality of life
  • Financial woes
  • Malnutrition
  • Illness related to poor hygiene
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Psychosis
  • Paranoia
  • Behavioural change
  • Engagement in criminal activity
  • Loss of academic and/or professional opportunities
  • Reputational damage
  • Drug-specific long-term health risks
  • Risk-taking
  • Brain damage
  • Anhedonia
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Low self-esteem
  • Homelessness
  • Despair
  • Suicidal ideation


Yes, addiction is considered a disease. Research and medical consensus classify addiction, including drug addiction, as a complex brain disorder and a mental illness.

This perspective is supported by the American Psychiatric Association and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Addiction alters the brain’s normal functioning, affecting its structure and how it processes information.

These changes in the brain lead to the compulsive drug use that characterises addiction. The disease model of addiction emphasises that like other chronic diseases, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission, a need for long-term management, and potential impacts on physical health.

Many communities have facilities providing services like detox, counselling, and therapy. InnerLife Recovery is one such centre that offers a comprehensive approach to overcoming drug addiction, including evidence-based therapies and support systems tailored to individual needs.

InnerLife Recovery also offers online resources and support, making it easier for individuals to access help regardless of their location.

Remember, recovery is a personal journey, and it may require a combination of approaches to find what works best for you. InnerLife Recovery is committed to providing the support and guidance needed to navigate this path, offering a range of programs designed to address the unique challenges of drug addiction.


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